The groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter. Great. But instead of moping about it, use the extra time to start planning a summer vacation.
Here are some tips to get started:
1. Set your budget
Before you start dreaming of surfing in Australia, determine what you can afford. Setting a budget in early February can provide several months of saving and preparation. If you could use some extra income, check out these money-making hobbies and other ways to fatten your vacation fund.
2. Select your destination
What type of vacation are you looking for? White-water rafting? Relaxing on the beach? Soaking up urban culture? Search online travel websites for the best deals on domestic or international vacation destinations.
3. Research affordable transportation and housing
A lot of factors play into travel costs: number of people, distance traveled, time of year, etc. To lower your total cost, try to research all methods of travel including air, road and rail. Also, if your group is OK with staying in close quarters, look into renting a house or sharing hotel rooms.
4. Search for free or cheap local activities
If this is your first time traveling to a certain area, look up some low-cost entertainment ideas. Museums, art galleries and street festivals are great ways to have fun without spending a lot of money. If you’ve been to this destination before, see if you can find an online community calendar with new and interesting activities.
5. Be flexible
When it comes to planning a successful trip, the more flexibility you have, the better. Finding a deal for the exact time and date you want to travel could be difficult. Try to keep an open mind and consider new options if they make sense for your wallet.
Are we there yet?
Blue skies and warm sunshine are not far away. Until then, use this extra time to get savvy with your planning. It could pay off in the end.