Ahh vacation. Gotta love it. Last time T and I took a vacation, it was for our babymoon in Florida. We drove down there and really enjoyed making a road trip out of it. In fact, we love taking road trips for our vacation. We’ve done short trips to Lake Geneva, and spend lots of time in northern Wisconsin. With a newborn this summer, road trips will be perfect for a family vacation this year- we can take our time getting to our destination and make stops whenever we need to (plus, hauling all the baby gear is much easier versus flying with it!)
Regardless–whether you are flying internationally or road tripping it, summer vacations are wonderful and definitely much needed. Paying for them? Not so much. With that in mind, here are my top five tips to help you plan a summer vacation on a budget. You (and your bank account) deserve it!
1. Don’t take your vacation during the peak of the summer season.
Mid to late August is a really popular time to travel because it is right before school is back in session. So if you refrain from traveling then, you will likely save some moolah. Try June or July!
2. Visit destinations that aren’t as popular during the summer.
Southwestern states i.e.- Florida see a ton of tourism in the winter, but not nearly as much during the summer. The same goes for popular international destinations like Costa Rica, which is where we took our honeymoon in July!
3. Research activities/entertainment ahead of time.
Consider signing up for Livingsocial/Groupon deals in the city where you will be staying. There are lots of great dining, entertainment and spa deals to be had- and you don’t have to be a local to take advantage of them!
4. Go to the Grocery Store
Chances are high that there are grocery stores where you are traveling to. It’s worth it to take a trip there and get snacks, water, and everything you need so you don’t have to pay for the overpriced stuff. Better yet- try to cook for yourself if you are able to for a meal or two.Grand Cayman5. Plan ahead–with a budget in mind
Vacations are well-deserved treats and money shouldn’t be looming over your head during this rejuvenating time away. However, the “anything goes” mentality that is so intoxicating during a trip can turn a little…toxic afterward, when you’re home with your credit card bill. Yuck.In terms of credit cards- I’m a huge fan of using them for vacation and other purchases– as long as you can pay off the balance in full each month. Take advantage of those great rewards that you get for spending money– like groceries, diapers, etc. For example, the Discover it Miles card is a great card to consider. Check out some of its features:
- No annual fee
- Fly any airline any time. Just buy a ticket and use Miles to credit your statement
- 1.5x miles for every dollar spent on purchases
- An annual credit up to $30 for in-flight Wi-Fi charges
- Miles never expire (Discover will credit your account with your rewards balance if your account is closed or if you have not used it within 18 months.)
- No foreign transaction fees
- Overnight shipping of a replacement card to any U.S. street address upon request
- A $0 fraud liability guarantee where you are never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card
As a Discover it Miles cardmember, you can redeem miles at any amount for cash, or as a statement credit toward travel purchases, including commercial airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, commuter transportation and taxicabs. And as an introductory offer, you can get double the amount of miles you’ve earned at the end of the first year – with no spending cap. Definitely worth taking advantage of credit card perks like these in my opinion!
What other travel tips do you have?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.