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The Best Dollar-Stretching Weekend Getaway Tips

Guest Post by Henry Moore

Is it time to get out of town?  Everyone needs a getaway now and then.  If you’re ready for a break but your budget is tight, you can still enjoy a weekend trip.  Just follow these tips to make the most of every dollar.


Start with flexibility.  Being open to switching up travel dates, times and destinations can make all the difference when you’re watching your budget.  For instance, traveling offseason can give you the most bang for your buck, and on top of that you can avoid the crowds.  Steering clear of holiday weekends is also smart and consider activities at your destination that could jack up pricing such as major sporting events or conventions.  And if you have a canine companion to consider and you can’t bring Fido along, you can book affordable pet care providers through online pet service sites.  They vet the caregivers, and you can locate a pet sitter or boarder that fits your budget.


Save but don’t plan.  How much do you want to spend on your trip?  Fun, Cheap or Free recommends saving for your getaway ahead of time, then being ready to act on impulse so you can snag the best travel deals.  By having your funds already set aside and being open minded about when, where and how, you can snap up sales as soon as you see them.  You can often catch last-minute, discounted reservations with airlines and hotels that don’t want to leave slots empty.  Also, make it a point to check warehouse retailers for discounts and package deals, since they often offer special pricing for their customers.


Consider alternative lodging.  Staying in a hotel is usually convenient and comfortable, but you do have other options that could be just as nice and less expensive.  One idea is to make arrangements to swap houses or rooms with a private individual for a frugal getaway.  You could also look for a hostel, bed and breakfast or condo.


Less popular = less expensive.  When you’re looking for a particular kind of getaway, sometimes seeking a destination that suits your concept but is a bit off the beaten path can save you big bucks.  One example is beach vacations.  As Dave Ramsey points out, oceanside destinations will be more popular than their Gulf Shore counterparts, and as a result those less popular beaches equate to less expensive vacations.  Along with less costly lodging, your restaurants and attractions are also likely to be easier on your wallet.


Enjoy nature.  Visiting state or national parks is a fun option for a frugal weekend getaway, and you can take in the great outdoors.  There is plenty to do, from hiking to horseback riding and from swimming to geocaching.  Many parks offer inns and restaurants, or you can do some camping.  Tents, RVs and all the gear you need, can be rented if you aren’t already equipped.  You can even search for a national park by the activity, topic or destination.


Tours and such.  When you reach your destination, you have many inexpensive options for entertainment.  You can search out local festivals, walking tours and self-guided driving tours.  Consider renting a Segway or bicycle so you can absorb the area culture up close and personally, or participate in a guided tour for information and insights.  You can often see local attractions and find the best eateries through rubbing elbows with the natives, getting a perspective you won’t find any other way.


You don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy a great getaway.  Save your pennies and be ready for a weekend trip.  A little ingenuity can go a long way when it comes to stretching your travel budget.

For more articles like this, visit Henry Moore’s site.

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