I don’t know about you, but I love a vacation. Whether it’s for a day or a week, at home or out of town, I love to simply unplug and get away from the mundane. We all dream of taking a vacation, but many of you may think it is not in the budget right now. That may be true, but before you give up on the concept all-together, let me share some vacation destinations and great travel tips I’ve learned along the way. Maybe these will bring the dream a little closer to becoming a reality.
Are you considering a trip to my happy place? A trip to Disney is the dream of almost anyone with children (and many without). It really is a magical place, but it can also be one of the most expensive destinations to visit. However, I have learned some tricks to not only keep the cost down but also to allow my family to go more than once.
Anyone can be a kid at Disney, and not just in your heart but in your meal selection. When inside the parks, order a kid’s meal. The price is much lower and contains plenty of food for an adult. Also, the adult portion sizes are usually large, so splitting meals can lower the food cost tremendously.
Take advantage of Value Resorts. My family always stays at the All-Star Movies Resort. This is a value resort and the lowest price hotel in the park. However, it affords all of the same amenities as the most expensive hotel – extra park hours, free transportation, free airport shuttle, etc. And they just remodeled the entire hotel, so you don’t need to break the bank to stay in a nice room. Since you spend so little time in the room, don’t waste the bulk of your budget on this part of the vacation.
Earn Points with a Disney Chase Card:
We use one credit card to put all of our monthly bills on and then we pay it off every month. That card is our Disney Chase card. By doing something we would do anyway – paying our bills – we rack up points that can be used for anything related to our trip. On one occasion, this perk paid for our entire hotel room stay.
Not everyone is a beach person like me, but if you are, taking a cruise can be a great way to vacation without breaking the bank (especially if you live within driving distance to a port). On a cruise, most things are included in the price – all of your meals, your entertainment, your activities, and so much more. You can go on a cruise and have a blast without paying for any extras. However, if you choose to participate in the extras, here are a few tips to save a little money:
Get internet for one device and share. Remember you are there to vacation, not to be on your phone the entire time.
Research your ports to find things to do for free while you are there. In many ports, we simply walk around and enjoy the culture.
Staying home for vacation may not sound like much fun, however, most people have never tapped into the tourist attractions right in their hometowns. I have lived in Philadelphia for 23 years and have never gone to any of the tourist attractions here. My plan this summer is to take a few days and spend time in this amazing historic city. The point of a vacation is to step back from the everyday and recharge, right? This can be done anywhere, including your hometown.
Wherever you decide to spend your time off, you can take a vacation without going into debt. Handle it like any other goal or dream you have. Write it down, do your research, and set a budget (on paper) so you can save and make it happen. When you prepare this way, you will spend much less. It’s not fun returning from an awesome, relaxing vacation only to stress over the next year figuring out how you’re going to pay for it. It’s not worth it. With a little planning, budgeting, and saving, you can enjoy a dream vacation without breaking the bank.
is a personal finance expert, motivational speaker, and author of two award-winning books - The ABC’s of Personal Finance and 26 Weeks to Wealth and Financial Freedom. She is also the Founder and President of Lovell Ministry started in 2012 in honor and memory of her grandmother.