How to Plan a Vacation on a Budget

A vacation doesn't have to be expensive if it's planned properly. Find out how to keep on budget with this helpful guide.

Cheap Vacation Vibes

On average, people spend around $1,200 per person on vacations annually. But if you’re a student working with a tight budget, that isn’t an always an option.

You’re in the right place. The key word here is plan. To know how to vacation on a budget, planning ahead is your best friend. By deciding things in advance, you have time to do research. That way you won’t panic and spend loads on last minute hotel rooms or airfare.

Give yourself ample time to compare prices and different locations. This will also give you a realistic idea of where the most expensive places on your trip might be and what the alternatives are.

How to budget a vacation while you’re away is also really important. It isn’t just about booking cheap flights or accommodation before you go. You need a daily travel budget that you can stick to.

It can be easy to get wrapped up in the fun of a vacation but try not to let your budgeting go out of the window. A strict budget means you might have some extra cash to spend at the end of your holiday or set aside for miscellaneous expenses so you don’t have to miss out on the adventure! If you suddenly find yourself strapped for cash you might consider taking out a loan. If so, check out Bonsai Finance.

Keep an eye out for discounts along the way as well. It’s always worth asking about student discounts, as this could save you a lot in the long run!

Choose Where You Go 

Your budget will dictate where you can go to some extent. Picking the right place is key to successfully planning a vacation on a budget.

If you’re going abroad to somewhere like Rome in Italy or Costa Rica, then airfares are going to be a big cost. And you also need to be aware of how much these places will cost when you get there.

Anywhere that is popular with tourists will be fairly expensive, so staying somewhere nearby might save you some money. That way you can visit the places you want to see without the price tag.

You can also do some research into similar destinations. The less visited somewhere is, the cheaper it will be. So going somewhere off the beaten track could save you money.

But going somewhere local saves you gas and airfares. This doesn’t mean you have to visit the same places you always go to.

Do a little research into good places to visit in your state. What you find might surprise you!

Think About When You Go

Traveling during the off-season can save you a lot of money when budgeting for a vacation.

This might be tricky when you’re studying. But usually, your vacations are longer than elementary school holidays. This means you can book your flights and accommodation outside of peak times.

This doesn’t mean you have to compromise on weather either. Different holiday vacations have different seasons. So you can still catch some sun in Australia or New Zealand during January and February!

You can even embrace off-season weather. Exploring a new city in fall can be just as breathtaking as seeing it in the height of summer.

Pick Where You Stay

Accommodation is another big cost of any vacation, so if you can save money here then you slash your budget.

If you have friends or family at your vacation destination then staying with them is a great option. This doesn’t mean you have to be there all the time. It just gives you a good, free base.

Or you could try housesitting. You might not be able to find a house sitting opportunity for your whole holiday, but it could save you a couple of night’s accommodation cost.

Try to focus more on your activities than on your accommodation. Obviously, if you’re looking for a luxury holiday then a hotel is going to cost you, but if you want to visit somewhere new then what you do is more important than where you stay.

You won’t actually spend that much time at your accommodation. As long as it’s safe and comfortable you’ll be fine.

If you’re going away for a long time, you might want to mix and match your accommodation.

Think About Alternative Vacations 

You might want to plan a vacation on a budget by doing something you’ve never done before. There are some great cheaper options available.

Volunteering offers you the opportunity to see parts of the world you’ve never been to before. And you can do this at a fraction of the cost.

Most volunteering vacations will cover your accommodation, food, and travel in the country. Some even cover your flights, so you just have one upfront cost.

It also means your vacation will make a difference. In exchange, you work on projects in the place you’re visiting. This work is hard but rewarding.

But if that isn’t for you why not try going on a road trip? Taking a motor home out with some friends, or camping offers you a cheap and flexible vacation.

You can choose where you go and how long you go for. Visiting national parks or exploring nature is totally free and absolutely amazing. If you decide to do this, make sure you know the ultimate tips for camping safely.

The Bottom Line

Going on an amazing vacation as a student isn’t impossible. It just requires careful planning and you have to stick to this plan for it to work.

Now that you know how to plan a vacation on a budget, check out these great destinations for your first trip!