Travel Tips

Wanderlust on a Budget

May 18, 2024

Practical Tips for Affordable Vacation Planning

If you have a tight budget and you’re dreaming of an out-of-town vacation this year, there are plenty of ways to make your wish come true. If you’re willing to think out of the box and sacrifice a few luxuries, you can save a bundle while still enjoying a fun trip.

Try these strategies to enjoy your vacation on a budget:

  1. Stay in an extended stay hotel. Sure, you’ll forgo a few amenities, such as a pool or daily maid service, but most extended stay hotels offer weekly maid service, a courteous staff, a safe setting, and all for a very low price.
    • In addition to your immediate savings, most extended stay hotels offer hotel suites with an efficiency setup. Therefore, you’ll have a kitchenette equipped with a stovetop, kitchen sink, cabinets, and full-sized refrigerator in order to store and prepare your own meals, thus saving money over eating every meal out.
    • Many extended-stay hotels require a minimum stay of 7 nights. However, the rates are severely discounted. For a week’s stay, an extended-stay hotel can cost between $160 and $225, depending on the location. This can save you hundreds of dollars!

  2. Veer off the beaten path. By simply choosing to stay 10 or 15 miles off of the key tourist paths, your accommodation and meal rates will drop significantly.
    • You may not get a glorious view of the ocean or a panorama of the city, but you’ll be able to save your money for the attractions you’d like to invest in.
    • In addition, you’re more likely to get better service since the hotel staff won’t be bombarded with guests as they would in a high-tourist hotel.

  3. Cook your own meals. If you’re staying in an extended stay hotel, you’ll have access to a kitchenette. However, you can still prepare your own meals even if staying in a standard hotel room.
    • Microwavable meals may not be very luxurious, but they’re very inexpensive when compared to dining out three times per day while on vacation. Purchase microwavable pizzas, single-serve meals, and other items to trim down your food costs.
    • Breakfast can be fully prepared in your hotel room. Purchase cereal and milk, pop tarts, or oatmeal packets at the grocery store to completely eliminate the cost of dining out for breakfast.

  4. Travel in the off-season. If you don’t have children, your schedule is more flexible as you don’t necessarily need to plan a vacation during the summer. Therefore, you can save significantly on airfare, entertainment, and accommodations by traveling in the off-season (such as in the fall for summery tourist attractions).
    • The off-season is considered between January and March and September to early November. Concurrently, hotels will often have special sales in the off-season in addition to their lower rates to incentivize tourism.

  5. A few months or weeks before your vacation, become an avid visitor to This website offers local deals on fun activities, such as trendy restaurants, afternoon cruise tours, spas, shopping, and even hotels.
    • Consumers dictate the current deals. The Groupons are only activated if a set number of people sign up. Therefore, if the deal misses its mark and doesn’t go into effect, you won’t be charged a fee.
    • The one caveat about is that the deals are very slim for small cities and towns. Therefore, if you’re traveling to a rural destination, Groupon will be of little use to you.

  6. Into the wild. Rather than spending an average of $100 per night at a hotel, head to a local campsite and sleep in a tent. Alternatively, you can rent a popup camper from a local RV rental facility for a discounted rate since you’re staying in town.
    • Camping is a fun activity for children. You can still do fun, touristy things throughout the day and, at night, you can sit around a campfire and roast marshmallows. Many of the best memories involve relaxed times like these.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can save money while on vacation. Some are as simple as driving to the grocery store, while others may require you to sleep in a tent. But, where there’s a will, there’s a way to make your vacation happen even on a very limited budget.

Add a comment
+ show Comments
- Hide Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Hey there, lets be friends! Follow along on all my adventures on Instagram!