Rules of Planning an Inexpensive Vacation
- Written by Philip Banks
A vacation should be a stress-free, relaxing time for a traveler to unwind and have fun. Vacationers can usually enjoy a calming vacation even more if they know they are saving money. Sometimes the stress of money can ruin a vacation, shorten a vacation, or even prevent a vacation from happening in the first place.
A traveler who is looking to plan a financially friendly vacation may need to keep an open mind to scheduling and destination choices. However, the compromises are usually worth it in the amount of money that can be saved. Vacationers can keep their wallets thick by traveling at off-peak times, choosing a destination that may not be considered "popular" or a country with a struggling economy and trying out a new resort's "soft opening."
Every destination has a peak time and off-peak time. Knowing the best time to travel to certain hot spots can save vacationers money and the frustration of dealing with large crowds. A "peak time" is a popular time to travel to certain destinations because of weather or holiday schedules. However, if a traveler is available to travel on an off peak time that may not be as open for other vacationers, he or she can take advantage of some great deals.
The Caribbean experiences an off-peak time in the fall because of the threat of a rainy hurricane season. Resorts may drop their rates and offer discounts or specials for those who travel during this time. There is also "Cancel for Any Reason" insurance that may be purchased with the vacation in case the hurricane threat does come to fruition. A traveler who is willing to take a chance and travel to the Caribbean in the fall can save a lot of money.
A Disneyland or Disney World vacation will always include dealing with large crowds and long lines. The theme parks draw a great number of visitors throughout the year. However, they do experience "off" times when children are in school. The specials that Disney and its surrounding resorts run usually come during the school year. A traveler who isn't traveling with children or is able to take the children out of school for the vacation can benefit from some great discounts at the theme parks.
If a traveler is considering Europe to be the next vacation destination, he or she might want to think about traveling there in the winter time. While it may not be a tropical vacation spot, it can save a traveler on air fare, hotel stay and attraction admission. In some cases, it can be three times as expensive to fly to Europe in the summer time. While it may be chilly outside for tourists, most of the exciting cultural sights are in the theaters, museums, shops and buildings anyway. One of the best times to travel to Europe is around Thanksgiving time. While most North American destinations look at this holiday as a peak vacation time, Europe doesn't participate in the festivities and therefore, doesn't raise hotel or airfare rates.
Another great way for a vacationer to economize while traveling is by choosing a destination that may have been in the public eye in a negative light or has recently dealt with a disaster. One of the examples of this is New Orleans. The city is still rebuilding from the damage that Hurricane Katrina has left and it needs tourists to visit to build up the industry. The city's hotels and attractions are offering all time low rates in order to get the volume of tourists needed to rebuild the city. Aruba is another destination that is offering staggeringly low rates in order to attract tourists. The island was hit with the misfortune of the highly publicized Natalie Holloway case. The number of tourists choosing the island as their destination dwindled after the tragedy. Since Aruba was bashed in the public eye, it is now trying to restore its tourist industry and is offering tourists discounted rates they can't refuse. Mexico has recently dealt with the swine flu scare and a weak economy, so it may be the next tourist destination to offer great rates and discounts. A country that is suffering from a weak economy may also be interested in building up the tourist industry to gain more capita. Since the United States is experiencing a declining economy, destination spots like Las Vegas, Hawaii and Disney are offering low rates to tourists who are willing to travel there. Mexico's economy has also been faltering lately and the country is turning to the tourism industry to help get it back on its feet. In order to draw more tourists, the country is opening new resorts and more than likely will propose valuable offers to travelers.
Choosing a destination in a country where the American dollar is strong, such as Amsterdam, can also get a tourist monumental savings on food, beverages, clothing and souvenirs while in the country.
Searching for resorts that are offering "soft openings" can be advantageous for those travelers looking for a great deal. These top notch resorts charge an extremely discounted rate for vacationers who are willing to be the first guests at the resort. In return, the new guests may encounter hiccups and bumps in the road as the resort tries to get on its feet. The resort makes no apologies or compensations for these possible malfunctions because it is part of the deal that the guest has agreed to with the soft opening. Since Mexico is an up and coming hot spot for new resorts, there may be many soft openings available for travelers who are anxious to stay in a brand new resort as a part of the opening experiment. It is possible to find great airfare and resort prices for vacationers on a budget. Frugal travelers who are flexible about their destination and when they take their vacation will usually find the best deals. In order to find some of the greatest offers, travelers need to go to a destination that may not be "popular" or a country with a declining economy, choose an off-peak time to travel and try out a brand new resort's "soft opening."
By following these rules, a traveler can get a great vacation for an even greater price.