Thursday, March 3, 2011

Seven Tips to Make a Fabulous Vacation More Affordable

I don't know about you, but I don't always have the money to go on an awesome vacation every year. I either have to save my pennies and travel less often or compromise on the quality of the vacation – and I've learned the hard way that it's better to stay at a resort every three or four years than it is to check into a budget hotel where the roaches outnumber the people in order to afford a vacation every single year.

Over time, I have found a few ways to make travel more affordable more often. Just because you don't have a million-dollar bank account doesn't mean you can't have a million-dollar lifestyle…at least while you're on vacation!

1. Stay domestic. You might have dreams of being a global jet-setter, but if you stay closer to home, you'll save a ton of money. Domestic flights are less expensive, you won't have to pay for a passport, and even hotels can be less expensive, depending on the exchange rate.

2. Eat lunch at the hotel. Want to be able to afford dinners at four-star restaurants? Skip expensive lunches. Even grabbing sandwiches or salads can be expensive at cafes and lunch locations, so instead book a hotel with a refrigerator and go grocery shopping. Stock the hotel room with lunchmeat, bread, yogurt, and other foods that you can eat before heading out to enjoy the afternoon wherever you're vacationing.

3. Twitter and Facebook are your friends. Social media sites, like Twitter and Facebook, are wonderful for saving money while planning a vacation. Many hotels offer coupons and special deals for fans and followers.

4. Choose an offbeat location. You can get a lot more bang for your buck if you choose a destination that's off the beaten path. Instead of Aspen for a ski vacation, try the beautiful mountains in the northeastern United States, for example.

5. Check out all-inclusive resorts or cruises. Often, it's cheaper if you go to a resort or on a cruise where everything is included. Some even include tips and drinks in your bottom-line price. In addition to being cheaper (in some cases), knowing exactly how much you'll spend down to the penny make it easier for budgeting.

6. Travel during the off season. You can get cheaper rates if you travel during the vacation off-season wherever you go. Remember, an off-season in one location is the busiest time for another location, so you can find somewhere with off-season prices no matter when you want to travel! As an added bonus, hospitality staff members will treat you better during the off-season, since tips are not as plentiful.

7. Plan a stay-cation…in style. Lastly, during years when you can't afford vacations, plan some relaxing time at home instead, away from work. Stay-cations certainly don't sound luxurious, but they can be. Splurge to stay in a hotel, even if it is in your hometown, or hire a cleaning service to take care of your home completely to make it feel special and explore restaurants that you've never visited rather than eating at old haunts. You can even stock your house with special bath products, candles, and other little touches to keep it feeling fresh and more like a vacation.

This guest post is from Allison at, where you can go to learn more about how buying travel insurance can actually save you money in the long run.


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