There is no better way to enjoy a vacation and make the most of it (time and budget wise) than to plan your vacation well. We know, we know, planning ahead doesn’t exactly subscribe to the Y.O.L.O mindset, but the Y.O.L.O mindset doesn’t really afford you the chance to see as much of your destination as you can in an orderly (and stress-free!) manner.
With that said, here is a guide on how to plan your next ultimate summer getaway!
- Where Should You Go?
Travel off season
It’s common knowledge that once the summer sun rises all the rates, be it for hotels, tickets and even swimming apparel, will double. This could put a huge damp on your budget so why not choose destinations that are off season during the summer? Southeastern states like Florida are popular winter destinations but it turns out, tourists tend to thin out during the summer. If you’ve been meaning to visit Miami, the summer could be the best time to do it. Just make sure to stay somewhere with air conditioning though.
Avoid popular tourist destinations
Cancun is a pretty popular summer destination but it’s overrun by tourists and where tourists are, crazy expensive rates always follow (pick-pockets too!). A similar, but ultimately less expensive, destination would be Puerto Vallarta. It is equally beautiful to Cancun but less frantic, and more importantly less expensive. Everywhere in the world, all of the tourist destinations always have a less popular brother who offers all the same experience but for less money.
Consider visiting a country where you have family
You may also consider visiting a country or state where you have family. Not only will you have the chance to bond with them, if you like them that is, but you will also be saving a lot on hotel accommodations. Another plus, since they’re technically locals they can take you to the best places to eat and show you how the locals really enjoy the area.
For families: Don’t forget to include kids in the planning
If you’re travelling as a family it is important to include your kids in the planning process so you can include activities you might enjoy while carving out some time for you and your partner. Trust me, you will be better able to enjoy your cocktail by the pool if your children aren’t constantly asking you to go home already.
- How to Get There?
Money saving tips on airlines
This is definitely one area where planning consistently trumps the Y.O.L.O mindset. For you to be able to get the best rates, booking early and careful planning is really the key factor. Research may also play a crucial part in getting the best rates. All over the internet, a handful of travel bloggers have all so graciously shared their “hacks” on how to get cheaper airline rates.
Consider renting an RV
If you are travelling cross-country and with the whole family tagging along, you might want to consider renting an RV for the summer. The RV could save you hundreds of dollars in hotel accommodations and allow you to see roadside attractions, eat at great restaurants along the way and just be really near your family.
- Where to Stay?
Money saving tips on hotels
Hotels, like airlines, tend to double (and sometimes triple) their rates the closer to the date you book so it would definitely benefit you to book ahead. Another way to save money on hotels is to look for hotel coupons online and let the best prices dictate where you stay. Another tip, if you are travelling with people who absolutely cannot live without having breakfast, book a hotel that has breakfast included.
Consider vacation rentals
Airbnb is an honest to goodness god-send. One of the biggest expenses you will incur during a vacation will be the cost of your accommodations, so for those who want to travel on the cheap, Airbnb has loads of options for you. In some areas, like Malaysia, Airbnb accommodations look just as classy and pleasant as any hotel option.
Consider a hotel that offers all-inclusive packages
Yes, it is a rather touristy thing to do but I am of the belief that a great vacation is a marriage of touristy organization and off the beaten path adventure. All-inclusive packages from hotels usually include food, booze, and activities along with your accommodations and may come out cheaper than the alternative.