As Spring Break gets closer many students and families are planning their annual vacation to get away and do some sight-seeing, but with budgets getting tighter many are also looking for ways to cut costs and save money.
Save gas money by planning a trip closer to home, visit those local attractions you always meant to but never got around to. Drive the most gas efficient car you can, make sure it is well maintained so that it will run at optimum efficiency and shop around for the best gas prices where you are going, Gasbuddy.com is a great site for finding the cheapest gas. If you are a student, consider taking extra friends with you on your road trip to split the cost of gas as you go.
Shop around for hotels online before you go and look for the best prices. Even the better hotels sometimes have awesome deals on rooms, it’s not always the smaller motels that are the cheapest. Call and negotiate for a better deal, you can often get better rates just by asking. Look out for discounts that may apply to you, we often mention my husband’s employer (a large national company) and we get the company reduced rate, which can save a lot of money. Check out Hostel Bookers for low cost accommodation, this site has no booking fees and has reviews of hostels and low cost accommodation all over the world for the budget conscious.
A major budget buster on a Spring Break road trip can be food. Try to bring as much as possible with you and shop at local grocery stores along your route. Try to limit eating out; bring a portable BBQ and enjoy dining out if weather permits and enjoy the local scenery. If staying at a hotel that provides a hearty breakfast; load up before you go out for the day, a good breakfast can keep you fueled for hours.
If you have family and friends scattered around the country now is the time to utilize their guestroom (or couch). Ask if you can stop with them for just one or two nights and then move on, you don’t want to be a nuisance. Bring a hostess gift and take them out to dinner one night in return for the favor. Save lots of money on hotels even with the cost of dinner thrown in.
Again, if the weather permits, you might want to eschew the hotels completely and take your camping gear and sleep out under the stars. If you don’t have camping gear you may be able to borrow some, family members and friends will probably have unused camping gear stored away in the back of their garage. Check with them and save a bundle. It will be an adventure, especially if you haven’t done it before!
If you are traveling with kids, you can find ways to cut costs to entertain them while on the road. Go online before you go and Google free kids printables and coloring pages; print however many you need. Go to the library and check out books and books on cd. Sing songs in the car and play games that you remember playing in the car as a kid such as ‘I spy’. You can save a lot of money (and whining) this way by planning ahead.
Traveling at night when you are able can help you save gas money. Traffic is lighter, the air is cooler and if you have kids they will be sleeping so there should be less frequent stops for bathroom breaks.
Plan your schedule and map out your route before you go on your Spring Break vacation. This will save time and gas money as in theory, you will not get lost so easily and will be able to drive to your destination quickly and more efficiently. If you have one, use your GPS system for your road trip.
You can save money by not going on a sight-seeing tour. They can be very expensive and rushed. We prefer to buy a guide book and take our time to enjoy the sights in our own time and not be rushed through the sights briskly with a 100 other people.
Avoid the gift shops at museums and historical locations during your vacation. Usually most things here are so overpriced and a few gifts purchased at these gift shops can soon add up. Avoid cafes and cafeterias located inside museums and other sight-seeing spots, prices can be double what you would pay for dining just down the street.
When you plan ahead you can save money on your Spring Break vacation!