Vacation Planning on A Budget

Summer is on its way, which means many Americans are in the process of planning summer trips with the family. Summer vacations are a great way to get out of town for a little while and have fun together. Most of us look forward to summer vacation season with anticipation of finally getting some time off with your loved ones. However, many Americans face the potential of not being able to take their summer trip this year due to a limited budget and too much debt. Without the funds to finance your trip, you may worry you’ll be stuck at home this summer.

Still, can you plan for a summer excursion that won’t cause additional strain on your already limited budget? With a little ingenuity and a bit of compromise, you can make a plan for a great summer vacation that won’t cost you your financial future. The following tips can help you get started:

  • Stay closer to home. Instead of flying to Europe or South America – or even flying to another state – consider planning a vacation closer to home so you can avoid expensive airfare. Consider what you and your family like to do and research options close to home that fit your interests. Whether it’s exploring the great outdoors or visiting art galleries and museums, you may be able to find unique opportunities near where you live. Ideally, if you can plan a trip within 100 miles of your house, you don’t blow the budget on gas.
  • Avoid driving ON your vacation. Once you reach your destination, leave the car in the hotel parking lot and walk or take public transportation. Most vacation spots have excellent public transportation for tourists, so you can avoid visiting the pump while you’re on your vacation.
  • Find accommodations with a kitchen. One of the higher expenses on a vacation is the cost of food. If you take a week-long vacation with a family of four, this is effectively 84 individual meals you have to pay for. Even if you spend conservatively and the average cost of each person’s is only $10 that’s $840 you’ll spend on food in one week. Instead of spending most of your vacation budget to feed your family, consider finding accommodations with a free breakfast and a kitchen to cook some meals and reduce your vacation food costs.
  • Avoid expensive activities. If you go to all that trouble to reduce your vacation costs, the last thing you want to do is spend the money you saved on expensive vacation pastimes. Expensive equipment rentals, over-priced tours, and even deciding to window shop can all put a serious strain on your vacation budget.
  • Limit gifts and mementos. People often spend a lot of money either buying gifts for family and friends not on the trip or loading up on mementos of their trip. Keep gifts for others to a minimum and try to buy small gifts that you can pay for in cash. If you need something to help you remember you trip, use your camera to take lots of photos so you can create a digital album when you get home.

Connie Solidad has been writing about finances and debt consolidation for years. She’s an expert in the industry and writes about debt management topics and programs and credit counseling options. When Connie is not working, she loves playing with her two dogs in Tampa, Florida. To learn more about debt management refer to



  1. VickieCouturier says:

    some really good points,an another if you know you are going,book early on Mon or Tues when the rates are lowest an usually u get a good deal,never book on weekend

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