Summer Vacation Ideas – Planning is Key to Travel Savings

summer vacation ideas

The following is from Len Stemberger.  He’s married to Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, which some of you may recognize.

Like many families, as summer approaches, we look forward to our vacation.  If you are looking to make the most of your time, it may be time to start planning now – hotels and airfare need to be booked, and tickets for certain attractions should be purchased.

But the first thing to do is decide where to go.  This is always the hardest part for us.  Do we go to one of our favorite places, or do we venture into unchartered territory and try something new?


For us, this is actually a bit of both:

Option 1 – A Summer Cruise

We’ve been on several cruises before, so this is something that we know we enjoy and are comfortable with doing again.  But cruising does not always have to be the same thing.  Even if you stick to the same cruise line each time, look at a different itinerary.  Each new stop at a different port is an opportunity for a brand new vacation whether you are on the same ship as before or not.

But the reverse is also true!  Even if you end up going to the same ports that you’ve been to many times, doing so on a different ship can give the same feeling of newness.  There are usually two or three different cruise lines operating out of the major ports, and each of these cruise lines operates a couple of different ships each.  Between the different itineraries and all the available ships, you can take dozens of different cruises without having to repeat the same vacation!


Option 2 – A Vegas Road Trip

vegas road tripWhile we’ve been to Las Vegas a couple of times before, we have never driven there.  Driving offers the opportunity to take in some of the sights in that part of the country like the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon.  This particular option may be the best for us because I’ve been itching to get back to Vegas, and my other half has a thing for road trips.  I started playing online roulette about 6 months ago, and I’ve been wanting to try out my skills in person.

This trip offers the best of both worlds – natural beauty mixed with the fun and grandeur of Las Vegas.  Vegas also offers us a chance to see some of our favorite shows like Penn and Teller and Cirque du Soleil, and the opportunity to eat at some of our favorite restaurants, including Hugo’s Cellar in The Four Queens.  While this option may not be feasible as a road trip for everyone, depending on which part of the country you are in, the option to fly into Las Vegas and rent a car is always available.


Start With a Travel Budget

Where ever you decide to travel to planning ahead will save both time and money. Start with a realistic budget and save enough each month so that you will have accumulated enough to cover your travel expenses with 10% left over for unexpected expenses. Starting with a budget will make planning your summer vacation much easier. Budgeting in advance will also give you time to research for the best lodging and airfare rates as well as allow you the time to come up with the additional funds.

It’s about that time of year again – start thinking ahead to where you want to go this summer.  The time to start making plans and bookings is now!  Where do you plan to go for your summer vacation?

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