The economic stimulus package set to reach 130 million households this spring may cause a surge in travelers looking for fun ways to spend their money. If you’re one of them, make the most of your money by considering destinations offering the most bang for your buck. Following are travel tips for those seeking an escape on a tight budget:
1. Think seasonal. An effective strategy for stretching your travel dollar is to keep an eye on high-season versus low-season rates. For example, with warmer weather in the spring and summer, we tend to forget about the popular wintertime vacation spots like Mexico. Traveling to the beach between April and June provides an ideal time to take advantage of the off-season rates.
2. Think quiet. Another travel tip for the budget-minded is to consider destinations that are hot spots in the wintertime yet slow down to an easy going speed as the weather warms up, such as Lake Tahoe and Jackson Hole. These well-known ski areas offer an abundance of outdoor activities once the snow melts. You’ll find hiking, biking, fishing and more without contending with the ski season crowd.
3. Think local. The hefty price per gallon of gas may create a barrier when considering a road trip, but short road trips can offer an affordable travel alternative. Consider checking out an area within a few hours drive that is known for a particular attraction, or head off the beaten path and try some camping, or head to a spa for a weekend of relaxation.
4. Think global. Wait a minute. Did we just move from thinking locally to thinking globally? Yes, international travel is not top-of-mind for a lot of U.S. citizens for a host of reasons, one being the struggling U.S. dollar. It hurts to think of exchanging a dollar bill in Europe only to receive half the value back in Euros. One way to avoid the exchange rate is to consider a European cruise since most travel costs are purchased in U.S. dollars up-front, thus minimizing the exchange rate loss.
5. Think out-of-the-box. Instead of spending hours in front of your computer drooling over exotic photos of that fancy Hawaiian resort only to want to vomit at the site of the hotel rates, consider alternative lodging options. For instance, check out rentals – whether it be a house, condo or an apartment. Spending less on lodging may mean you could stay longer…hmmm…Also, check airfare costs for varying routes that will get you to your desired destination. Instead of flying direct, you may find that booking two separate flights to reach your travel destination will save a lot of money.