Guide to Budget Vacationing

Guide to Budget Vacationing

Posted 05.10.2012 in Articles by Caitlin

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Budget traveling starts with good planning. You’ve got destinations in mind, but before you commit, utilize all your options to decide on the best travel destination for you and your budget. Friends, neighbors and colleagues know your specific tastes and may be able to recommend travel destinations perfect for you. Think also about choosing your destination based on a beloved book or work of art; maybe a trip to Key West where Ernest Hemingway had a home. Key West is a beautiful destination, and much more affordable than a trip to Miami Beach. Key West has an aesthetic all its own, with beautiful and historical architecture from the 1800’s. Present day, it is a thriving community with modern shops, restaurants and activities that cater to relaxing and active vacationers alike. 

Determine the focus of your vacation. What aspects of your vacation are the most important to you? For some people it is cuisine, for some sightseeing, for others it is a specific activity like scuba diving or fishing. When you know the focus of your vacation, you can figure out other places you’re willing to cut costs. If you’ll be out all day hiking, a four-star hotel doesn’t make much sense. A three or even two-star hotel could provide everything you need and offer the necessary amenities without impacting your travel budget. In the same capacity, you many consider booking a flight with longer layovers and use the money you saved to book at a hotel closer to shopping and cultural centers. Look at theses layovers as opportunities to get snapshot impressions of different places. They may even turn out to be your next travel destination.

Take part in frequent guest programs. Many airlines and hotels offer discounts and freebies to travelers loyal to their services and affiliates. And you don’t have to join just one. Establishing a relationship with a few will give you more options when you decide to travel, because different organizations will offer different deals based on their niche. Virgin Atlantic offers a frequent flyer mile accrual program through online shopping that boasts hundreds of online retailers from Apple to Wal-mart. Participating in these programs will yield more results over time and can offer portals to other merchants that may not be open to you otherwise. CCV can point you to deals with companies that you already have positive relationships with.

Book a flight that leaves at an off-peak time. Off-peak times are midmorning or early afternoon midweek and not on a holiday, as well as some overnight flights. In addition to lower costs, you improve your chances of sitting next to an empty seat. Flights at off-peak times are generally less full and less stressful, since less experienced and less demanding patrons book these flights. If you’re concerned about delays, consider taking the first flight out in the morning, which will have been sitting at the gate since late the previous night. Since off-peak flights have the highest tendency of empty seats, it can increase your chances of upgrades. CCV will lead you to the most affordable seats in any class, but with some polite inquiring at the gate you may land yourself an upgrade. Airlines upgrade travelers to first class when it’s possible as an act of appreciation to their customers, and hope that it will encourage them to more frequently use their airline.

Know your travel partners. Whether traveling with your significant other, family or in a group, you should discuss the different aspects of your trip to avoid any unpleasant surprises that might lead one of your party to diminish the experience for the rest. Discuss the decision making process and how disagreements will be resolved. A vote? A quick cost analysis? You’ll get to a resolution quicker if you’ve already decided on how you’ll approach disagreements. Each member may have a different strong-suit. Responsibilities should be delegated appropriately and those with the knowledge should be looked towards to offer sound advice. You wouldn’t choose your foodie’s demand on one hiking trip over the expertise of your outdoor expert. Likewise, plan activities that everyone agrees on, or at least knows of beforehand. People are much more inclined to conflict if they feel blindsided. If everyone involved is prepared, you don’t run as much risk of tension and conflict.

Prepare your home for your vacation. You’ll cut out a lot of stress and enjoy traveling much more if you don’t have to worry about the safety of your home. Enlist someone that you trust to visit your house while you’re gone to collect mail, empty the garbage and maintain the yard. Maybe even consider having someone housesit while you are away. Leaving the radio on tuned to a talk station can be a crime deterrent, as well as using timed lights. Unplug unnecessary appliances and consider shutting off the water for extra piece of mind. Also, with recent attention to social media, be sure not to announce over social networks that your house will be unattended.

Protect yourself against scams. Never give money up front before you know the details of what you are committing yourself too. No deal should require that you decide to commit to anything so quickly that you feel pressured. That pressure is a tell-tale sign that the deal that you’re being offered isn’t legitimate. Pass up anything that doesn’t clearly present the facts and details of the purchase. CCV will only connect you with companies that practice good business ethics. Don’t entertain any unsolicited offers that claim you’ve won a prize, and then ask you for financial information or attempt to charge you for associated services. Most of all, trust your judgment. You’ll know when something just doesn’t seem quite right.

Plan your vacation well and you’ll make great memories without overspending or wasting money on frills you don’t need. A great budget vacation is marked by how well you use your time and money while you’re traveling. CCV aims to connect you with vacation offers that maximize quality for price, and reward your good financial sense with the best vacation possible.

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