As summer draws to a close, there’s still time to have that last summer adventure before school starts back up again.
Many last minute vacations can be expensive, as many things, like flights, go up in price if you buy them last minute. There are, however, still a few ways to go on that last summer vacation on the cheap.
Staycation was a popular term a few years ago during the depths of the recession, as folks traded vacations to far away destinations to staycations rediscovering the fun to be had nearby.
Need ideas for what to do on a staycation? Look for attractions nearby that youv’e always wanted to try but didn’t, places like museums, national parks, local amusement parks, zoos, aquariums, minor or major league sports, and tourist spots.
We often miss local attractions because we can go whenever we want… which results in us never going!
Last Minute Cruises
If you happen to live near a popular cruise port, chances are you already know this tip. Last minute cruises are ridiculously cheap because the cruise ship is leaving with its full complement of crew and supplies regardless of the number of passengers.
If you live near a port, it’s a great way to go on a cheap vacation because you don’t have to spend any money getting to the port.
This is less effective for those who need to fly or drive long distances to get to a convenient port but even then it could be worth it.
Stay at a Bed and Breakfast
Where ever you end up going, skip the pricey hotel and stay at a bed & breakfast.
A B&B is often cheaper than your average hotel and it gives you a chance to stay somewhere different and fun.
Most hotels are the same, but a B&B often has far more character and depending on how interactive the owner is, they may have far more information about what’s fun to do nearby that might be off the beaten path.
Get all of the character and flavor of a local area while saving money, a double win!
If the bed & breakfasts at your location are still too expensive, consider going on AirBNB to rent a room directly from an owner, without the added flourish of a B&B and breakfast.
This is especially useful for last minute trips where you must travel somewhere and everything else is booked up.
Pack Your Lunches and Snacks
On our trips, we like to stay on the move and soak in as much as possible. Sometimes that means bringing a brown bag lunch so we don’t have to spend an hour or so in one place just to eat.
The lunch ends up being far cheaper, we don’t have to spend time searching for a place to eat, and we still get all of our fun in.
That said, we don’t brown bag every lunch. The goal is to have fun, not to pinch every penny or rush around feeling like we have to pack in as much fun as possible, so it’s really dependent on our schedule for that particular day.
Beware of Upsells and Fees
This happens a lot whenever you rent anything, especially a car. Just be aware of all the fees and all the add-ons the company will try to get you to pay. For example, liability waivers in case you get in an accident, may already be covered by your credit card.
As for fees, be aware of what companies will try to charge you. For airlines, they’ll charge you for extra bags and sometimes better seating.
By being knowledgeable you can avoid many of these fees with careful planning. Some airlines, like Southwest, will let you check two bags. Other airlines only permit one and start charging you a fee for each bag.
Finally, to get a little extra out of each flight, rental, or booking, remember to ask for upgrades whenever you are checking in. You never know what little extra you can get for asking!