The role of a vacation in today's hectic life cannot be belittled. An ideal way to take a much-needed breather is to travel - be it a short weekend break or a longer holiday. The plans for fun filled holidays can be dampened by exorbitant travel bills. Take our tips on planning a budget vacation. Our budget travel guide gives simple yet effective pointers towards an economical holiday. Find out how you can avail budget auto rentals.
Budget Vacation Tips
Planning a budget vacation involves deciding a suitable location. This depends primarily on your budget. When you are hunting down potential vacation locales, look up the local tourist board for valuable tips and information. Shopping on the Internet for a good holiday package can sometimes prove to be very resourceful. Bargain offers can be availed.
But it is prudent to read the reservations policy clearly to avoid any pitfalls. Off-season travel can be much less expensive. When choosing a hotel, remember business hotels, which do most of their business during the workweek, often drop their weekend rates.
Many deals are family-oriented, with special 'kids stay/eat/cruise for free' bargains or special discounts on multiple rooms. Budgeting for your vacation should include travel, lodging, food and entertainment. But beware of pitfalls such as souvenir stands and gift shops. They can be very expensive.
Budget Travel Guide
Several airlines offer discounted fares on some routes or to particular destinations. Always be on the lookout for attractive offers. Last minute bargain deals can be sought. Sometimes it is economical to fly to a nearby location instead of a busy metropolis - flying to Orange Country or Ontario in California is cheaper than flying to Los Angeles.
Going in for bus or train passes allows you an economical transportation in a city or town. But you need to check if there are any time restrictions to using them. Bus tours and local backpack tours are an economical alternative to sight seeing. The popular web sites for picking up excellent budget travel deals - Orbitz, travelocity, expedia or economytravel.
Budget Auto Rental
Auto rentals are a good option if you want to drive around and check out the sights and sounds yourself. But look around for attractive offers on auto rentals. The big names in auto rentals such as Avis, Hertz, Budget or National have a worldwide presence. Local auto companies may be able to offer you competitive rates. Check out your frequent flier programs and credit card programs for any discounts on car rentals.
AAA auto rental offers can be attractive. You can book budget auto rentals over the Internet. But ensure that you are clear with the reservation policy. Look out for special rates or off-season discounts. You can arrange for the car to be ready when your flight arrives. Check out the rates for auto rentals to find out if airport surcharges, additional driver fees, insurance and drop off charges are included. For additional charges, you can get add-ons such as baby seats and snow chains.
Budget Lodging and Accommodation: Once the destination is chosen, the next priority should be lodging. Lodging cost can be reduced by staying in cheaper hotels, motels and hostels.
Camping: Many campgrounds often have campsites with electricity available, public showers and bathrooms. It may not be as luxurious as a hotel but is certainly a cost-efficient alternative.
Motels: If outdoor camping is not your cup of tea then carefully compare the costs of motels near your destination. See if you could save money on nightly rates at an establishment a few miles away rather than the ones in the immediate vicinity.
Hostels : Many Hostel groups like the famous Hostelling International are found in many destinations and have as many as 150 youth hostels in the United States and nearly 5,000 worldwide where travelers can stay for a relatively cheap fare.
Budgeting Food Expenses: The average family of four spends an average of $112 a day on food while on their vacations. With more families looking for nutritious and affordable meal options while on the go, fast food restaurants provide terrific dining options. Avoid eating in pricey hotel restaurants and theme parks. Find out eateries where the locals eat - you can be assured of a place that is reasonable and one that allows you to sample local fare. alternatively you can book microwaves and refrigerators in hotels to allow you rustle simple meals and beat the food bills.
Vacations should be rewarding - an excellent break from the humdrum routine to recharge yourself. Plan it well so that you don't come back home to huge bills.