The following Family & Consumer Science article printed in the May 12, 2016 edition of the Oldham Era.
Budget Trip Tips
Summer Travel on a Budget
Warm, sunny days often inspire hitting the road to discover new things. But the dream of getting away may seem impossible to some of us when the costs of traveling – including food, lodging and entertainment – are piled on top of everyday living expenses.
These tips may make it easier for you to get away without breaking the bank.
- Shorten the length of your stay. Everyone would love to stay on the beach for a week, but for some, that may not be economically feasible. Instead of canceling your trip, look at your budget and see what you can afford. You may find that you save several hundred dollars just by shortening your stay by a few days.
- Choose off-season vacation spots. While summer is the peak season for most places, destinations that do the majority of their business during the winter months like ski resorts may offer discounts during the off-season. You won’t be able to ski, but you can enjoy nature, restaurants, and tourist attractions, not to mention fewer crowds.
- Look for last minute deals or specials if you are flexible with your dates. Airlines and hotels often offer discounts to fill empty seats and vacant rooms. Make sure you book with a reputable company when searching the Internet for deals.
- Save money by eating in. Food can be one of the biggest expenses of a vacation next to lodging. Consider bringing food or purchasing it at a local grocery store instead of dining out for every meal. Breakfast and lunch may be easy to do, if you have refrigerator access or are okay with grab-n-go food. Access to a kitchen in your room or vacation rental could help you prepare a couple of home-cooked meals for your family.
- Have a staycation. Become a tourist in your own city or region. In Oldham County, we have attractions like Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve, Oldham County Farm Tours, and historic downtown La Grange. You can also contact the Oldham County Tourism Commission toll-free at 1-800-813-9953 for more information on free or low-cost summer events offered in the county.
- Set a budget and follow it. Make sure everyone in your family knows and agrees to the daily spending allowance. Families can plan each day’s events based on their budget.
- Start a vacation savings account for next year. Like Christmas savings accounts, some banks offer vacation club savings accounts. These allow you to spread the cost of the vacation over an entire year instead of being hit with a lump payment at once.
For more information on topics related to family financial management, contact Family & Consumer Science Agent Chris Duncan at the Oldham County Cooperative Extension office.
Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.
Source: Jennifer Hunter, Extension Specialist for Family Financial Management. Edited by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.
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