Summertime is coming and that means vacations for many families. If you have been budgeting your income over the past year, you have most likely been sheltering a few dollars from your paychecks to cover the cost of your vacation this year. But what if you want to get away but have nothing saved? What are your options?
Many might think that their only option is to put the vacation on their credit card and deal with the consequences later. This is not to be done under any circumstance. In fact, it’s not too late for you to start saving for a summer vacation and actually afford it. Here are some tips for getting away on a budget.
Getting Away On A Budget
Obviously, you need to start saving. Without saving, you can’t go on vacation. Start by setting aside $20 per paycheck. If you can do this from now through July, you can get away in August and have $500 to spend. Of course, if you can save more, then do it.
Another option is taking some of your tax refund and using that for a vacation. I don’t recommend using all of your refund for a vacation, even if you don’t have debt. You should be saving a majority of the refund, but taking a few hundred dollars for a vacation isn’t a bad idea.
If you do this, your $500 is suddenly $750.
Look Around Your House
We all have tons of stuff lying around the house. Take a weekend and go through things and find stuff you no longer need or use. If they are in good condition, sell them! You can use eBay, but they charge some fees. Your better option is Craigslist. It’s free and it’s easy. Last year I made close to $500 selling random things around my house.
If you can find a handful of items to sell, you could bring in another $250. That brings us up to $1,000 for a summer vacation.
Where To Go
Here is the key part of your summer vacation. You only have that $1,000 to spend. I know you want to go to the Caribbean and be treated like a King or Queen, but you have to face reality. You can’t afford to do so. Start saving now for that dream vacation next year. In the meantime, look around at closer destinations or even local destinations.
There are many places to go for a vacation. You don’t necessarily have to head south or to the beach. The mountains are just as beautiful as the beach. Be open to trying new things
Where To Stay
Once you decided on where to go, you now need to know where to stay. You have all sorts of options here. Hotels and motels are the obvious choices, but don’t rule out a bed and breakfast. They tend to be cheaper in price and they include breakfast for free!
Another option is to look at AirBNB. This is a website where locals put their rooms or apartments up for short term renting. You can really find good deals using this service.
Save Money On Food
Regardless where you go, food is a big expense. Cut down the cost of food by bringing your own snacks. Better yet, pack the snacks in small baggies so that when you are out exploring you have food to eat and won’t get suckered into paying for snacks on top of your main meals.