Thankfully long gone are the days when any form of extended traveling was only limited to the wealthy. Today most persons interested in traveling can afford it, but there will be one limitation. How much are you willing to spend on this pastime?
When traveling on a budget, the only way to have a resoundingly good time is to have a plan going into your trip. This plan has to include the transportation method and its cost, the expected duration and accommodations, activities and tours while on site, meals and a discretionary spending budget.
Based on the chosen location, the method of transportation includes by air, rail, boat, bus or a rising favorite, the RV. When the costs of accommodation and food are added to the airfare prices, renting an RV and getting RV supplies might be the best bet if traveling long distances; that way what was one vacation has become a trip to remember.
Make a Realistic Budget
Using guidebooks and the internet come up with your ideal vacation plans and assign a dollar value to each. Given the economic uncertainties, add an extra 10% to each price to account for fluctuations. After this is done, add transportation, accommodation and meal estimates and then add an extra 25% to that to also account for fluctuations and on the fly spending. Once the estimation is gathered, decide if the trip is worth it at that price if not, pare off some of the excess fat from your planned activities. Once your economic reality is realized, begin to gather supplies and reserve advanced accommodations.
Budget Friendly Places to Eat
If you are a wine aficionado looking to enjoy the local five-star offerings, plan on limiting meals. If you want each dollar to stretch, try some of the local street food offerings such as a hot dog or sandwich vendor. Another great money saving idea is to check out a local buffet as they typically offer more food for your buck. If all else fails you can always rely on finding a fast food outlet or a supermarket where you can purchase items to prepare from your RV.
Another point under eating is snacking, these cheap candy bar, soda and ice cream purchases can and will add up if not controlled. If possible, avoid snacking and stick to big full (and healthy) meals at all times.
Finally, remember to pack a water bottle or two and use them throughout the day. Most places have a cooler on the site that offers free and clean water.
Track all Spending
After making your budget and arriving on location, the excitement of actually being able to do this can cause a bit more extra spending. If you have created a reasonable budget with discretionary spending, be sure to reconcile it at the end of the day. By doing this, you will know how much can be spent on any unplanned excursion or purchase and you can adjust each day accordingly.