By Susie Rempfer
Vacations are the perfect time to sit back, relax, and smell the roses. While vacations can be soothing to the senses, they can also be damaging to the checkbook, credit cards, and wallet.
Vacations don’t have to be expensive. Whether its spending a day at Six Flags or the Baltimore Aquarium, spending a few days visiting loved ones in California, or spending a week in Europe or Mexico there are simple ways to eliminate the amount of money spent.
When planning a vacation, research is essential to cutting back on cost. Researching things such as the locations of the cheapest gas stations and the airlines with the cheapest airfare can start saving you money right away. Another quick trick to budgeting for a vacation is to go on the Internet and look up prices for hotels and restaurants you want to visit. By doing so you will be able to estimate how much money to set aside each day for meals, and you will be able to relax about finding a four-star hotel without ridiculous pricing.
Another key thing to remember when planning a vacation is to spend what money you do bring wisely.
Although it may be the kids’ first trip to Disneyland, spending hundreds of dollars on souvenirs that will soon be forgotten at the bottom of a toy box is unnecessary. And although you may see something and say to yourself, “I have to buy this,” remember to shop around first. Some stores offer the same merchandise for less, or may offer something else that will make the first spontaneous purchase seem asinine. One tip for shopping for souvenirs is to pick an amount you’re willing to spend in total on every souvenir you buy. After each purchase of a shot glass or stuffed animal subtract that from the initial souvenir fund and budgeting money for trinkets will be worry free for the remainder of the vacation.
Another thing to think about when buying souvenirs is to stop buying something for everyone. Although a co-worker might have sent you a post card and key-chain from Hawaii, that doesn’t mean you have to buy him a twenty-dollar Mickey Mouse paperweight. Buy souvenirs for yourself and forget about everyone else; let pictures show off all the places you visited to interested friends and family members.
VacationBy considering these few things, planning that dream vacation is no longer out of reach. Spend an evening researching where you want to go, and get estimates on everything you can think of; it may surprise you to realize that you could already have enough money saved up for that trip to Bermuda you’ve been dying to go on.