You are not alone if you are planning a budget summer vacation.

In fact, many American families are skipping summer vacation entirely. You are not required to cancel your annual vacation. Instead, concentrate on ways to cut costs. Starting with your overnight accommodations is a good place to start.

So, how can you cut the cost of lodging when planning a budget summer vacation?

Stay with friends and family if possible. If you are traveling to a place where you have friends or family, ask if you can stay with them. This is ideal if you have a small family because it will not be perceived as a major inconvenience. When dealing with family, most will let you stay for free. Even if you offer to pay $20 per night, it is still much less than a $100 per night hotel room.

Lower the Cost of Lodging

Instead, consider going camping-  Lower the Cost of Lodging

This option is inexpensive and ideal if you have a large family or do not know anyone in the area. State parks and campgrounds are the best and safest places to camp. If you don’t already have a tent or two, get some. Department stores and sporting goods stores offer excellent value. Consider buying used or borrowing supplies from friends and family to save money. Nightly camping rates vary greatly across the country, but you should expect to pay no more than $50 per night, which is still less than the cost of a hotel room.

Compare hotel prices to get the best deal. Within a reasonable distance of most popular vacation destinations, there are hundreds of hotels to choose from. Visit a travel website online. They’re convenient because they allow you to compare the prices of multiple hotels in a matter of minutes. Look for the best value for your money or the best deal. Most families, for example, are willing to pay a premium for a hotel with an on-site swimming pool and fitness center. If you aren’t looking for the lowest price, look for the best value for your money.

Smaller hotels, motels, and even bed and breakfast inns should not be overlooked.

They may charge lower rates on occasion, especially if there is a lot of competition nearby. Americans immediately think of well-known hotels such as Holiday Inn. These smaller establishments must draw attention to themselves, which they usually do by charging reasonable prices.

Avoid traveling over the holidays. If you’re planning a summer vacation, you’re already in peak travel season. You should, however, try to avoid holidays and weekends. Hotels will be more expensive the weekend of July 4th than the last week of July. Experiment with different travel dates. If your plans are fluid, try out a few different dates. Is there a difference in hotel rates? If so, go with the cheapest option.

Travel should be avoided during convention periods.

Lower the Cost of Lodging
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If your travel plans aren’t set, take a look at what’s going on in the surrounding area. Is there a popular concert, a major sporting event, or a business convention taking place on the same weekend? If this is the case, the hotels may already be full. If not, they will most likely charge higher rates.

Please bring your own snacks and beverages. Many hotels have their own restaurants. These are nice, but you won’t find the cheapest prices. They are more about convenience than anything else. At the very least, choose nearby fast food or casual restaurants that are reasonably priced. Bring your own snacks and drinks, however. They cost more in convenience stores and hotel lobbies. For longer trips, it may be worth it to pay the extra money for a suite upgrade that includes access to a working kitchen. Preparing your own meals will save you a lot of money on longer trips of 5 days or more.

In terms of overnight accommodations, staying with friends, staying at a hotel, or camping are your three cheapest options. If you insist on a private vacation rental, compare prices, look for discounts, or treat it like a double date. Make plans with another family to split the cost of a private rental.

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