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5 tips to Spring break fun on a budget

Everyone in the Capital Region deserves a getaway after this winter, but that doesn’t mean your Spring Break trip has to bust open your savings. There are plenty of ways to cut costs and still experience a trip of a lifetime! Here are five:

After a harsh winter, a vacation, budgeted properly, is possible
After a harsh winter, a vacation, budgeted properly, is possible
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  1. Look for deals. Nowadays, almost all major cities have discount saving websites and apps with deals aplenty. Whether you’re looking for a spa package, museum admission or a restaurant deal, do a little research on your destination, and you’ll be surprised by how much you can save with a little planning and preparation.
  2. Travel smart. If you’ve already booked your flight (hopefully you saved money by booking at least two weeks early), make sure you don’t pay for “extras” by checking too many bags or spending top dollar on airport food and snacks. If you’re traveling by car, try to carpool to save on gas or use grocery points for gas if your grocery store offers that perk.
  3. Eat in sometimes. If you’re playing tourist or lazing on the beach, save some greenbacks by going to the grocery store. Most hotels have mini-fridges and microwaves, or you can pack a small cooler. Stock up on drinks, snacks or sandwich fixings, and you’ll save on breakfast and lunch. Then, if you want to treat yourself to that exclusive restaurant for dinner, you can do it guilt-free!
  4. Pack well. It’s easy to forget a couple of essentials when you’re packing for a trip. Make a list of everything you’ll need in advance and check it twice as you pack. Stopping at the store to pick up that forgotten tube of toothpaste not only cuts into your spending money, but it also it cuts into your vacation time!
  5. Make a budget. The word “budget” sounds anti-fun, but it’s really not a bad word. Creating a trip budget doesn’t mean that you can’t do all of the fun things you want to on a trip, it just makes for smarter spending. Make a list of the things you really want to do, how many times you plan to eat out, a splurge item, etc. Be realistic, and allot the right amount of money for each. Then stick to it!

Have fun!

Just because you’re spending less money on your trip, doesn’t mean it won’t be super fun. Just think: instead of worrying about how much money you spent on your trip and how long it’s going to take you to pay it off, you can enjoy your vacation with no regrets and still have money in the bank! Now, that is true relaxation!

Dave Balog helps families with financial matters. dbalog99@gmail.com, (518) 952-1257