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Cheap Weekend Getaways on a Budget

Weekend Getaways on a Budget

Sometimes a long vacation far away can actually be more exhausting than relaxing.

That’s why a weekend trip somewhere near you can actually be more rejuvenating.

Not only that but weekend trips are less expensive, you don’t have to take time off, and it can be just what you need to prevent burnout and keep your energies and spirits up.

The Best Weekend Getaways

The best weekend getaways cater to your personal preferences and desires so you can get the most out of your short trip.

Some people are looking for weekend getaways near me, where they can be close to home but still take a break from their lives. Others are looking for cheap weekend getaways, so they can enjoy a vacation without spending too much. Then there are people looking for group weekend getaways or the best weekend getaways for couples.

Different people look for different things in a vacation. Some people are history buffs and want to see some historical sites and go on tours. Others will want to go where there is lively music, or botanical gardens where they can walk and be with nature.

Other people have specific requirements for their vacation. If you have kids you might need a family-friendly option, or if you’re a couple you might want something more romantic.
Start asking yourself what kind of vacationer you are before you get started on any solid plans.

Take a moment to sit down and write a list of things you must have in a weekend getaway. This can help you decide the key elements of your weekend trip budget.

Make a Budget

weekend trip costs

The more days you stay away the more your trip will cost.

Which is why weekend trips are so great! You can vacation without breaking the bank simply by leaving for fewer days.

According to Budget Your Trip the average daily cost of a vacation for just one person comes to about $224. This means that a 2 day vacation would cost $448, a 3 day vacation would cost $672, and a longer 4 day vacation would cost $896.

But you can save even more on a weekend getaway by cutting areas of your budget and making smart, money-saving choices.

Download a Free Printable PDF for a Weekend Getaway Budget.

weekend trip budget

A vacation budget usually includes at least 4 categories.

Transportation, lodging, food, and entertainment.

According to ValuePenguin the average cost of transportation for 4 nights is $224, lodgings are $150, food is $155, and entertainment is $52. A 4 night trip, from Friday to Monday, can cost a total of $581.

These 4 budget sections are what you’ll need to figure out before going on vacation. Though there may be other things to consider depending on your personal preferences. For example, you might want to add a souvenir budget or create separate budgets for each person going on the trip.

Transportation

transportation

As with any trip, you’ll need to figure out what transportation you’ll use, how much it will cost, and how you can save in this category.

The farther from home you go the more expensive transportation costs are going to be. This doesn’t mean you can’t go far away for your weekend trip, it just means transportation will take up a larger portion of your budget if you do. You might have to make sacrifices in other areas of your budget, like which hotel you stay at if you want to go somewhere farther away.

Since it’s just a weekend trip, longer trips will also take up more of the little time you have to get away that weekend. But if you go somewhere close by, then you’ll have even more time to enjoy your destination. Try going on a road trip instead of flying since driving is generally cheaper than plane tickets.

You should also try and book accommodations that aren’t too far away from everything. That way you can easily walk, ride bikes, or use trails like the boardwalk or river walk to get wherever you want to go while on vacation.

Lodging

lodgings

If you book your accommodations well in advance then you are more likely to snag some deals.

If you want to get in the habit of taking weekend trips, then try getting into the habit of researching prices every so often. That way you’ll see when prices go up and down.

You can also save on lodgings by choosing Airbnbs, hostels, or campgrounds to stay at instead of expensive hotels. If you go on trips very often, then investing in a trailer or some quality camping gear could actually save you money in the long term.

Food

food

Eating out can easily become the most expensive part of a vacation. But you can save tons of money on food by packing your own meals and snacks.

No matter where you end up staying you can always bring your own food. If you’re going camping you can pack food bags and coolers full of nonperishable foods. If you’re going to a hotel or Airbnb you can find one with a kitchenette so you can make your own meals instead of spending tons of money eating out.

But remember to keep item number 1 in mind! Maybe eating out while traveling is a big part of a vacation for you. If this is the case, then just calculate restaurant expenses into your weekend getaway budget.

Entertainment

entertainment

There’s nothing more disappointing than coming back from a trip where you didn’t have time for everything you wanted to do.

You don’t want your weekend trip to feel like a waste of time. There might be specific things you want to do to entertain yourself while on vacation, like see a movie, go to a specific restaurant, see a show, go on a guided tour, or visit the zoo.

Create a vacation schedule for yourself so you don’t miss out on anything or unexpectedly spend money on tickets for something once you get there. By creating a schedule for entertainment ahead of time, you’ll know how you’re spending your weekend and how much each activity will cost. That way you can include your fun in your budget and not feel bad later for spending more than you thought you would.

Entertainment can also be the most flexible part of your budget and an easy place to cut costs. Maybe instead of paying for an expensive tour you pick up a cheaper tour guide booklet and see the sites yourself. Or maybe you can find free things to do like go to a public beach or nature park.

Download a Free Printable for a Weekend Getaway Schedule.

More Weekend Vacation Budget Tips

weekend getaway tips and tricks

Now that you know how to save on your 4 key weekend budget categories, let’s go over some other ways to trim your weekend budget.

1. Split the Costs

One great way to get the most out of a weekend vacation while still saving money is to bring a group of people and split the cost. By renting a cabin with a bunch of friends or family members, you can stay at a really nice place for a much more reasonable price.

Transportation costs can also be alleviated by inviting friends to tag along and help pay for gas.

2. Pack Light

Packing light will not only make your life easier, but it can save you in the long run. By not packing too much you won’t lose as many items in the hustle and bustle of traveling.

You also won’t have to pay extra traveling fees for having tons of luggage.

3. Don’t Spend Money Once You’re There

If you plan carefully and bring your own things, you can get away with not spending money once you reach your destination. Eat your own food and bring your own entertainment.

There are plenty of things you can do for free on vacation, like outdoor activities or going to state parks. You might actually enjoy just reading a good book by the poolside instead of filling your weekend with expensive and busy activities.

4. Look for All-Inclusive Options

Some resorts and cruises can be all-inclusive, meaning that you pay for your stay and they provide everything else. All-inclusive trips can also give you the best deal since one payment will pay for all categories of your budget. All you have to worry about is showing up.

5. Put Vacations in Your Budget Now

Planning ahead will always save you more, and that includes planning for your vacations now. Put away a little money each month into a fund just for trips. Then once you have enough to cover your vacation budget you can go, relax, have fun, and not worry about the money your spending because you saved it all up specifically for this.

6. Use a Prepaid Debit Card

Have trouble budgeting your spending once you’re there? Just get a Prepaid Debit Card and use that for spending on vacation. With a prepaid debit card, you won’t be able to go over budget and can protect yourself from your own money spending habits.

7. Long Weekends

Plan to go on vacation during a long weekend. That way you don’t have to use paid time off, and you can get an extra day or two of relaxation and fun into your weekend. Having a long weekend to look forward to can also make work more bearable, and give you a time frame for saving up.

8. Most Popular Weekend Getaway Locations

If you want to travel somewhere really popular, you definitely want to look for deals. You can use websites like kayak, travelocity, trivago, or airbnb to find deals on transportation, lodgings, and fun times. You can also use sites like the Crazy Tourist to see reviews about popular places and help you decide where to go and what to see on your trip.

Here are some examples of how you can use these sites to your advantage.

Getaways in San Diego

Trips to Santa Barbara

San Antonio Vacation Packages from $658

Las Vegas Weekend Break Hotels

15 Best Romantic (Weekend) Getaways in Rhode Island

New York City Weekend Breaks

Best Weekend Deals Los Angeles

San Francisco Cheap Vacations


2 Ways to Budget a Family Vacation

vacation budget

Nobody should tell you where to go on vacation. It’s your hard-earned money, and you deserve to take the vacation of your dreams!

Of course, the biggest obstacle for taking a vacation is money. Your financial situation will probably dictate how often your family takes vacations, and where you ultimately go. Hopping on a plane whenever we want isn’t a luxury most of us can afford. We have to plan ahead and make a family vacation budget in order to turn your dream vacation into a reality.

So how do you realistically plan to finance a vacation? There are typically two options:

Option 1: Let Your Budget Decide Where You Go

family vacation budget

There are literally thousands of amazing vacation destinations out there. But many of the most stunning vacation hot spots cost a lot of money. But if you don’t have your heart set on a specific location, then one tactic is to choose where you go based on how much money you already have available for a vacation fund. You might even be surprised at the amazing places you and your family can afford to visit.

You can spend less money on vacation by choosing cheaper ways to travel, or by going camping instead of staying at a hotel. You can also make vacation fit your budget by bringing your own food instead of eating out the whole time you’re away, or by going on a shorter vacation.

A good way to let your budget decide where you go on vacation is to create a small monthly vacation fund in your budget. By building up vacation savings, you’ll always have money available for even those small spontaneous trips.

Option 2: Pick Your Dream Destination and Save Up

family vacation budget

We all have those dream destinations that we want to visit. In order to check these vacation goals off your bucket list, you’ll need to save up enough money no matter how long it takes. To do this strategy right, you have to have a pretty good idea how much your dream vacation is going to cost. Do your best to estimate the cost of all your expenses, find your total goal amount, and start saving. Figure it into your monthly budget, and you’ll be on your way to that dream vacation your family has been waiting for.

When you finally do take the vacation of your dreams, all that’s left to do is plan your next vacation and start saving. Before you know it you’ll be adding stickers to your suitcase and adding tacks to that map on your wall!

Other Vacation Budget Basics

vacation planning

Every good family vacation needs a good budget. Once you’ve saved up enough money to finally embark on your trip, you need a plan for how you are going to spend your money while on vacation. How much do you want to spend on food each day? Will you be going to any shows or events while on vacation? Figure your entire itinerary into your budget, and make sure you have enough to cover all your planned activities.

There are many expenses you can plan for ahead of time, but there are also going to be unexpected costs that have a tendency to pop up. To safeguard against any surprises, you need to do two things:

  1. Include some extra money in your vacation budget for unexpected expenses
  2. Have a way to get a hold of emergency funds if you need them in a pinch

Sometimes the spontaneous happenings are the best part of a vacation, and if you’ve saved some extra money for this purpose, you’ll be more likely to go where the road will take you. And since there’s always the possibility that you’ll need access to emergency funds, think ahead of time how you’ll be able to get to those funds while on vacation.

For example, if your car breaks down, if you need to move hotels or even if the price of gas goes up as you are traveling you do not want to be stuck without the funds to travel safely. Should you need more cash, simply find the nearest Check City location and take out a cash advance or even have money transferred to the Check City location. If someone can wire you the money, you can pick it up at the nearest Check City.

It’s time to start planning your dream vacation—it’s up to you what strategy you’re going to take and how much you’re going to save.


(Travel Safety) The 11 Part Guide to Safe Travel

travel safety

Traveling can be our greatest joy and our greatest pain. But some of the hassles can actually be our own fault by making common travel mistakes.

There are a lot of things to prepare for when you’re going to go away for a while. You have lots of travel plans going on and you’re excited to see new places, have unique experiences, and get some much-deserved relaxation time.

But traveling can be dangerous too, which is why you want to educate yourself on how to travel safely and about your travel destination and route. As you learn about your vacation spot you can be sure to avoid as much trouble as possible.

Part One:

What to Do with Your Money

Be smart about the cash you carry. Don’t be flashy with your money. Don’t attract unwanted attention to yourself by flashing your cash around too much. It’s also a good idea not to carry too much cash on you at one time in case you do lose your wallet or get pickpocketed.

You should also learn about your card options in order to get the best travel credit card for emergency scenarios and traveling. Different cards will have different insurances for if your wallet gets stolen or easier freeze features so you can stop your card from getting used as soon as you realize it’s gone.

It’s always a good idea to get a wallet set-up specifically for traveling. You can get something light and portable that can easily hide in a hidden pocket on your coat, or you can get a special wallet that hides in your shoe or a belt.

Money isn’t the only valuable thing you need to take care of though. Keep your identification documents in a separate place so that they are not taken if you are pickpocketed.

Part Two:

Prepaid Phone Card

You want to have a way to make a phone call in case of an emergency.

This will come in handy if you get lost, don’t have service, lose your phone, get your phone stolen, or your phone dies or breaks.

One way to be prepared in case of a phone emergency is to carry around a prepaid phone card at all times. With a prepaid phone card, you can make emergency calls even if your cell phone is stolen.

You can easily get a prepaid phone card at a Check City Location before you head out on vacation.

Part Three:

Keep Someone Posted

Whether you’re traveling in a group or all by yourself, you should always keep someone back home posted on your status. Plan scheduled check-in times to keep in contact with someone so your whereabouts and wellbeing are kept track of in case anything should happen to you.

Make sure this designated person has keys to your house in case an emergency happens in your home while you’re away and someone needs to get in. Give them the address of your hotel so they can get ahold of you in case of emergencies as well.

Part Four:

Stranger Danger

Be careful about the friends you make while you’re traveling. Vacation can be a great time to meet new and interesting people and even make new friends. But you should still be responsible when interacting with people you don’t know.

Use common sense and make sure you remain in control of every situation you find yourself in. For instance, don’t get into the car of a stranger because that takes away all your control in that scenario. Instead, meet at a designated, public location where you can socialize in safety.

Part Five:

Beware of WiFi Scams

When you’re traveling in unfamiliar places there is also going to be unfamiliar wifi. Think twice before you accept those free, guest wifi connections. They can be a trap for scammers to get into your device and get access to your personal information.

Instead, you can bring your own portable router or you can use unlimited data on your plan instead of connecting to unsecured wifi.

Part Six:

Keep Track of Your Stuff

Losing your stuff while traveling can be a real tragedy. There are some precautions you can take to help keep track of all your valuables.

Use products from tile so you can essentially put a GPS on anything important.

You can also set up a GPS tracking system for your phone. There are GPS apps you can use to help you find your phone in case you lose it.

Travel insurance is another safety net you can set up before traveling. It will help cover the costs if you lose things or get things stolen while you’re traveling.

Part Seven:

Protect Your Home

When you’re traveling, you leave your home alone for a period of time. This can be a danger since it makes your home more vulnerable to burglars while you’re absent.

Make your home less vulnerable while you’re away by not posting too much about how you’re leaving on social media. Instead, you can wait until you get home to post all about your trip.

You could also have someone house-sit your home. You can hire someone you know to just live at your house while you’re gone, bring in the mail, and deter anyone looking for an easy mark.

But if you can’t get someone to stay at your house while you’re away, then you can set up your own home security system. This can alert your phone when someone breaks into your house. You can even install cameras in your home so you can check in on your place from your phone as well.

Part Eight:

Learn the Language

If you’re going to a foreign country you might not know the language. This can jeopardize your safety as well as cause a lot of extra hassle and stress for you. But you can learn the language!

Duolingo is a great place to go when you need to learn some language basics.

You can also buy a pocket dictionary to carry around with you. Many dictionaries will even have sections with key phrases you might need to use the most.

Part Nine:

Learn Some Geography

Do some research about where you’re going. If you learn some of the geography beforehand, then you might be less likely to get lost once you’re there.

There might also be places or parts of town you should avoid. You can look up the crime rates for the area you’re visiting to learn what places are safe and which ones are less safe.

Part Ten:

Be Prepared for Emergencies

A lot can happen when you’re out of your element.

There are a few things you can do to prepare for potential emergencies. You can memorize important phone numbers. You can also write down important phone numbers on a notecard to keep with you at all times.

Keep a hard-copy map on your person in case your phone dies.

Bring a portable charger pack with you so you can charge your phone on the go.

Have enough money on you at all times for a bus fare to get back to your hotel. Try hiding your bus fare on your person somewhere so it’s less likely to get taken if you get mugged, that way you’ll still be able to easily get home.

Part Eleven:

Know the Scams

Tourists can be especially vulnerable to scams. You don’t know the area, you aren’t familiar with the local businesses, and scammers can take advantage of that.

Different locations will also have their own common scams. Take a moment to look up the kinds of ploys and scams you should be aware of.


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