Four Tips for Planning a Vacation on a Budget
Families at many income levels are struggling to cover daily expenses such as food and shelter, and many think that a holiday break from the daily grind is too far out of financial reach. When you plan a vacation on a budget, though, and use deals through organizations such as Royal Holiday, you can experience exotic adventures without breaking the bank. Here’s a look at four ways you can book exotic vacations, even if you’re on a budget.
Book Vacation Deals at the Last Minute
Many people plan and book vacations months in advance, and some of the most popular locations available through Royal Holiday might sell out months or a year before the date. But things happen—lives change and potential vacationers can’t always make their bookings. Last-minute cancellations leave hotels and attractions with empty space—something that costs them money. They are often willing to offer deep discounts just to get someone into the vacancy. You can also save by waiting to book air travel since the best deals are usually found eight to six weeks before you intend to fly.
In other situations, a location or time period doesn’t book as expected, leaving hotels and resorts with the same dilemma. By waiting until a few weeks or even days before traveling, you can score big savings. The tactic does come with some risk, though: you might not find the right deal at the location you really want to visit.
Travel during the Week
Those who don’t want to gamble with their vacation time can still seek savings by booking mid-week travel. Booking three days at a resort in the middle of the week often costs half as much as booking three days over a weekend. In addition to savings, you’re also likely to experience a smaller crowd at your destination during the middle of the week, which might lead to shorter weight times at restaurants and attractions.
When you book can be as important as the dates your book.
Conventional wisdom for years was that booking airline tickets on a Tuesday gave you the best chance at a deal, but booking on the weekend may be the best way to save today. Airlines Reporting Corp. averaged prices of 130 million tickets and found that tickets bought on Sunday were the cheapest.
Book All Travel Arrangements Together for a Discount
Bundling travel arrangements, including hotel, rental car, and airline tickets, into a single deal, often affords the deepest total discount. Companies either work together to entice travelers with savings or, more often, they are bundled by a third company that creates savings by booking a large number of travelers with each organization. Those companies, such as Royal Holiday, pass the savings on to consumers in the form of discounts.
Booking travel as a bundle doesn’t just save money on the cost of your vacation, though. It also saves you the time it would take to research and book separately, and that is time you can use to research other elements of your holiday. Use the extra time to thoroughly research your destination and plan a vacation schedule so you can experience all the sites and attractions you want to.
Pair Travel Deals with City or Attraction Deals
Use savings gained through booking late, booking midweek, or bundling travel arrangements to purchase tickets to attractions you might not otherwise be able to afford. For a great budget-friendly holiday, stack travel deals on top of discounts and coupons from nearby attractions. If you booked a domestic vacation, find out whether City Pass has an option for your location. City Pass provides tickets to major city attractions for a single low price; the New York City Pass, for example, includes tickets to the Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and your choice of another famous attraction such as the Statue of Liberty.
By taking the time to do a little research—time you have because you booked accommodations and travel in minutes—you can find numerous deals and coupons for dining, entertainment, and outings near your vacation destination. Opt for deals that include snacks or meals when possible, but remember that your hotel might offer free breakfast or a dining plan and international locations are likely to feature local villages and vendors with extremely affordable food options.
A tight budget doesn’t have to mean a cheap vacation. Find out how to leverage deals so you can enjoy a luxury holiday without emptying your bank account.