Local Getaways: Vacation on a budget

Find a less-explored area or a fun local attraction. Picture: LONELYPLANET.COM

With resorts and hotels opened for locals, there are a few things you could consider when it comes to vacation.

Escape with the family and relax on a budget with website busybudgeter.com.

“The first step when it comes to planning a budget-friendly family vacation is to figure out your actual budget. How much can you realistically afford and how much do you have saved up?.”


Go local

You don’t have to vacation right in town, although taking a staycation is always a great option if you can’t afford to go away.

Vacationing in a local spot—less than a day’s drive away—will help you save on gas, mileage, and an extra night at a hotel. Going local can also be a lot of fun.

Find a less-explored area or a fun local attraction. Check out historical landmarks and natural attractions, national monuments, and parks as well. You might be surprised at the treasures that are within just a day’s drive.


Visit friends

The next best thing to exploring your own locale is letting a friend be your tour guide.

Visiting friends and family is also great because you often don’t have to worry about transportation and you can save on meals by buying groceries and eating with your hosts.


Road trip

Road trips are particularly fun because you can stop along the way and take it at your own pace.

Check out your route and plan some cool stops along the way. Explore interesting places to eat.

Stop to take photos by signs and scenic outlooks. Take some snacks and entertainment for the car and make the journey part of the vacation!


Plan ahead…or book last minute

Book six weeks in advance to score the best price in most cases, or 2.

Roll the dice and book last minute to possibly score crazy deals. Believe me, no one wants to risk missing a flight or shady accommodations with a three-year-old.

But if you’re adventurous and traveling with just your spouse, you can find some amazing weekend getaways last minute, especially if you aren’t picky about where you’re planning to go.

One thing about last-minute booking is that they can lead to expensive situations.


Focus on activities over accommodations

Being choosy about accommodations can make your trip much more expensive. Most of us don’t go on vacation for the awesome hotel suite, unless it’s an all-inclusive resort or a cruise.

If you plan to spend most of your time outside of your hotel room, look for something that’s clean and simple.


Eat in

Food adds up on vacation. Food on the road costs a lot, plus there’s tipping and more to consider.

For many of us, our digestion gets a little “off” when we travel.

Eating familiar foods can really help make sure no one ends up with an upset stomach on the trip.

Sometimes trying too much restaurant food and eating rich treats on your journey can end up derailing the whole vacation. Do some culinary exploration and try local favourites, but also ensure you keep some familiar options on hand.


Explore off the beaten path

Enjoying nature costs almost nothing in most cases. Beaches, lakes, hiking, and the desert are all beautiful places to explore and vacation, but they cost much less than a city or theme park.

Help your kids explore and learn by creating a goal—find seashells or heart-shaped rocks, or identify as many different birds as you can on your trip.

Stop at the local diner or stay at the fun little hotel on the edge of town, rather than the hotspot.

Think like a local rather than a tourist to find the attractions locals enjoy.

More Stories