The mere thought of taking a vacation can bring about a hugely diverse range of emotions depending on who you are and what your personal circumstances. What crosses your mind will largely be determined by whether you are a parent, child, single, part of a couple or in a group.
A mother, for instance, will perhaps be considering how to keeping their children amused and making sure they have enough to wear. A child, meanwhile, will be thinking of where they can play or what they can eat whilst they are away. If you are single it could be that you will be looking to meet new people so the night-life may be your primary concern.
Whatever your priorities, you will almost certainly also be looking for rest and relaxation, new experiences and fun, the chance to savor good food or just somewhere completely different. It doesn’t matter what the climate is, these are essentially the goals we all have.
In all this, there will always be one person – usually the bread-winner – who above everything else, can hear the constant ringing of cash registers above the excitement and that immediate fills them with a sense of dread.
Let me tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way. The key to keeping tabs on your vacation spending is in the preparation, long before you leave home.
Starting with the obvious, the Internet is a wonderful tool littered with great travel websites with vast amounts of information on things to do and see. Whether it’s a commercial enterprise or a local tourist information site it is not too difficult to learn about the attractions around your destination. By contacting these organizations and asking for free or budget options you can save a significant amount of money.
You can try Internet search terms such as: “Things to do for free in” and the name of the town or region and this should provide a number of other possibilities. Basically, as long as you use keywords such as free, budget and value you’ll get a much better idea of affordable facilities on offer in the area. The added bonus is that you’ll feel far better prepared and at home than if you just turn up at the resort without knowing anything about the place.
Why not involve the children in this process and get them to make a list of the type of activities they would like to try and tailor those around what is available. Let them help build an itinerary but do make sure you include one real treat to keep the happy and heighten the anticipation.
Once away, you can try a new or different pastime such as painting or drawing which you can do by taking a small sketch pad and art box with you. Maybe you can use the local store to experiment with cooking local produce – you have an activity and a meal in one and a chance to have fun as a family.
One of the more expensive options you get on vacations are the package tours but you can easily create your own trips with the aid of guides from the web and using public transport. Cycling is also an option especially if you are able to take your own but even hiring can be relatively inexpensive.
There’s much to be gained by merely mixing with the people in the area and if you can make friends, your whole vacation experience is likely to be enhanced immeasurably. You can exchange ideas on what to see and do with fellow tourists or be lucky enough to be invited to local community events by locals which will give you a truer representation of wherever it is you happen to be.
All in all you just need to think a little creatively when watching the pennies. By sticking to the tourist traps you will inevitably pay through the nose so it’s best to venture into the back streets and further afield and then your vacation becomes much more of an adventure. Stick to these rules and you’ll have a vacation to treasure.