Get Creative: Some Crazy Ways to Lower the Cost of Your SummerVacation
Everyone looks forward to summer vacation, but in the current economy it can be hard to see anything there except rising debt. After all, travel is expensive and sometimes it seems that, the more you enjoy yourself, the more you have to spend.
However, this doesn’t have to be true. There are a few easy things you can start doing today that will help you raise the money you need for your trip, and also save money while you’re traveling.
Ask For Contributions
Sick of getting more stuff that you don’t really want every time your birthday or Christmas rolls around? Consider asking for monetary gifts instead.
While some people hesitate to give money because it doesn’t feel like a personal gift or they don’t know what you’ll use it for, most people are willing to give to a cause. If you tell folks that you’re raising money to go to Thailand next fall with your family, they’ll know where their cash is going and they’ll know they’re giving you something that means a lot to you.
Also, if you get your contributors something in return, you may want to consider “crowdfunding” your vacation through sites like Kickstarter.com or Indiegogo.com. Check out Katie and Jessie: they plans to pay for their trip from New York to Alaska with contributions from viewers who will be happy to get a video journal of their experiences in Bed & Breakfasts they stay along the way.
Get Off the Beaten Path
While resorts and resort towns are often expensive (even if you buy an all-inclusive package), there are often places nearby that are much cheaper. Finding these locales takes a bit of research, but visiting them gives you a more authentic experience of the place you’re visiting and costs less.
Case in point? Sayulita, Mexico. It’s about an hour north of Puerta Vallarta and offers some of the best surfing and surf culture that Mexico has to offer. Stay in a villa, rent an apartment, or camp on the beach and enjoy all the authentic Mexican food and drinks you want while spending much, much less than you would somewhere else.
How do you save money when you travel? Share your tips and make someone’s day.
Crash Your Friend’s Summer Homes or Rent from a Stranger
For a lot less, you could rent a summer house from a friend or perhaps look at couchsurfing or unique rentals from people who place their houses or extra rooms for others to use (check out airbnb.com or homeaway.com). “Staycations” are also an alternative that has become more popular lately, as you get to explore interesting places right around your own corner without breaking the piggy bank to cover for expensive air fares.
Pay in Advance, Get Better Deals
All travel providers (hotels, airlines, etc) want to sell their inventory ahead of time and increase occupancy. Cruises are famous for offering great deals if you buy in advance (sometimes a year or so ahead of time). What most people do to snatch these deals is charge them on credit cards, but here lies the mistake… if you are not paying your credit card in full, your vacation could end up being more costly when you consider the high interest rates credit cards charge. Look at fixed rate personal loans as a great alternative to budget and pay for a vacation.
Be Surprised, Pay Less
If you are willing to go where the low prices are, sites like Priceline.com and HotWire.com hook you up with hotels and airlines with extra inventory to sell. These hotels and airlines are willing to give it out at heavy discounts, sometimes up to 60% below their published rates, just so that they can get additional revenue. You don’t know the name of the hotel or final itinerary, so you have to be flexible and willing to “go with the flow”.
Do you have other ideas to cut on your summer vacation expenses without sacrificing the thrill of a perfect getaway? Share them below.
Image courtesy of Kelly Teague.
Thursday, June 9th, 2011 at 8:10 pm