I am about to release to you guys, my step by step, on how to plan a cheap vacation!
Step 1: Make a list of Destinations you want to go to
Have a variety of places you want to go to. While searching around for plane tickets and hotels, it is important to be opened minded. You want to go to Norway in the winter? Probably not the best idea, since that is the season for Northern lights. But want to go to Mexico, as well. Go during the winter, it is off season and cheaper. Have an open mind. You can go everywhere you want to go in the world, just be flexible. Go during off season times.
Step 2: Have flexible dates
Know times of the year you can ask off from work, won’t have school, or can afford to miss school. It is best to miss in the beginning of the semester, you won’t have any many assignments, tests and projects due right away. Often times, the first week is all about the syllabus anyways. Know a variety of dates that you could possibly take your vacation, so you can see when the cheapest time to fly. Look at the fare calendar, and see when it is cheapest to fly. I often look during the week days to fly, since Friday-Monday , are usually the most expensive days to fly.
Step 3: Go for more than a week, for international travel
You will need more than 5 days. Flights are cheaper, the longer you stay. Also, with flying international, you loose a lot of time, with traveling, so you want to make the most of your trip. If you have 5 days planned out for your vacation, 2 of those days will be for travel. So you only get 3 days in that country. Not worth it! Make it a bit longer of a stay!
Step 4: Start with booking your flight
This will be the most expensive thing you will purchase for your trip. I use Kayak and Expedia, to book my airline tickets. Like I stated about, I am flexible with my dates, so I look to see when it would be cheapest to fly. I also see where it is cheapest to fly out of. I am located in SLC, UT , and our tickets are not always the cheapest. I always check LA and Vegas as well. I can easily drive to these departing cities, or catch quick and cheap flight from SLC.
Step 5: Book your hotel accommodations
I have noticed, with experience, that Expedia is the cheapest place to book hotels.
Step 6: Airbnb
If you are traveling domestic, I would stick to websites like Airbnb. Airbnb can save you anywhere from 40-60% on hotel accommodations. Go check out my other post on my review of Airbnb, to see why I just love that site!
Step 7: Save up for your trip
Know what things you want to do while you are there, and know how much they cost. I usually plan my trips out, a few months out, so I have time to save us. I will work overtime at work, sell unused items on swap pages and KSL and pick up side jobs for fanily and friends. It is such a stress reliever to not worry about spending extra money on activities while on vacation. Give yourself a buffer and save up before you go
Step 8: Go have fun!
I always know what things I would like to do on vacations, but I also leave space in the itinerary to just go explore. That is when you have the most fun and really get to experience the place you are in!
What are you favorite places to travel on a budget? What other tips do you want to hear about?
“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkie