We all want to have as much fun on our vacations as possible. For most of us, we spend the entire working year waiting for those precious few weeks where we can finally get away from it all and just relax.
But if you want to truly enjoy your vacation, you’ll need to have your budget in line. Money worries while on vacation take all the joy out of your time away. Making the most of your travel dollars, stretching your budget as far as you can, will help ease your mind and set the stage for a relaxing vacation.
In order to make the most of the money you have set aside for your vacation, you will need to spend some time doing research. There are deals out there waiting to be found. Be sure you find them!
Lodging Deals Abound
There are many sites available that offer you lodging discounts and specials, such as free nights when you book so many, in order to make your trip more affordable. Hotels do this in the hopes that they will get future business from you, and maybe you’ll pass that goodwill on to your friends and family. It is a solid marketing strategy for them, and a benefit for you.
When travelling in the United States or Europe, you can find affordable hotel rates on websites like AllHotels.com. If you are travelling anywhere in the world and would rather stay somewhere with a cozier and more home like atmosphere, try a site like BedAndBreakfast.com to find specials and discounts that will make your budget stretch like you won’t believe.
Serve a Heaping Helping Of Meal Deals
Being prepared for what, when, and where you will eat will help you plan and make the most of your food budget. For instance, sites like UrbanSpoon.com and Restaurant.com allow you to search restaurants by neighbourhood, price, features, cuisine, and even by special deals. Find a restaurant, then search for a coupon, or find a coupon and let that dictate which restaurant you’re going to visit. Either way it’s a win-win.
If you want to save even more money, consider eating in at least some of the time. Choosing lodging with a kitchenette can save you a lot of money in the long run. Check websites like Yelp.com to find shopping centers and grocery stores near your hotel or condo, then stock your refrigerator and pantry. Making at least some meals at ‘home’ will help stretch your food budget so you can enjoy eating out at nicer places, or even having spending money for other pleasures.
Calculating Currency Conversion
One thing to remember when calculating expenses and planning your vacation budget is the currency conversion. If you are American and plan to travel to Canada or Europe, you will need to remember that the American dollar may not be worth as much and you will need to budget for the extra dollars needed.
As the currency fluctuates from one day to the next, you can always wait until you are just ready to leave to ensure you get the most accurate conversion rating. Another easy way to know you’re getting the most recent exchange is to use ATM machines in the country you’re visiting rather than exchange beforehand. Check with your bank to be sure your credit card or debit card will be accepted. Also, check to make sure your bank has a reimbursement policy on those ATM fees. If not, you may want to search for a bank that does.
Going on vacation should never put you in the poor house or have you worried about your finances. With proper planning, and making sure you stick to your budget, you can take your family on a trip they will cherish for a lifetime.