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Budget Travel Advice And Tips

This year traveling on a budget is going to be forced upon many families and that is a shame. the reason that it is a shame is that it's how people should have been travelling all along. Fancy hotels and cool rental cars are nice but the reason that people go on vacation is to relax, see new places, and do new things. If more people would spend the night at a Motel 6 and drive a rented Ford Taurus then they could spend a few extra days soaking up the sun on the beach, exploring the mountains, shopping for antiques, or whatever else they want to do on vacation. Personally when I am on vacation a car is a way to get around and the room (or tent) is a place to sleep, nothing more.

Fortunately for the budget travel neophyte, this year's tough economy should provide a lot of great travel deals. Flights, cars, and rooms should all be picked up for quite a discount based on last year's prices. The key tip for budget travel is to have a date set for your vacation or better yet a slightly flexible date. This will allow you to adjust your vacation based on what dates are the cheapest for your chosen destination. Start plugging this dates into reservation websites such as hotels.com and see what you come up with. This can serve as a baseline for your continued search as the date approaches. It is good advice to search multiple reservation sites when travelling on a budget. At times one site might offer a much better deal than the others. Another tip is to keep an eye on promotions. The reservation sites as well as the individual airline, rental car, or hotel websites might run promotions that can sweeten the deal. Last summer I reserved a room for two nights at the beach for about 120 dollars and received a 25 dollar gas card. I certainly expect better promotions this year for the budget traveler to enjoy.

While everyone looks at the expensive items when planning a budget vacation it is often the little things that wreck the budget. Here are some tips and advice on the little things to keep your vacation on budget. An ice cooler filled with drinks and snacks is a must. Just buying drinks one at a time from a gas stations and fast food restaurants is a big use of money. Stock up on bottles or cans bought in packages. Plan to eat at least every breakfast in your room. If you get free breakfast that is great, but a box or two of Pop-Tarts is a lot cheaper than a restaurant breakfast. Set a limit to be spent at beach shops and other gift stores. Let's face it, most of it is junk that will get quickly broken or lost, so just don't buy it. And for goodness sake stay away from those timeshare presentations.

Budget travel may not be everyone's favorite way to vacation, but it sure beats not getting to go on a vacation at all. If a long trip is not possible this year maybe try camping close to home or some other relaxing local trip.

By J. Motes - Motes has been published in a variety of national and regional publications on subjects ranging from frugal living to rabbit hunting.  





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