School is back in session, and before we know it, it will be time for Fall Break. After sheltering in place for a few months, many people are ready to get out and have some fun! Vacation rentals like condos, cabins and houses are a great option for safely enjoying a family getaway while still practicing social distancing. The beach, national parks and mountain trails are all wonderful ways to get out and about in a safe manner. And, who doesn't love a little time in the great outdoors? If you're ready to hit the road, here are some tips for how you can have a fun vacation without going into debt.
Don't go to the super popular destinations. When you think of vacation, there are probably several places that immediately come to mind: New York? Panama City Beach? Europe? Though these are all great vacation destinations, looking beyond these can save you a lot. Find a beach that isn't quite as popular, and you might find out that you save money and get the added benefit of a far-less-crowded beach!
Visit our National Parks. Our national parks are referred to as "America's Best Idea," and are truly a wonderful way to explore our great country. Most national parks are open for free right now, as they institute phased re-openings. In addition, the parks are normally a huge draw for visitors outside of the United States, and as long as travel from other countries remains restricted, the parks may see less than normal crowds. This is a great opportunity for you to save money and see some of our nation's natural wonders!
Start saving as soon as possible. If you always take your vacation at the same time each year, you should definitely have a place in your budget for that specific purpose. If you haven't been saving yet but need a few days away, start setting money aside now. Make sure your other expenses are covered and then forgo any random purchases for a few weeks in order to save up a bit for your trip. Put a picture of your vacation destination on your fridge or in your wallet so you can be reminded of it when you consider buying things you don't really need.
Take a weekend trip rather than a full week. Sure, we all know long vacations are better than short ones, but we also know that short vacations are better than no vacations. If you just can't swing a full week away right now, take a long weekend trip somewhere not too far away and enjoy the time you have. A little relaxation is still relaxation, and it won't cost you nearly as much money.
Take Dave's advice. Dave Ramsey has some great tips and tricks on how to make this vacation the best, things to budget for while getting ready for your vacation, and how to go on vacation even when you're trying to get out of debt.