Despite being on a budget, Kevin and I love to travel and have been on some pretty great trips. We don't mind spending money to travel and see new places, but we also spend a lot of time making sure that money is put to good use.
With some friends we are taking another quick weekend trip to Napa, California so I thought I would put together the ultimate travel post. Here are some tips and tricks I have picked up along the way to help your travel dollars go further:
Budget Your Vacation Days
It is nuts how many vacation days are forfeited by Americans each year. I once had a co-worker who just let her vacation PTO expire she had so much...couldn't even get a payout. That is ridiculous! Plan your hours and put them to good use. Vacations away from work help me from getting grumpy so I like to space them and plan them strategically. Generally this ends up being several weekend trips and one long trip per year. Hopefully next year we will do our first bit of international travel. (Speaking of, since I haven't done international travel, I don't have a lot of info on it, but I have heard Rick Steves is a European travel guru!)
Budget Your Money
When you know where you want to go, decide what you want to do and how much money you spend. When we took our big trip to North Carolina/South Carolina/Virginia/Georgia we generally stayed at cheaper hotels where we were completely covered by points. But then again we also splurged a night in a beautiful hotel and ate at some fine dining establishments. It is all about where you want to spend your money. Thankfully my husband Kevin also does our planning with credit cards and points. It helps us out a lot!
Prioritize the Views
I just said that we ate really well and stayed in a beautiful hotel. Mind you, I do reminisce about that, but ultimately it is the beautiful places and views that bring the most vivid memories. Thank gosh those are usually free!
Do Your Research
I do this in many ways:
--If a blogger lives or has traveled to a place you are visiting, search the blog, tweet, or email them for some info!
--You can search for a lot of great travel information on Pinterest.
--Look at Yelp for restaurant reviews.
--Monitor your rental care prices, airfare, and hotel prices. Who knows when something will go cheaper and you may want to re-book.
Also here are some of my tip sheets:
On big trips, Kevin and I collect all of our information and ideas in a Google Doc so we can access it anywhere and we can add to it and see each others additions any time. We also plug everything into Google Maps to see where we are going and what we can stop at on our way!
Now mind you, with all of these tips, I still think that some people have a better knack then others at this whole thing. Thankfully, my husband Kevin, is one of those people. He custom plans our trips and does an incredible job at it. One of his many callings I would say.
Here are some of my favorite trips past and hopefully good inspiration for you to take a vacation!
San Antonio, Austin, Carlsbad Caverns (all in one post!)
What are your favorite travel resources and tips?
I would love to hear them!