Feb 14, 2013 - Musings    No Comments

Travel Tips: Affording a Vacation

Let’s face it. We all want to travel more, but it takes a lot of time and money. How can we afford a vacation if we don’t have any time off left from work? That kind of thinking holds us back from taking a trip of any kind. Rather than focus on taking one very long trip, why not consider taking many short trips throughout the year? You may not be able to travel to a different country, but you’ll be able to get out of the house and explore places you otherwise would not have visited. If you don’t have vacation time, or you want to save it up for a really big trip at some point, schedule on the national holidays that your company observes. Prices may be a little higher, but you won’t have to use vacation or sick days.

Travel Tip #1: Travel Off Peak

travel tips

Airfare is expensive nowadays even within the US, so it can be hard to find good rates. While it might be time-consuming, the best way is to go to sites like kayak.com and check up on the rates daily.

Choose 5-6 destinations that interest you and look through the different months for the lowest fare. Set a budget on how much you are willing to spend on a roundtrip ticket as well as the amount of transfers you are willing to take. If you want non-stop, you better be prepared to spend a little extra money than if you chose flights that offer multiple stops. The best time to travel is during the off-peak season. Hotels and flights will be much cheaper, though you’ll have to prepare for the off-peak season. For some areas, you’ll have to deal with the cold, for others, it’ll be heavy rains. Regardless of the reason, make sure that you read up on the regular weather situation for the month that you are travelling to get a good idea of what you should pack.

Travel Tip #2: Plan Your Trip

travel tip plan

Once you’ve purchased the plane ticket, you can then plan on the activities that you want to do for the couple days you are visiting. Find things to do on each day that are relatively close together so you don’t have to feel like you are rushing. Almost every place you visit will have free things to do from concerts to museums. Look up activities and points of interest that sound intriguing. Make sure that you know how to get there.

Travel Tip #3: Don’t Plan Everything

 

travel tip don't plan

image via secroit.deviantart.com/

One of the best things about traveling is discovering off-the-beaten-path. Talk to a local and see if there’s any interesting places or events going on during your trip. They might direct you to the local watering hole or to a live music venue. The possibilities are endless! Even if you don’t find a cool place to go, you will have met some one new, which is exciting in and of itself.

Travel Tip #4: Eat Cheap

travel tip eat cheap

There are plenty of delicious places to eat all over the US and world. While you might want to splurge on one good meal, keep the others to cheaper meals. Cheaper doesn’t mean lower quality, and often they might sometimes be better than the more expensive restaurants. Plus, cheaper mainstays are generally a great place to rub elbows with the locals and get information on what’s happening in town.

 

Most importantly, relax and enjoy yourself! Don’t worry if you get a little off schedule or if you don’t get to see a specific exhibit. You’re there to have fun, not be stressed out. So the next time that the travel bug bites you, look to places locally. There are probably numerous towns and cities that you have yet to explore that might offer some amazing memories.

 

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