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Don’t trip, Take Trip

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From recent graduates to young professionals, no matter the stage of life,  everyone needs a vacation. It might seem that a vacation is not in your budget, but it could be with a little preparation and money management.

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In 2014, the average vacation expense per person in the United States was $1,145 or $ 4,580 for a family of four, according to American Express. But don’t hang up your hat just yet on your dream trip. I’ve learned some simple hacks that can stretch your dollar. For one, try planning your trip months in advance. I know it sounds easy enough but the hard part is actually going through with it. I would suggest giving yourself at least 6 months in advance on a vacation. When you do this you give yourself more time to create a money management plan.

Firstly, try planning your trip a few months in advance. I know it sounds easy enough but the hard part is actually going through with this plan. I would suggest giving yourself at least 6 months in advance for a vacation. When you do this you give yourself more time to create a money management plan.

When you do this you give yourself more time to create a money management plan.

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Once you pick your destination, pay for a one-way flight. Some people say that paying for a round-trip is easier, but in my experience paying one way at a time doesn’t break the bank, other bills have to be paid as well.

For example, I went on a trip and paid a one-way ticket to San Juan that costs about $230 in March. Then a month later I paid $325 for the ticket to come back home. So in total, I spent $555 for my flight.

Another hack is to invite friends on your vacation. The more people you go on the trip with, the less you would have to spend on the hotel fees.

Depending on where you stay and travel to, the average lodging cost per trip is around $150 per night, according to Entrepreneur. People normally go on vacation between three to five days, sometimes even seven days, that means your spend anywhere between $450 to $1,050 in hotel fees. By adding more people to your trip you can cut the expenses down.

For example, I’m staying in a hotel for four days in San Juan, PR and I have about 5 other girls coming with me. We got two rooms and split the cost equally. It ended up being about $260 per person for the room fee for the whole trip. The total of my flight and hotel fee added together ended up being $815.  It sometimes can be cheaper if you choose Airbnb instead of using a hotel. This is really simple to us. First,  you find the place you want to travel to, then get an Airbnb account and search for what types of housing you would like to book.

There are many other ways that you can have a great vacation without going over budget.  One such option is to go on a cruise. When going on cruises you can see one or more places and the food is included in the package.

When budgeting for a vacation people sometimes forget that food and drinks cost a pretty penny as well. The fact that cruises include food, means you cut down the extra cost for that. Another plus is that it’s an easy way to have a lot of fun and see a lot of places all at one time. Most cruises require a down payment, then months later you pay the rest of the bill. This is helpful and goes back to the idea of managing of your money.

Another route you can go when thinking about your vacation is staying in your own country.  We have 50 beautiful states that are just waiting to be explored. From the tall mountains in Montana to the French quarters of Louisiana, staying in the country cuts down high plane tickets costs. In addition, you have more room to use other methods of transportation. You can choose driving your own car, taking a train or just taking the bus.

I would also suggest a staycation.  A staycation is when you take a vacation in your own backyard. You may live in a state but haven’t been to many of the surrounding cities there. Which is fine, but if you have a long weekend ahead of you, and it’s too short notice to go out the country or even to a different state you can always just explore the surrounding towns even your own.

One tip I would use if planning a staycation is Groupon. Over a million people use the website. You can find coupons on local restaurant attractions and more. This is a great tool to use on a staycation.  You can also go to local towns’ website and see what events are happening. Sometimes they would post free concerts and arts and craft events for the children. Plus the best way to go is free. You will be surprised about a number of free things you can do.

So there are many ways you can go to your dream vacation or have a get away without stressing out about money. You would have more time to just kick back and relax.

Following simple tips about money management, travelling to other countries one step at a time or spending time in your own area,  you can find a great escape from your day to day life.

quisha walker