Lower Vacation Costs
While I was growing up my father would sometimes say this about vacations, “It is not what you are doing that makes it a vacation, it is what you are not doing.” While it is true that we never went to “Wally World” we did go on a vacation of sort every year. Sometimes it was an extra-long holiday weekend, by turning a 3-day weekend into a four or five-day mini vacation. Trips to visit grandparents or a couple trips to visit aunts, uncles, and cousins states away. We would stay at their house and take in local activities. We also had family and friends come to stay with us. In researching this article, I may have discovered the origins of couch surfing. (withintheworld.com/no-money-traveling/)
The common spending areas are transportation or travel costs; lodging; food; activities and souvenirs. It also depends on what you consider a vacation. Short trips or staycations are breaks from the normal routines that we have of work, home, sleep, repeat. The number of people traveling also changes costs as well. It is much easier to find cheaper flights and sleep options for a couple than a family or a group
This year has seen increased cost for transportation. Consider shorter local or regional trips. Discover the sights and history of your own city or region. There are 27 Ohio Byways to explore (www.senic.org) has listings of byways in every state. At (travelinspiredliving.com) there is a listing of 50 Unique things to do in Ohio. State and National parks are great options.
There are significant differences between airline flight costs based on city/airport of departure and city/destination. Reduce the cost of a domestic flight by booking at the right time. Book the flight 54 days before travel. (Kasasa 3/22/22) Consider travelling on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays on the early morning flight. Flights are also less costly if scheduled after a large event in that city. For example, it is less expensive to fly to New Orleans the week after Mardi Gras. Consider traveling the day of a major holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Travel light, just a carry-on or backpack if possible. Bargain airlines eliminate airfare savings by expensive luggage charges.
Discounts are given for off-season travel and lodging. It is supply and demand that decide both. Near the beach or beach access is cheaper than beach front. Rooms with ocean views cost the most. If you travel to a popular vacation destination when everyone else is it costs more. For non-traditional lodging options check out glamping; Air BnB, Couchsurfing or camping. Renting a house or cabin is a great option for larger groups. The photo is from a recent vacation in which we rented a cabin. We used it as home base and ventured out in the region. Many of our meals were eaten at the cabin. That saved our group of eleven quite a bit on this trip.
Look for hotels that offer free breakfast. Eat local foods including from lunch trucks if you can. A big lunch will save money. Restaurants charge more for their evening meals than for lunch. Pack snacks and bring your own water bottle it is better for the environment and the budget.