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How to Plan Your Dream Vacation on a Budget
We all love to travel, but did you know that using those extra vacation days is actually good for your health? Recent studies have shown that travel has a variety of mental, emotional, and even physical health benefits.
As you probably already noticed, taking a vacation reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. Those easy days spent lounging around at the beach might even help you prevent a stroke, heart attack, or diabetes. (Now you have an even better excuse to tell your boss you need a vacation…)
In addition to the benefits listed above, travel is also important for those who are in addiction recovery. Those who are trying to stay sober can benefit from a substance-free vacation and the opportunity it brings for self discovery. The low stress levels, positive emotions, and physical distance all help reduce the chances of being triggered and relapsing.
Of course, realizing you need a vacation and actually finding the time and money to take one are two different things. Budgeting for a vacation can be tricky but it doesn’t mean you can’t take one. It just means you’ll need to get creative with your travel plans.
Here’s some advice for making your dream vacation more accessible:
Tip #1 – Be flexible. If your dates aren’t set in stone, you can set up airfare notifications for travel sites around the world. Keep an eye out because you might occasionally receive notifications about incredibly cheap tickets to ideal destinations. Some of these include “error fares” resulting from airline typos. As you might imagine, those super affordable plane seats don’t last long so you’ll want to snatch them up when you see them.
Tip #2 – Use points. This is one of the most popular ways to “travel hack” your way to a vacation on a budget. It is possible to use points from your credit card, previous hotel stays, previous flights, and even business travel to book a vacation. When all else fails, you could even use your tax refund to pay for your trip.
Tip #3 – Choose wisely. Who needs fancy hotels? Hostels or bed and breakfast options are cheaper. If you do splurge on a hotel room, perhaps only stay there one night and then compensate by staying in places below your budget for the remainder of your trip.
Tip #4 – Bring the family. If you have kids, i’s possible to take extended trips with your children on almost any budget; you’ll just have to get creative. Instead of going to Disneyworld, consider activities such as bicycling, camping, or even surfing. If you’re wondering how to afford to travel with your entire family, draw inspiration from this mommy blogger who spent five years traveling the world with her family full-time, on a salary of less than $50,000 per year!
The expert tips listed above will make it easier to afford your vacation. Of course, if you really can’t afford to travel anywhere or don’t have enough vacation days, a “staycation” might be an option. Explore your hometown on your next day off, try new restaurants you’ve never been to, or treat yourself to a spa day.
Even better, take a weekend trip somewhere within driving distance. Your mind will still be in “vacation mode” so you’ll experience some of the benefits while still saving up for your dream vacation.
Catherine Workman believes we should all leave our comfort zones once in awhile. She uses traveling to boost her physical and mental health. We hope you enjoy this guest post and the great tips provided on traveling on a limited budget! You can find out more about Catherine and her journey at: http://wellnessvoyager.com/