We’ve all been there… you really need to get away, but it’s just too dang expensive. You Google a cheap flight to a cheap hotel and pack your bags. Then you’re on your way! However, whadda do when you arrive at the airport and realize that you’re flying in the very back of the airplane next to the lavatories? Then you get to your hotel and realize your “total steal” of a room is located next to the public laundry room in a hotel along a busy street.
Everyone’s heard this one before: if it looks too good to be true then it probably is. There’s always the exception, sometimes you can find a great rate on a great place. But that doesn’t happen very often. I don’t want to sound discouraging, but do your homework. At the very least read reviews other people have posted. That way you know what you’re getting into. The pictures online may look spectacular, but so do pictures of Joan Rivers.
No matter what destination you daydream of while stuck in traffic, consider this: How cheap does a vacation have to be for it to just be “ok?” Do you know what I mean? What’s your threshold? Even when you book an inexpensive hotel you still expect it to be clean with a hairdryer in the bathroom and a Bible in the drawer.
Not to say you can’t vacation on a budget. That’s a very different thing. Of course it’s possible! What I’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t sacrifice something you really want on vacation just to save a few dollars. It’s kinda like eating a rice cake when you’re really craving hot, fresh, salty French fries. You’re left feeling unsatisfied. Even a cheap vacation can feel like a waste of money if you don’t get what you really want. It’s about finding the balance. A trip can be cheap, but if it isn’t any good… you still wasted your money.
So my advice? Design your budget. First, decide how much you can afford. Then, look at your trip of choice and start estimating what the costs will realistically be. Don’t forget to include everything: transportation to and from your destination (and while in town!), accommodations, food, money for activities, and of course some extra cash for those must-have souvenirs. A magnet for your neighbor as a thank you for getting your mail, a coffee cup for your brother who doesn’t drink coffee (after all, he was the one who sent you a postcard from
Mt. Rushmore with butts on it), and a “The weather is here, wish your were beautiful” postcard to your best friend. You need to try and account for everything… and then some extra “just in case.” You should be able to find the estimated costs by searching through the city’s website.
Finally total those amounts. Does it come in under your total budget? If so, take that vacation you SO deserve! If not, I recommend waiting a bit until you can afford the vacation you truly desire. Don’t book a trip that’s gonna be “just ok.”
won’t sink into the ocean in our lifetime… It’ll wait for you. But if you really want to take a vacation, maybe book a quick weekend escape and save most of your budgeted money for your next trip. Fiji
Sound overwhelming? It’s not. Just find the balance. And remember that cheap doesn’t always equal a good deal. Your perfect vacation is out there … And it’s gonna be fabulous.