5 Tips for Planning your 2010 Vacation on a Budget

The excitement of the holidays is over, a new year has already arrived, and it's not too early to start planning your 2010 vacation. Here are 5 tips to help you organize your thoughts and get you on the road to planning an exciting family vacation on a budget:
  1. Choose the Destination
    Where to go? That's always the foremost question, and probably the most fun one to answer. Beach, mountain, theme park, National Park? You can begin with a "wish list" and then pare it down in practical terms of budget and time. The internet makes destination research fun and easy and you can involve the entire family.

  2. Allot Your Budget
    The second thing to consider is finances. If places on your wish list are a little extravagant for the current economic times, decide very precisely what you can afford and stick to that. You'll be much happier after your vacation knowing you stayed within budget and aren't buried under more bills when you return home.

  3. Accommodations
    You can pack a tent for camping, or rent an RV for a road trip. If you will be vacationing in one spot, considering renting a timeshare rather than staying in a hotel. You'll not only save money on the accommodation itself compared to hotel rooms, but you'll save money on meals (use the timeshare kitchen to feed those constantly hungry kids) and on activities - you'll be able to take advantage of the resort's many amenities including swimming pools, playgrounds and tennis courts to mention just a few.

  4. Go Light on Luggage
    Our best tip here is to pack light. We all have a tendency to take way more than we need on a vacation. You'll want to keep your suitcase number to a minimum if you're flying now that the airlines are charging up to $50 per checked bag. If you're driving, you'll have happier kids in a roomier car, plus less weight improves your gas mileage. An advantage to timeshare rental is the washer and dryer that come with most, so, it’s easy to pack less items and still have lots of clean clothes.

  5. Plan Ahead
    If you plan to fly, there are many internet sites to help you find the cheapest air fares. Some sites will automatically watch for and compare all fares and alert you. If you'll be driving you can save up to 50 cents a gallon by keeping track of the cheapest gas prices along your route through sites such as gasbuddy.com and gaspricewatch.com.
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