Tips for Planning Vacations
Suitcases, sunscreen and sandals are on everyone’s list this year. According to a recent survey, almost three-quarters of Americans have made summer travel plans for 2022. But how can you escape to Europe, jet to a tropical location, or find some local color and culture on a budget? Here are some tips for vacation planning that will leave you refreshed without breaking the bank.
Think of Substitutes
If you love Paris, try Quebec. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, Old Quebec has preserved its charming historic architecture for over 400 years. As the birthplace of French North America, Quebec has narrow cobblestone streets with flowers, bakeries, French language immersion and quaint shops. Magnifique!
Is Mexico on the top of your list? Check out San Antonio, Galveston and Houston. Find rich heritage, authentic food and museums in each community that are entry points for history and cultural understanding. Bonus points for one of the many citywide fiestas throughout the year that include parades, street fairs, and music.
Is Maui a favorite? Instead, consider the Big Island. The average hotel cost is almost half that of the more busy destination. Budget-friendly alternatives that meet your financial goals are not “missing out.” Rather, these are unique opportunities to explore new areas.
Rent for the Entire Family
Families that stay together save together. Travel in 2022 is all about connections and reuniting. Trips with grandparents, siblings and extended families are more popular than ever. Today’s hotel, condo and vacation home rentals offer options for groups willing to bundle lodging.
Be smart. Sharing cooking duties, getting bulk breakfast foods and snacks, and coordinating a mix of group and individual excursions are additional ways to save. Multigenerational travel requires planning and patience. Though renting a luxury casita, villa or waterfront mansion sounds extravagant, the costs can be much less than hotel rooms. Splitting the bill among family members means everyone saves.
Rising gas prices, summer commitments, and fewer vacation days are some of the reasons Americans use summer to explore closer to home. According to a Bankrate survey, staying local was the second-most-popular option for time off, after beach travel. Make sure your staycation is fun and memorable. First, save on hotel costs by using your home as a base. Brainstorm a schedule of activities. Is there a small museum you’ve always wanted to visit? Where is the most beautiful river hike within a two-hour drive? Find adventures in your own “backyard.”
Another trend is booking an excursion in your own region. Drive over the mountains and check out wine country. Treat yourself to a couples’ massage and a private wine tasting. It’s still less than a trip to Italy. Spend a week at the ocean beaches. Meander through small-town antique shops on the way home. Or go on a guided trail ride where you camp under the stars. From historic logging towns to whale watching in the Puget Sound to renting paddleboards from a downtown kiosk, there are so many ways to awaken the imagination and recharge your batteries close to home. And no passport is needed.
Will you join the lines at the security gate this year? Or are you thinking of a magical road trip that will feel like an escape from the mundane? Whichever way you vacation this year, you’ll find little ways to save. In addition, you can stay on track with financial goals and make memories that last a lifetime.