Watching Instagram stories of your friends at the beach or by the pool can definitely have you itching to go on a vacation this summer. Maybe you’ve seen your favorite lifestyle blogger visit Maldives and it has you day dreaming of a glamorous vacation to somewhere new and different? How do you do that when you feel like you don’t have the money to do so? Here are a few tips that can make it super easy to travel on a budget. In fact, you can end up saving you a lot of money!

Plan a “Staycation”

Who says that you have to travel far to go on a vacation? Traveling to a different state or country usually means having to play for a flight, or gas for a road trip, a hotel for every night, and more. Go somewhere in your state or a neighboring state that you want to explore more. Research local landmarks and historic sites that you haven’t gotten the chance to check out yet.

Staycations might not be in your vision board or Instagram aesthetic, it can save you a lot money, and will still leave you refreshed and rejuvenated. 

Visit National Parks/Monuments

Everyone should experience as many national parks and monuments as they can in their lifetime. We are blessed to live in a country with so many beautiful ones. Many are free, but even if they aren’t, they are usually still an inexpensive way to spend a vacation. Plus, national parks that normally require an entrance fee usually offer several free entrance days every year. There are two Free Entrance Days remaining in 2018: September 22 (National Public Lands Day) and November 11 (Veterans Day).

When possible, don’t use a hotel

Hotels can be expensive. They add up quickly depending on the length of your trip. If you’re traveling on a budget, avoiding hotels is probably the easiest way to save some money. Another option is using Airbnb. Airbnb is basically an online marketplace for people to lease or rent short-term lodging, including cottages, apartments, houses, hostel beds, and even hotel rooms. Do your research and find one that you like. Just be sure to always check the reviews before choosing a rental.

Focus on experiences, not souvenirs

It’s easy to get caught up in buying a lot of souvenirs, especially when you’re vacationing somewhere that you’ve never been before, or vacationing somewhere with a ton of souvenir options — I’m looking at you, Disney. Try to keep the souvenirs to just one or two for yourself, and any gifts for friends/family. Focus more on experiences! First of all, generally, experiences are going to give you a bigger bang for your buck. Experiences like snorkeling, rock climbing, parasailing, etc. are memories you’ll keep with you forever and ones that you’ll enjoy far more. Sure, souvenirs will last a long time, but they aren’t nearly as enjoyable. Try to save your money for the experiences, and make the most out of your vacation.

If you do decide to fly, identify the cheapest times to fly out 

Flights are expensive, but sometimes, there are really great deals – but you have to know how to find them! Use a website like SkyScanner and you’ll be able to see which days and times are cheapest to book.  Don’t limit yourself to one airport – expand your search to three of the closest airports near you. Lastly, don’t be afraid to embrace a budget airline. While it may not be as glamorous, often times, it can be worth the price!

Jessica M
FFL Contributor
Jessica is a student at Shippensburg University pursuing a bachelor’s in Public Relations. She is a lover of all things pink & sparkly, going to church every Sunday morning, puppies & pigs, and Netflix binges. She is fiercely patriotic and hopes to have another president like Ronald Reagan. She has a southern state of mind and plans on moving to the South someday!

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