Budget Travel – 7 Great Last Minute Tips
Article by Sharon Nix
There are many tips for traveling on your vacation. Places to go, best way to travel, places to stay and eat… But, I’m going to tell you about ways to stay within your budget even if you plan the trip at the last minute so that you can enjoy your vacation and not worry about overspending.
The most important tip is to plan for your vacation. Most people plan way ahead of time. And a lot of us decide to take a trip at the last minute. Do take the time to research the area you plan to visit. Most of this information is at your fingertips via the internet. You can do an amazing amount of research on the internet in a short time. You can also check with your local travel agent and even your destination choice’s local Chamber of Commerce. Most of these are online as well.
Where to Stay
Decide whether you want to stay in hotel, motel, cottage, bed and breakfast or campground. Then find out what’s available in that area and start calling or emailing. A lot of this research pays off by having a fun vacation that doesn’t break the bank.
Budget travel can be done if you’re willing to put a little effort into it. But it depends on what type of budgeting you’re willing to do.
To keep expenses down, set a predetermined amount of money aside for spending. Watch out for credit cards. People have a tendency to overspend when using them. You can get a prepaid debit card and/or traveler’s checks. That way you’re forced to budget your money to last the whole trip.
How much of a budget?
Decide on what you prefer to splurge on. Maybe you like to try out the local cuisine and want money available for that. You can compromise and get a less expensive hotel or motel and use those savings for the restaurant. Or perhaps you want to go all out at the local attractions. Since some can be expensive, decide whether you want to eat at a local diner, do take out at the local burger joint or even try camping so that you can have the extra cash for entertainment.
A packing list is a must to keep within your budget. If you forget something you need for your vacation, it’s no fun looking for a store to buy a replacement. It costs extra money to buy it plus it takes time away from your vacation.
Have the kids help pack. They love it. They’ll remember to bring the things that are important to them. Not just the practical items.
Once you have your list, you need to check off each item. Don’t just cross things off as you pack them, cross them off as you put them in the car. If you’re still afraid of forgetting something, stick the list to the steering wheel so you can give it one more check.
Separate Travel Bags
If you travel a lot or now and then, it’s good to have a separate travel bag with all the toiletries in it. This includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, brush and comb, soap, hair clips, shaving cream and razor and other toiletries you use often. That way you don’t need to take what you use daily and risk the chance of forgetting it because you need to use that item before leaving and automatically put it away instead of packing it.
Think of your destination and what’s needed. Packing light is always a good thing. Think of how to consolidate your clothes. You can save on space by mixing and matching your clothes and wearing things more than once. It’s important when you’re flying. You only have to bring a carry on bag and it’s much easier to get around with one piece of luggage.
It’s important to save room in your bag for souvenirs. Most people bring something back and it would be great if you can fit it in your suitcase. Bring a fold-up tote with you in case you need to fill it with things you bought. If it’s large, you can have it shipped.
Before traveling, make sure you set things up at home. Stop the newspaper and have the mail held at the post office. Ask a neighbor or someone you trust to check on the house. This could be important. Pipes could burst or a window could be left open.
Don’t forget the lawn. Since grass grows really fast, ask a neighborhood kid to mow your lawn. It’s less expensive than hiring a lawn service, plus it gives the kid some spending money. Also, invest in some timers that turn lights, TVs, stereos, etc. on and off.
If you have cats, you can have a local neighbor come in and feed the cat or change the litter box. As for dogs, you’re probably better off finding a friend or relative to take the animal or put it in a kennel. For recommendations on kennels, ask friends or neighbors who they use.
These tips can be used for anyone traveling to any destination. Many of them can be used when you travel to the lakes region in New Hampshire.
About the Author
Sharon lives in the Lake Winnipesaukee area and loves it. She does as much as she can and wants to share her experiences with others. She writes about Lake Winnipesaukee in her web site. Visit http://www.lake-winnipesaukee-travel-guide.comfor fun vacation ideas.