By Emma Lucchesi
Summer is usually filled with laughter, lake trips, boat rides, loads of sunscreen, town festivals and leisurely walks in the sunshine. With the age of social media on the rise, we can’t ignore pictures and posts of all of these summer activities as well as the extravagant trips and adventures our friends are taking. Whether it’s a family vacation, honeymoon or a trip with a group of friends, vacationers’ pictures always cause me to think of two adjectives: “fun” yet “expensive.”
Last year, my blog post focused on finding local places to explore. I ended my post with this advice,
“There are always places to explore, you just might have to look a little harder.”
While true, many of us want to experience the awe of different landscapes. So how does one go about planning a trip without breaking the bank? Below are three pieces of advice that have helped me along my travels:
- Be Open to Simple Adventures
Your high school friend Hilary posing in front of Buckingham Palace in her recent Instagram post doesn’t mean you should book a plane ticket to London. I’m guessing a spontaneous trip to England isn’t in your budget right now. Instead, look for neat national parks near you and take a road trip or hop on a cheap bus to a park in the region. I use the REI Co-op National Parks Guide app to plan my adventures. The app shows you parks in your vicinity. Summer is a time to know your limits in terms of time and budget, but still go on adventures!
- Airbnb is Your New Best Friend
Move over hotels.com, Airbnb is taking your spot! Airbnb is a great traveling tool that shouldn’t be overlooked. Airbnb.com is a website that allows travelers to find affordable, fun places to stay. Most Airbnbs are cheaper to stay at than hotels and are sometimes closer to your destination. Staying at an Airbnb can be an adventure in itself! Stay in a yurt or go glamping for a change. When looking at Airbnbs, be sure to check out the reviews and comments of past travelers who stayed there.
- Be an Adventurous Penny Pincher
You can be adventurous while being budget conscious. Instead of making impulse buys throughout your trip, be smart and plan ahead. Buy that pack of gum before you get to the airport. Bring an empty water bottle through airport security so you can fill it up afterwards. See if your Airbnb has a kitchen, and if so, eat out one night and plan meals for the rest! Make a tentative itinerary with all of the activities available and their price ranges. While one should be a penny pincher, allow yourself to splurge on some fun activities as well. Just know that everything is a tradeoff. The kayak rental may be great, but you might have to give up snorkeling for it.
Every trip has opportunity costs whether it is your time, money, or sanity. Just know your limits, and plan a trip around your desires. This summer, I traveled to Zion National Park in Utah. All of the pictures on this blog post are activities and places I was able to see without breaking the bank. The three tips listed above allowed me to explore while staying under my budget. I hope they do the same for you!
Safe and Cheap Travels,