A majority (57%) of Americans over age 65, compared with less than half of those aged 18-64, make time for regular trips or vacations. And because summer and winter getaways are becoming increasingly popular with people and families of all ages, many destinations offer fall season discounts. But before you reserve your plane tickets and lodging, it’s important to plan properly and get the biggest bang for your buck.
Here are just a few tips for taking the best budget-friendly fall vacation possible.
Know When To Buy
First, if you’re planning on flying to your destination, knowing when, and exactly when, to buy your tickets is crucial. FareCompare.com cites Tuesday at 3 p.m. as the best time of the week to find the lowest airfare rates, but you should always comparison shop between various websites, keeping in mind any extra fees associated with the purchase. Above all, remember that booking as early as possible is always your best bet.
About 77% of travelers cited the “estimated price of total vacation” as their top concern when choosing a beach destination. If you’re traveling to a warmer climate and want to save a bit of spending money, bring some cold drinks and snacks along with you instead of buying them from a more convenient but expensive source. Even on airplanes and road trips, having an affordable yet accessible snack and beverage stash is a must. It will prevent you from splurging on a meal that’s out of your budget.
Take Advantage Of Rewards
Rewards programs may seem like they’re only useful for frequent travelers, but you may be surprised at just how beneficial these offers can be. Not only can rewards programs give you access to more exclusive deals, but they can also get you upgrades and premium amenities.
“Points can rack up quickly, particularly if you stick with the same brand for multiple trips. Plus, sometimes you receive a discount or upgrade just for signing up,” Colleen Lanin, author of The Travel Mamas’ Guide, told The Huffington Post.
Consider A Minimalist Approach
While these budget-friendly tips can certainly cut back on unnecessary travel expenses, you should still be able to enjoy your vacation without having to worry about the financial implications. If you feel as though you don’t have the budget to fully enjoy a trip to a fancy resort, consider getting in touch with nature by taking one of the most affordable trips of all: a camping trip.
A study by the Institute of Education at Plymouth University revealed that 95% of parents agreed that their kids appeared happier while on kid-friendly vacations such as camping. Plus, the initial investments you’ll make for camping will last for multiple trips, unlike one-time airfare tickets and hotel expenses. Frugal travelers can find affordable cabin rentals or campground almost anywhere, and there are plenty of state forests and parks that are completely free to camp in.
Ultimately, keeping these travel tips in mind can help you plan an enjoyable fall vacation that’s well within your family’s budget. Always be proactive, plan ahead, and most of all, remember to enjoy yourself!