In past years as the economy declined, staycation became a popular concept. With staycations, families remain at home and do fun activities rather than spend on transportation, hotels, and restaurants. For those really hankering to get away, however, there are cheap vacation options that fall somewhere between the full-blown vacation and the staycation.
How do you manage to get away from home for a vacation and still keep costs in check?
Cut Transportation, Hotel and Food Costs for a Cheap Vacation
Think bus instead of plane, campground or hostel instead of hotel. When it comes to eating, making most meals instead of buying them, possible at campgrounds and hostels, can save a bundle over restaurant costs.
Will the family grumble? Maybe they will if they’re accustomed to unchecked spending on vacations, but make sure they understand the options are a cheap vacation or no vacation. Put complaining off limits right from the outset.
Plan Snack and Souvenir Spending for a Cheap Vacation
Impulse buying jacks up the cost of vacations quickly. Plan a set time to buy souvenirs and set a budget. Sticking to the planned time and budget will decrease the temptation to buy a souvenir at every location visited during the vacation.
Bring water bottles to curb thirst and snacks to stave off hunger. Reserve the purchased snack and drink option for special treats during a cheap vacation necessitated by economic circumstances.
Maximize Free Activities to Reduce Vacation Cost
Tourist attractions typically come at a set price and there’s often not much that can be done to reduce their cost. Sprinkling free activities among the planned attractions can substantially reduce the vacation budget, however. Hiking, swimming at a lake, picking up shells along the coastline, and bike riding are examples of free activities that can be incorporated into a vacation to minimize the activity expense. Even in a big city, there is plenty of free entertainment. Watching buskers perform on the street is an example of free entertainment available in virtually every sizable city. Or, get creative and spend a morning wandering around taking photographs.
Checking websites or guides for free or discount entry days or hours at museums and other attractions can also reduce vacation cost.
Consider Home Swaps or Home Rental
If, even after planning transportation, lodging, restaurant and activity cuts, a vacation away from home still seems dubious, consider a home swap to obtain free lodging, or renting your home while away to eliminate the burden of paying housing costs simultaneously with vacation lodging costs.
Making a Cheap Vacation Fun
Planning one or two special meals out and a few splurge activities will keep the vacation fun despite the need for general cutbacks.
With some creative planning, a cheap vacation away from home may be doable even in this dire economy.