With every vacation comes a few trade-offs, whether it’s mountain vs. beach, a domestic or international getaway or traveling with or without kids. Many of those trade-offs come in the form of staying within budget. So what should you splurge on and where should you save?
Splurge on a nonstop flight. These days, with bad weather and late airlines, the probability of missing your connecting flight gets higher every day. Spend the extra $100 per ticket to get a nonstop flight if possible. You’ll spend more time at your destination and less time stressing over re-booking.
Save on other transportation by opting for the smallest, cheapest rental car or taking public transportation if possible. As long as your family and luggage can fit safely, there’s no need to get a flashy, spacious vehicle for your trip.
Splurge on a hotel that’s close to where you’ll be spending the most time. Why hassle with driving to and from the beach, amusement park or other attractions when you don’t have to. You’re supposed to be relaxing, right?
Save by getting the smallest room within the hotel without a special view. You likely won’t be spending a lot of time in the room, so you can opt for a less expensive room at the resort.
Splurge on one great meal per day. You don’t need three extravagant meals each day. Pick one meal each day as your splurge and do just that – eat whatever you want, wherever you want. Maybe one day it’s a decadent brunch and the next it’s a fancy dinner.
Save on other meals by packing snacks and small portable foods for your other meals. Granola bars, small sandwiches, muffins, nuts and fruit can hold you over the rest of the day.
Splurge on a once-in-a-lifetime activity. One day at Disney, one day scuba diving, or one European river cruise. You’ll appreciate the experience more if there’s only one shot, instead of cramming in a ton of activities back to back. This is especially true of you are traveling with young children.
Save by researching other free or low cost activities at your destination. Whether you relax by the hotel pool or beach, find a free museum or enjoy local parks or festivals, there will be no shortage of activities to fill the rest of your time.