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Living on a budget doesn't mean you can't still take great vacations. There are many opportunities for inexpensive travel ideas. They just take a little more time, effort and research to find.
One of the best money-saving, inexpensive travel ideas is to take mini vacations closer to home. Exploring some new things in your area might be fun, and a welcome break from your day-to-day life. For ideas, ask yourself what tourists do in your area. For example, do you have museums nearby, some hiking trails you've never visited, or a popular destination for visitors? Chances are, even if you live nearby, you haven't experienced everything your area has to offer.
Even taking a weekend and staying at a local bed and breakfast could be a relaxing, romantic retreat without spending a lot of money on gas or plane tickets. Traveling by car rather than plane can be a way to save some money, though you should take into account the amount of time you will spend traveling, the price of gas, and the gas mileage of your vehicle. If staying closer to home doesn't appeal to you, there are other ways to travel cheaply. You can choose to meet with a travel agent or to book your vacation yourself, but often travel agents will be able to find you better deals.
One way to significantly cut costs is to travel during mid-week, off-season, and off-peak times. Hotels and airlines frequently offer discounts for traveling during these less popular times. Often, purchasing a package deal or an all-inclusive stay will help you to vacation inexpensively. Staying in a suite with a small kitchen is another inexpensive travel idea, since you can bring some food with you to not only eat on the road but to also cook in the room. This will save you having to spend money every night on eating at a restaurant.
One great inexpensive travel idea is to use a credit card that rewards you with a percentage back, points or airline miles. You can apply these points or airline miles to another vacation. Thoroughly researching your destination is another good idea -- some of the most popular tourist destinations are outlandishly expensive, while some that are more "off the beaten path" are quieter and less expensive. Purchasing a guidebook can help you find some places to visit that you may otherwise have missed, along with likely providing more ideas for inexpensive travel.
Make use of the internet to find inexpensive travel deals. There are numerous websites that allow you to compare prices on airlines and hotels. Sometimes, being flexible with your travel plans and booking last-minute can help you score some great deals. Always remember that it never hurts to ask. If you are booking a room, ask if it is the best price they can offer, or if there are any coupons or deals available. You would be surprised at how much simple politeness could save you when booking a vacation.
@indigowater - We always try to save money on vacations by making some of our meals in the condo's kitchen. By making casseroles or using the crockpot for pulled pork, we end up eating leftovers the next day for lunch. Just these little tips keep us from overspending on food, our 3rd biggest expenditure on vacation (after the cost of getting there and the cost of the condo or hotel room) as a large family.
Inexpensive travel destinations for us are the ones we can go to on off-season and reap the lower cost benefits.
If you're looking for ways to travel for less, a good way to have a fun vacation is by inviting other people on your beach vacation. If you get a condo with a kitchen, sharing the food bills with other family members or good friends can really cut food costs. Dining out for every meal for a family really can rack up the vacation costs.
Using the outdoor grill is another great way to experience the local beach atmosphere and still enjoy great food.
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