Summer’s here! But unfortunately, while it seems as though you’re friends, family and even your kids are outside enjoying the glorious season, the best you can do is watch from your window. Why? Because you’re chained to your cubicle, working every hour God sends to keep your finances afloat. In an era of corporate wage repression, it seems as though no matter how much overtime we pull or how many extra responsibilities we take on at work, we never quite have enough to go around. Even with careful budgeting and a good deal of belt-tightening, it can be difficult to convince ourselves that the ship is really afloat when it comes to our household finances.
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This is a shame. Because, while we all benefit from being fiscally responsible, a frugal lifestyle shouldn’t keep you from living a happy life full of pleasant memories and enjoyable activities. Since the summer is here, why not treat yourself and your family to the vacation that you all need and, quite frankly, deserve. A vacation is a fantastic way to relieve stress, put some distance between yourself and your worries and bring your whole family a little closer together. “But I can’t afford that!” you might be thinking. But a family vacation can be more affordable than you think.
Here are some tips for a fun, adventure-filled getaway for the whole family that won’t break the bank.
Look in the less obvious places for great deals
In the digital age, competition between the brands we buy from is more fierce than ever. In order to stay competitive, big brands have begun diversifying in ways that continue to surprise us. And budget conscious travellers can use this to their advantage by checking out less obvious places to get great deals on their family vacations. For example, did you know that you can get Disneyland tickets from Costco? They’re harder to find than they once were but they’re readily available for those who know where to look. Check out this link to see current deals on Disneyland tickets. You can save a lot when you put a little extra time and effort into researching the best deals!
Call in some favors
You may well worry about who will look after your home and / or pets while you’re away. Yet, don’t let this sincere desire to protect your furry friends and treasured possessions lead you to spend a fortune on expensive house or pet sitting services.
While we’ve compiled this guide to hiring a housesitter you can trust, remember that trustworthy doesn’t have to mean expensive. Look through your address book and see if there are any friends or relatives who owe you a favor. If you have any older teens in your family they may be more than happy to look after your home or pets for the chance to get a little freedom and autonomy for a few days.
Find last minute deals
Airlines hate empty seats almost as much as hotels hate empty rooms. Even though logic dictates that booking in advance always gets you the best deals, don’t forget that when travel dates draw near, tour operators, airlines and hotels tend to drop their prices in the hopes of getting some last minute sales to fill up their quotas.
If you’re prepared to do your homework you may be astonished to learn just how many national and international getaways you can find at incredible prices. If you can afford to be flexible with flight dates and locations, you can have your pick of the bunch. Not sure where to start? Good Housekeeping has a really good guide for the best apps and sites for last minute deals right here.
Go all-inclusive (or at least bed and breakfast)
You might think that going self-catering is
the best way to travel. But let’s be honest… After a long day’s sight-seeing
how much are you really going to want to cook? At the same time, however, you
may be loath to dine in restaurants for every meal. Perhaps the most
cost-effective option is to go all-inclusive, or at the very least to find a
hotel that will throw in a free breakfast with your stay.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, after all. Load up on breakfast and you’ll have the energy you need to power through your day and only need a light lunch or even be able to skip lunch altogether.
Don’t forget that early birds tend to get the best deals, so combining a late lunch with an early dinner could allow you to take advantage of early bird offers or happy hours which could potentially save you a small fortune.
No matter what your budget and circumstances you deserve to get away from it all!