Texas Travel

Tips to Cut Spending, Not Fun, on Your Summer Vacation

By Haley Shapley 5.9.16

You might be preparing for the ultimate summer road trip with your loved ones. Maybe you’re planning for an exotic getaway. Or perhaps you’re getting ready for an outdoors adventure with friends or family.

Whatever your summer vacation plans entail, you don’t want to let budget constraints spoil the fun. So try these tips for frugal traveling:

Start budgeting now
The earlier you create a budget for your trip, the more flexibility you have. Set up a dedicated travel fund, look for deals, and track airline prices. Think about your priorities — if there’s an attraction that’s on your must-experience list, for example, look into whether reduced pricing is offered on certain days or times, and plan around that.

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Hotel fees can really add up. Consider a home exchange — while you dream of tossing coins into the Trevi Fountain in Rome, an Italian family might want to learn the Texas two-step. Check with your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent to see if there are any insurance considerations you should take into account for home swaps.

Find a full house
Another great option is to rent a house. Often you’ll get less expensive (and more spacious) quarters than a standard hotel room. The savings may increase the larger your group is, so if you can vacation with another family and split the cost, all the better. Having a kitchen can reduce pricy meals out, too.

Rethink planes, trains, and automobiles
For domestic vacations, transportation costs consume an average of 39 percent of the budget; for international travel, that figure rises to 54 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you’re flying, can you depart on a less popular day, like a Tuesday or Wednesday? Or could you leave from an alternate airport with better rates? Remember to look into the public transportation and walking options at your destination.

Get back to nature
They say the best things in life are free, and when it comes to the great outdoors, that’s never truer. Spend your vacation camping, hiking, and splashing around in lakes, and you’ll rack up plenty of memorable experiences without the hefty price tags.

Texas Heritage for Living® has a helpful road-trip survival guide to get you started, along with plenty of other great travel tips.