School’s out for summer, and that means most American families will be hitting the road for a summer vacation. Whether you’re heading across the country or hitting a local resort, a summer vacation can become an extremely expensive trip. Many Americans decide to charge the entire trip to their credit cards, and any big additions to debt can lead to a downward spiral.
Avoiding overwhelming debt is the most important step in preventing bankruptcy. Follow these simple tips to help reduce the financial strain of your summer vacation this year, and your bank account will thank you for it.
1. Opt for a staycation
If you go the staycation route, you’ll save tons of money on travel and lodging. You’ll sleep in your own comfortable bed, and you can use all the money you saved on travel on more extravagant activities. Be a tourist in your own city – try out the amazing restaurants and go see the sights.
2. Do lots of pre-vacation activity research
If you’re visiting a destination that you’ve never seen before, spend some time online checking things out before you get there. Check out travel blogs, area websites, and review sites to see what other vacationers have done in the area. See what others have enjoyed, and find those hidden gems you would never have found on your own. Since you’ll have your trip planned out in advance, it’s easier to stick to a budget.
3. Do lots of pre-vacation lodging research
Sites like VRBO.com let you rent a vacation home directly from the owner, cutting out any extra amount that would be included if a middleman were part of the process. Again, check out review sites and travel blogs. There are always amazing options that might be a bit off the beaten path. You’ll save money and stay at a nicer hotel.
4. Find lodging early and get a discount
If you’re just now planning a trip, it might be harder to find cheap accommodations. Your best bet is to check Airbnb. Most of the time, you’ll find a great place to stay that’s significantly cheaper than area hotels. Many times, if you’re booking multiple nights, you can get a discount on the standard rate. Make sure you ask your host if a multi-night discount is a possibility.
5. Make sure you pack everything
Remember to pack all of your toiletries and appropriate clothing for the climate you’re visiting. If you get to the beach resort and realize you left your swimsuit and sun block at home, your wallet isn’t going to like the exorbitant prices that you’ll pay at the hotel.