Another fantastic blog post from our author-friend, Jesse Clark! If you’ve liked what he’s written for us, be sure to check out his blog too.
Planning a budget-friendly trip for the weekend might seem overwhelming at first as you decide what corners to cut to save on expenses. But there are actually several things you can do to save money. Whether you’re going solo or with the entire family, planning ahead will help you keep costs down so you can have fun without worrying about overspending. From looking for savings closer to home to doing some research online for coupons and deals, there are tons of things you can do to remain frugal.
The key is to stay organized and plan well ahead of time. While many weekend trips are thrown together on a whim when things get too hectic or stressful, if you take the time to prepare first, you can ensure that your budget won’t be blown to bits. Think about the big things, such as the food and gas budget, but also the little things: snacks, souvenirs, and taking steps at home to save money while you’re gone, such as unplugging appliances that use “phantom” power.
Keep reading for more great tips on how to plan a budget-friendly and stress-busting trip.
Take Steps to Save at Home
Setting the thermostat, unplugging appliances and devices, and refraining from buying perishable items at the grocery store before you leave can all help you save money. Your HVAC system could probably use a little rest, so if it’s summertime, set it for a higher temperature than normal — you won’t need the AC while you’re gone. In winter, set it a bit lower. Unplug laptop and cell phone chargers to keep them from sucking energy when you don’t need them.
Unplugging things around your home isn’t just a good idea for saving money — it can also keep computers and appliances from getting fried in the event that a storm causes a power surge, which, in turn, can cause your garage door to open, leaving your home vulnerable to thieves and animals. For this and many other reasons, enlist at least one trusted friend or neighbor who can drop in and check on your home at least once while you’re gone, especially if bad weather is expected.
Take Steps to Save at Work
There are lots of little ways you can cut down on the time and money you spend at the office, and, in turn, that will make it easier for you to plan a terrific vacation. Your annual report is a prime example. It’s not overly difficult, but it is time-sensitive and will cost you if it’s inaccurate or late. Filing is fast and easy when you work with a service provider like ZenBusiness. They make assembling the information and generating the report simple so you never have to worry about being non-compliant — learn more here.
Know Your Costs
Taking a trip can be costly no matter where you go, so, as BudgetTravel.com notes, it’s important to understand all the costs associated with your plans. There may be hidden fees associated with your rental car, hotel room, or airfare, so do some research before you book anything to ensure you know exactly how much you’ll be expected to spend during your trip.
No matter where your trip takes you, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of snacks and plans for meals. Eating out can get very expensive, especially if you take your family with you. Bring along healthy options in a cooler, such as ready-to-eat hummus, fruit salad, and celery sticks with peanut butter, that will keep you full and prevent unnecessary and costly stops.
Don’t forget to take with you these essentials from Clearly Balanced Days. Whether it’s for you or for your pet (or both), this much-needed time off will be all the better with balms, oils, and more that boost your mood and overall wellness.
Look for the Best Deals
Planning your trip means looking for the best deals before you leave. Do some research online to find coupons, group rates, and other discounts that can help you stay on budget and have fun at the same time. This applies not only to hotels and airfare but also to any events you attend or the restaurants you visit. Groupon is a great place to start looking for deals, but there are many places online that will help you by narrowing down your options according to where you’re going and what date you’ll be there.
Planning a budget-friendly trip doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming. Preparing ahead of time and getting organized will ensure that you and your family won’t have to overspend or worry about anything on the trip other than having fun.
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