Yes, You Can Afford to Go On Vacation Now.

If you’re like me, after you pay rent, loans, can insurance, and other bills, you’re left going, “Umm….I think I’m broke.” Needless to say, this kind of financial situation typically doesn’t lend itself to a lot of extra spending. But if you have your heart set on going on vacation (either with your significant other or friends) don’t worry. There’s still hope.

Chris and I had been trying to plan a vacation for more than a year. We had found a few great all-inclusive deals on cheapcaribbean.com, but we still weren’t quite ready to commit to a $900 trip. That’s when we decided to rethink our plans. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars to fly somewhere, we decided to think about venturing somewhere within driving distance. We had a lot of different options, including the Adirondacks, Bethany Beach (where I spent every summer as a kid) and the Jersey shore. We’d done Jersey once and we’re not exactly the hiking/fishing types, so it seemed like the Adirondacks was probably not the best choice. That’s when we decided to go to Cape Cod. It’s about a 7 hour drive, which is still do-able, and we found an adorable little inn (complete with hot tub and pool) that will make the stay relaxing. We’re spending five nights there and each paying roughly $500. While that’s not cheap, we’ll have a little kitchen so we can save some cash on breakfast and lunch. Certainly much more affordable than heading to the Dominican Republic as we had originally planned.

If you’re dying to head out for a trip and don’t feel like trying to tag along on your parents’ vacation, it’s time to rethink your traditional vacation plans. While a Caribbean stay sounds heavenly, there are plenty of other ways to spend some QT together in a new place without a hefty pricetag attached. As you’re brainstorming, think about some places that are within driving distance that you haven’t really had the chance to explore. Long drives are okay too; they just add to the adventure. This kind of trip gives you the experience of tackling a new place on your own, but also helps to save on airfare, which can make up the bulk of the cost.

Though I’m a Northeast girl, I’ve heard that Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia are some must-see spots for those of you in the southern portion of the country. If you’re near enough in Florida, head to Disney for a day and enjoy some childhood flashbacks. Regardless of where you live, there are ideal spots. Just pick someplace within driving distance that is still unfamiliar enough to be fun for you.

Another option: a cruise. I do a lot of writing for work about travel agencies/cruise lines, and have read that they are pretty affordable, especially when you book one during off times. If you have a flexible schedule, look up some of the best times to go on a cruise and then get booking. Different lines have different pricing throughout the year depending on where the ship is coming from/heading to, so you can use this information to plan accordingly and get the best deal. From what I’ve seen, you can get one for a few hundred bucks, making it a smart yet fun option. This is especially true if you can go when school-aged kids aren’t on spring or winter break. Personally, the idea of being trapped on a boat for a week sounds like hell to me, but I know plenty of people who are obsessed.

Lastly, depending on where you live, Vegas is a good option. Yes, you’d most likely have to pay for airfare, but hotels are cheap there because they just want to get you in and gambling. Also, during the warmer months there are a lot of great deals available. Even if you’re not a major gambler, Vegas has tons of entertainment options including shows, great shopping, plenty of pools, and tons of tourist attractions to check out.

If you have your sights set on some relaxation, don’t worry if you don’t have thousands to spend. With a little creativity, there are plenty of options for a getaway that’s both affordable and fun.

 

 

 

 

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