Summer Travel on a Budget

Happy family on a beach together
April 15, 2024 |
Article | 4 min
| Personal Insights

Everyone deserves a break and summer is right around the corner. Are you ready to make amazing summer memories? We’ve got essential summer travel tips to make your vacation a memorable one while staying within your budget. From packing hacks to destination recommendations, this list is all you’ll need for summer travel on a budget. Sit back, grab a refreshing drink, and let us help you plan a relaxing vacation that won’t break the bank.

Choose the Perfect Destination

Everyone’s budget is different and it’s important to stay within your means. While every vacation can be a memorable, valuable investment, you’ll want to make sure your dreams are in line with your savings. Whether you’re in the mood for a beach resort, national park or vibrant city with cultural events, there are multiple destinations that offer affordable accommodations and attractions, allowing you to make the most of your budget.

Plan and Budget in Advance

You deserve a vacation, so let’s be fiscally responsible and plan ahead. In order to take that trip of your dreams, you’ll need to think about how much it will cost to book a flight, take a train, or drive to the destination. You’ll also want to budget for a hotel or vacation rental, fun activities, and eating out.

While these are all important factors, you’ll also want to ensure that you aren’t cutting it too close to your max budget. Save a bit aside in case of an unexpected emergency. We hope your travels are filled with nothing but excitement and joy, but accidents happen, flights get cancelled, and unexpected circumstances could throw off your plans. Be prepared and budget accordingly. Here are a few more tips to help you prepare.

  • Research and Compare Prices 
    Look for affordable flights, accommodations and transportation options. Utilize travel websites and apps to find the best deals.
  • Set a Daily Budget 
    Determine how much you’re willing to spend each day, including meals, activities and souvenirs. Stick to this budget to avoid overspending.
  • Look for Free or Low-Cost Activities 
    Many destinations offer free or inexpensive attractions such as public parks, local festivals and walking tours. Take advantage of these opportunities to explore and reduce your spend.

Pack with Intention

Ever make it to the beach only to realize you forgot sunscreen and the hotel wants $20 for a small bottle? We all do it! We forget the one thing we need most to stay healthy, happy and safe on our adventures. To avoid these vacation pitfalls, make a packing list and check off each item as you place it in your suitcase.

When you pack efficiently, you can save hundreds and spend that money on more valuable experiences. Here are some budget-friendly packing tips to help you leave the stress of forgetting at the door:

  • Avoid Excess Baggage Fees 
    Pack light to avoid excess baggage fees, packing only the essentials. Mix and match clothing items to create different outfits. Bring travel size toiletries to save space.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 
    Bring reusable items, like a reusable water bottle and food containers. This allows you to save money on drinks and snacks while on-the-go.
  • Visit Your Pharmacy for Essentials 
    Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, insect repellent and any necessary medications to avoid purchasing them at higher prices at your destination.

Eat Like a Local

We’ve all been there. It’s 12:30, you’re hungry, and you don’t care how much cash you have in your pocket, you just want food. It’s easy to find affordable options when you know your surroundings, but vacations take a bit more research. Don’t let your stomach make your financial decisions. Look up local markets, grocery stores and restaurants before you go and plan your daily spending accordingly.

Travel enables us to try new things, including local delicacies. One of the best ways to experience a destination on a budget is by exploring local cuisine. Whether you try the mom-and-pop diner or splurge on a nice dinner out, there are several ways to explore on a budget. When you plan your trip, look up local restaurants in the vicinity of your accommodations. What restaurants are on your must-try list and which ones could you skip? Do your research and plan your meals accordingly to stay on-budget. Here are a few tips we suggest to stay on track:

  • Seek Out the Local Spots 
    Try authentic and affordable dishes from food stalls and local markets. Ask your hotel concierge, taxi drivers or retail shop workers what they recommend.
  • Stop at the Local Grocer 
    If your accommodation has a kitchenette, consider preparing some of your meals. Visit local supermarkets to buy fresh produce and ingredients.
  • Create Memorable To-Go Meals 
    Enjoy a budget-friendly meal by having a picnic in a park or at the beach. Pack some sandwiches, fruits and snacks for a delightful outdoor experience.

Transportation Tips

Once you get there, how are you getting around? Transportation to and from your destination always make it into the budget, but have you considered how much taxi services, public transportation, or rental cars will be? Don’t worry. Many destinations have plenty of transportation options available, but make sure to plan for these expenses as part of your vacation budget. To save money on transportation during your summer vacation, consider the following:

  • Accommodations & Location 
    While researching your accommodations, make sure that your hotel or vacation rental is centrally located to the activities and restaurants that you’d like to visit. You’ll save a lot of money by walking to these destinations instead of paying for cabs.
  • Leverage Public Transportation 
    Depending on the city’s safety rating, public transportation can be a great way to get around. Utilize public transportation, like buses, trains, or trams to get around. Public transportation is often more affordable than taxis or rental cars, plus you’ll get to take in new sights along the way.
  • Rental Car Alternatives 
    Explore your destination on foot, rent a bike, or leverage apps that allow you to rent someone’s personal vehicle. These alternatives save money and allow you to discover hidden gems off the beaten path.

Are you ready to take your next trip? Adventure awaits this summer! Make your plan now to have your perfect summer vacation on a budget. We can’t wait to hear where your planning takes you.