Americans are taking less vacations now more than ever before, so when we finally have the time and money for one, we have to make it count. It’s kind of ironic considering that the time we set aside to relax becomes a hassle in and of itself. Still, that pressure exists. There’s no denying it.

Often, this feeling that our vacations must be some epic event full of exotic locales and five star accommodations tricks us into spending more money than we should. While it’s nice to have a taste of the good life every now and then, taking too big a bite can leave us hungover with credit card balances that will eat up our disposable income for years to come.

Having a great vacation that doesn’t leave you broke, but is still full of amazing memories, is easier than most people think. You just have to be a little smarter with your money when it comes to planning and taking your much deserved getaway.

Here are 4 simple tips to help you do just that.

Stay Local

Staying local isn’t the same thing as a staycation. You still get of the house here, and either visit a place you’ve never been before or cocoon in a familiar home away from home. If this is something you’ve never looked into before, take the time and explore some local adventures and backyard gems.

Drive a hundred miles in any direction, and you’ll be in a new place. Just make sure to exclude any place in that radius where you might go regularly for work. There are a ton of small resorts hidden throughout the US to discover, and many of them have long and interesting histories.

Even getting acquainted with a picturesque small town for a week while living in a bargain motel can be more fun than all the TV ads selling us luxury Bahama getaways would have you believe.

Budget

This sounds like simple advice that is easy to follow, but the vacation spirit can derail the responsible spending train faster than Amtrak being Amtrak. We might start off with good intentions, but there is always the temptation to do a little bit more like buy that extra souvenir, or blow a couple of extra bucks on whatever fun you’re having. After all, we only get one vacation a year. Right?

A lot of budgeting comes down to simple discipline. Failing that, find tricks and life-hacks that can help you not spend too much money.

Travel Websites & Apps

It’s almost impossible to watch a YouTube video without eventually running into an ad for some sort of website promising to find you the cheapest hotel or flight. Use them. Depending on how far away you go on a vacation and what you do, there can be several ways to save a ton of money. One common way is to take advantage of bundle deals. A user can get extra discounts by booking things together like, flights, hotel accommodations, and rental cars through the same site.

Book Rooms Yourself

Not to contradict my previous point, but sometimes it can be cheaper to book direct instead of through a service like hotels.com. It can vary, depending on the type of lodging, the day you stay, and sometimes whoever answers the phone.

Booking online can be a better deal for 3 or 4 star or higher hotels, especially during the off season. 2 star economy lodgings like your typical Days Inn or Best Western will often offer better rates in person or over the phone than what is online.

They generally don’t want to lose the customer they’re talking to, and will often give rack rate discounts to keep them. But this can also depends on the mood of the desk clerk at the time, and if it’s a particularly busy night, you’re out of luck.

Buy an RV

There is an up front cost to having a lifetime of RV adventures. Finding the right RV loans makes all the difference. The right down payment coupled with the right financing will determine how much your monthly payments are, and for how long. But after that initial investment, the bigger part of your vacations for the next several years are already paid for.

RV touring is a great way to spend some of those retirement years. You can be away for weeks or even months at a time with little to worry about by way of expense. You may not travel the world. But you can see the country in all its splendor.

Timeshare

Another way to visits some really nice places is to purchase a timeshare. Like buying an RV, there is some up front investment to make. The investment can be anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. There are many benefits of a timeshare including the following:

  • The accommodations tend to be a cut above. You can get apartment spaces with as many as 4 bedrooms that can accommodate a lot of friends.
  • You can trade your space for some other location you would prefer to go, opening up just about anywhere in the world for a 2 week stay.
  • Timeshares are property you own, and can sell later if you like.

The biggest expense with a timeshare is getting to your destination. But you will often be able to join travel clubs and take advantage of discounts on flights. Once you’ve paid for a timeshare, you have a vacation spot for life.

Cruises

You are going to want to have at least $800 per person. And it can quickly go up from there. But at that level of investment, a cruise is the best vacation value money can buy. That price will likely get you a week of travel on a luxury cruise line. Just look for deals. They are easy to find. You will be able to visit exotic ports of call. And the food is included, as much as you can eat.

Top Three Budget Travel Locations for US Travelers

Ask ten people what their hobby is and six would reply it’s travel. Everyone loves to travel. Even the homesick ones will begin tying shoelaces if they get a chance to visit their favorite places.

The only glitch is the expense that comes with visiting international destinations. As the economy is tough, nobody wants to spend lavishly. Domestic saving is being given utmost importance these days and people are keeping luxuries aside. But does that mean travel enthusiasts should drop their plans? Not at all. In this article, we’ll talk about cheap tourist locations.

Nicaragua

Located in Central America, Nicaragua is home of amazing beaches, mountains, volcanoes and exotic culture. Some of the stunning beaches in the country are El Coco, Colorado, Playa Gigante and Montelimar. You can swim, enjoy sunbath and watch the turtles moving. The Colorado beach is Nicaragua’s best surf break. Some famous volcanoes are Cerro Negro, Masaya Volcano, Telica and Mombacho. A trip from US is really cheap and US dollars can be used everywhere in the country.

After Nicaragua, the other pick is;

South Africa

Why should you visit South Africa? One reason is the declining hotel rates. The rates have decreased by 8% recently. That means you could spend less money and stay for a longer time. When in South Africa, your priority should be courting the sight of wildlives. Entry fee in the Kruger National Park is $20. It’s a world famous game reserve. You could see some marvellous animals like elephant shrew, buffalo weaver, ant lion, leopard tortoise and rhino beetle. If you are a beach lover, visit Cape Town and enjoy its astounding beaches. The food has great varieties. It ranges from indigenous to European style. You could enjoy all these at affordable price.

The third one from the list is;

Cambodia

How about Asia for a change? After Central America and Africa, we recommend Asia. Cambodia is one of the places in the continent where international, more precisely US travelers could expect a safe stay. That’s right! Despite halting incidents of violence, Cambodia sees huge tourist turnout through most of the year. The local food is really tasty and damn cheap. Southwestern and Long Set beaches in Koh Rong and Koh Thmei beach in Ream National Park offer excellent view of the sea. The Angkor Wat temple is a heritage site depicting the saga of ancient Hindu Kingdoms. There are plenty of budget hotels and bungalows with decent accommodations. You’ll have to spend $2-$25 for every night. Amazing! Isn’t it?

The three locations mentioned above are remarkable places to visit. That too at a pocket friendly price. So don’t wait, check for flight availability now.

Conclusion

The truth is, you need to get away.  It’s good for your mental health as well as your relationship.  But, getting away doesn’t have to me refinancing your house to do so.  With some proper planning and by using your resource, you can have a great weekend getaway by exploring the simple gems lurking in your own backyard.

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