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In an ideal world, we would all be able to take luxurious vacations each year and never have to worry about how much it costs.  Unfortunately, that is not the reality for most of us. Planning a vacation takes a lot of time, effort, and most importantly, money.  

When it comes to taking a vacation, budgeting is crucial to making sure you’re spending within your means and aren’t wasting money on anything.  If you have some vacation time saved up and want to take a trip this year, here are a few money-saving tips to ensure you have a stress-free experience!

Figure Out Where You Want to Go

This is the fun part!  Choosing a destination depends on a number of factors.  How much are you able/willing to spend on this trip? Do you want to go somewhere warm or cold?  How far are you prepared to travel? Considering these things will help you get a clearer idea of where you can afford to travel to, and you’ll be able to start narrowing down destinations from there.  If you live in Atlanta, for example, start thinking of places that aren’t too far from home.  Choosing to vacation somewhere you could easily drive to rather than fly can save you a ton of money in travel expenses, and you’ll be able to save more money for experiences once you get to your destination.

Plan Your Itinerary

Once you decide on a place to vacation, start thinking about things you’d like to do and see when you get there.  Visiting amusement parks, museums, and other local attractions can get pretty costly when you take admission fees into consideration, so try limiting the number of things you do on your vacation to something feasible.  It can also be helpful to look into free activities, like public parks and beaches, so that you can spend more money on other things.  It is also important to factor in how much money you’ll be spending on things like meals at restaurants and souvenirs, so try looking for coupons to help you save money on these things.  

Cut Corners Where You Can

Once you get to your destination, start thinking of ways you can cut corners on things like transportation, lodging, and other aspects of your trip.  Rather than book an expensive hotel room, looking into renting through sites like Airbnb instead. Staying at an Airbnb allows you to live like the locals in an actual house or apartment, and this option is often cheaper than staying at a hotel.  Instead of renting a car on vacation, look into public transportation. Most cities have some sort of public transit system, whether it be busses, subways, or both.  If the place you’re traveling to is easily accessible by modes of public transportation, take advantage of that and look into buying a transit pass to use during your stay.  You won’t have to worry about parking, and you’ll be able to freely explore wherever you’re staying!

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