Vacations – A great fun
Vacations as a family is a great way of having unadulterated fun together. But what with the ongoing recession and the general state of the global economy, and salary cuts and missed perks, planning an extended vacation with the whole family is a very expensive affair. Only a few can still afford to go really far away and explore, see, hear and experience. This article is for people who cannot afford to spend a lot of money but badly need a break from the grind of everyday life, and want a holiday more than anything else.
If you follow a few steps we outline for you, you will end up saving quite a bit of money and pack in a fun filled vacation too.
First things first- make a travel plan at least a couple of months ahead of time. At least decide where you want to go (this will be your center) and what places you would like to see with that center. Accordingly, book flight tickets.
Next, look up traveler’s guidebooks for a place to stay in. For instance, if you want a week off in Italy, get a book that describes things you can see and do in Italy, and fix a location where you will be starting from. Look up the list of inexpensive hotels or hostels for leisure travelers which you should find in the same handbook. A good idea is to call and make a reservation. Alternatively, you can do this online, if the hotel has its own website, and make your payment by credit card. If you visit a tourist spot when it is not the peak season, you can save a lot of money by way of discounts at hotels. This works if you visit Switzerland in mid-January. Once you reach your center, you can make more informed decisions about the places you will visit in the next few days. At these spots, you can try staying at youth hostels or motels slightly off city limits, again to save some money.
Now comes the question of how you will be moving around once you get to the destination of your choice. Public transport will always work out cheaper than using a car exclusively for your family. Most European cities and some in Asia have excellent networks of public transport. All you have to go is go the bus or metro station and get a pass. With this single pass, you can move through the city in a bus or metro and go wherever you like, once you have made the payment. For internal travel, this is your best bet. When you have to move to locations which are farther apart, try sharing a large car with another family. You can also use the train services available. In some countries like India, there are bus services between focal tourist centers.
To save money on food, stay at a place which lets you cook. Eating out for days on end isn’t healthy, gets expensive and boring.
Students can save money by presenting their international student ID card which fetches higher discounts at hostels and free entry to museums and other places.