How To Save Big on Big Vacations
When money is tight people will often think about cutting back on vacations, sometimes eliminating them completely. That's always a personal decision, of course. But it isn't always necessary. There are many ways to still have that relaxing adventure without checking in at the poorhouse afterward.
The Internet has made it easier than ever to find great deals on vacation trips. With a little research, you can reduce by 30% or more your cost for air travel, a cruise, a hotel, meals, and more.
One simple way to get a big reduction right away is to travel during the 'off season'. That is the time of year when fewer people take vacations. It generally runs from late November to early March for trips in the Northern Hemisphere.
The reason is fairly plain: that's winter for half the globe and fewer people want to take trips when the weather is cold. Some places, like many sections of Alaska and Scandinavia, are actually impassable for cruise ships and accommodations are socked in by big snow storms during winter.
Luckily for the traveler who doesn't mind bundling up, many excursions taken during those months can not only be cheaper but actually have fascinating new sights. For those who prefer warmer climes, you can still travel to Greece, Spain, and many other parts of the globe and still get a cheaper price on airfare and accommodations.
Australia, parts of South America, and elsewhere will not be quite as cheap since that is their summer. But it's still true that fewer travelers from the Northern Hemisphere take vacations in those months and prices are more moderate. Most people still prefer to take a trip during the late spring through summer because that's when the kids are out of school.
Even apart from timing, there are other creative ways to reduce vacation expenses and still enjoy your trip.
One way is to look for less popular destinations. Bassein, India is a great example. Nowhere near as well known as, say, St. Tropez, this delightful beach spot offers warm, white-sand beaches with lots of interesting excursions. The Portuguese dominated the area for two centuries (from around 1534-1739) and there are fascinating churches and an old fort to explore.
There are dozens more such lesser-known spots around the globe that offer hotel and other expenses at a discount to attract tourists. Instead of a trip to New York where hotels run $200 a night or more, you can see lots of interesting museums and outstanding scenery in Elkhart, Indiana. Not far away are several Amish colonies that offer unusual sights, friendly locals, and lots of shopping for things you can't get anywhere else.
The essential idea is to be flexible, do some research, and look for both times and places that are not those that most people choose. Supply and demand can work in your favor to save big on a big vacation. Then, when you come home, you'll have money left over for those short, local trips.