Travel Hacks: How to Choose a Vacation Destination for Less

Planning and enjoying a dream vacation without taking out a second mortgage may seem out of reach, but it is possible. One of the best ways to bring down vacation costs without compromising on the fun factor is to choose a vacation destination smartly. Here’s how to find a budget-friendly vacation destination for the trip of a lifetime!

Set a budget

The best way to keep costs down on vacation is to set a predetermined spending amount. You can choose to blow a lot of money on airline tickets to get to your dream destination, but then you’ll need to spend less on accommodations, food or attractions. Work out your complete vacation budget before choosing a destination so you have enough money left to spend in other categories. 

Pick your top priorities

Spend some time choosing what’s most important to you in a vacation destination. Are you set on jetting off to Europe? Are you falling asleep at night with visions of sunny beaches and clear blue waters blossoming across your mind? Do you need to travel somewhere family-friendly? Or, are you willing to visit any city or state, as long as it’s not your own, if you can land cheap airline tickets?

Jot down your priorities in order of most importance, and when choosing a vacation destination, look for those that satisfy as many of your first few priorities as possible. 

Consider vacationing close to home

While you can sometimes score airline tickets at rock-bottom prices, in general, the further you travel from home, the more you’ll pay to get there. To save big bucks on your vacation, consider traveling somewhere close to home. You may be able to find fascinating attractions and sites just two or three states away. You’ll likely save a day or two in travel time as well, giving you more time for enjoying your vacation. 

Look for deals and discounts

One of the best ways to save money on your vacation is to take advantage of deals and discounts. Many travel companies offer promotions, such as discounted airfare, hotel packages or all-inclusive deals. You can also find discounts on attractions and activities by purchasing tickets in advance or looking for coupons and promo codes online.

Consider alternative accommodations

If you’re looking to save money on lodging, consider alternative accommodations, such as AirBNB or another vacation rental service. Be sure to do your research and to ask for a photo of the home you’ll be staying in to avoid getting scammed. 

Another great low-cost option can be a home-swap. If you have a friend or family living in another city, state or country you don’t visit often, consider swapping homes with them for your vacation. You’ll need to coordinate your vacation dates and prepare your own home for their stay, but you’ll enjoy comfortable accommodations at no cost. Best of all, you can get the scoop on the best places to visit at your destination and vacation like a local!

Choose a budget-friendly destination

If you’re open to any location, look for vacation hotspots that are known to be budget-friendly. This includes countries with a low cost of living, where food, accommodations and attractions won’t cost much at all, like Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Nepal and India. You can also try to book a vacation to an area that boasts of inexpensive hotel stays and lots of free or low-cost attractions, like San Antonio, Texas and the Grand Canyon National Park.

Consider a group trip

If you’re traveling with friends or family, consider planning a group trip. Not only can you split the cost of accommodations and activities, but you may also be able to negotiate group discounts on things like airfare or tours. Additionally, traveling with a group can be loads of fun and allow you to share experiences with loved ones. Just be sure to plan ahead and communicate with your group to ensure everyone’s needs and preferences are taken into account.

Choosing a budget-friendly vacation destination doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality or fun. By following these tips, you can find a destination that ensures the trip of a lifetime without breaking your budget!


Learn More
35 Best Hacks for Saving Money While Traveling - Mind The Travel
Try a home swap. You’ll skip Airbnb and hotel costs and vacation like you’re a local. - MarketWatch
The 30 Cheapest Places to Travel in 2023 - BeMyTravelMuse
Best Cheap Vacations in the U.S. - US News and World Report