* Written by guest blogger Leslie Campos, of Well Parents.
With proper planning, you can relax on the beach or go skiing in the mountains and still come home with money in your pocket. Before you go, consider these seven tips to help you plan a fun weekend trip on a budget. Less financial stress guarantees a better trip.
Read More for Tips on Planning a Budget Getaway.
1. Designate the right location.
Finding the right place to spend your weekend is the first step. Factors you must consider include:
2. Save on Food Expenses.
Eating out is a common part of travel, but is it necessary? You can have a great experience without the hefty food bill. Shop at a local grocery store wherever you are. If your accommodation has a kitchen, cook at least one or two meals a day there. Load up on snacks before you go out to ensure that you don't overspend on quick eats.
Carolyn's Note: One meal that Marvin and I still talk about was one we cooked ourselves in our AirBNB in Seattle after scouring Pike's Place Market for homemade pasta, fresh herbs and vegetables, and sausage.
3. Pack Efficiently.
If you plan to fly, make sure you pack light. Airlines often charge ludicrous prices for checked luggage, and many budget airlines charge for a carry-on bag. For a weekend trip, stick to the essentials. You should be able to get away with just a carry-on bag, but to really save money for your short budget getaway, pack everything you need in a "personal-sized" bag that fits under the seat. Plus, no one wants to carry around heavy luggage when you have so little time to explore.
Be sure to have your travel documents somewhere secure, but it’s also best to carry copies with you. You can also scan them using a PDF scanner app on your smartphone and store them in the cloud so that you have them available to you anywhere.
4. Look for Deals.
There is no shortage of travel bloggers on the internet with endless advice about travel trips and how to find the best deals available. exquisiteEXPLORATIONS is a great one to check for travel advice. And a simple Google search will bring up a bevy of coupons and recommendations. Check out Groupon to see what weekend packages they have available. Sometimes you can get airfare, food, and lodging in one inclusive deal.
5. Prepare Everyone at Your Office for Your Absence.
You don't want to spend your quick trip thinking about what is going on back home in the office. Business owners should delegate responsibilities and prepare the office for their absence. As long as your employee can do the job at least 80% as well as you would, that is enough while you're gone.
6. Pick the Right Travel Days.
When you travel is just as important to your budget as where you travel. Off-season prices are drastically different from in-season pricing. Additionally, you can save significantly if you book a hotel from Saturday through Monday as opposed to Friday through Sunday. Research shows that Tuesday and Wednesday are the cheapest days to fly, and winter is the cheapest season to travel.
7. Drive instead of Flying.
A great destination doesn't have to be hundreds of miles away. You can save big money by staying relatively local for your weekend getaway. Flying is all about saving time, but a close location allows you to drive for significantly less. For example, flying requires you to pay for the plane tickets as well as any transportation you'll need while you are there.
Now is the time to pack your bags and start your journey! You have a plan to keep your trip free of financial stress and make sure everything is in line back home. Remember to take some time to enjoy yourself and your loved ones.
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