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2018 Vacation Money Saving Tips

by Laura Hendrix - July 9, 2018

Vacations can be an expensive item with travel costs, hotels, restaurants, and activity fees. According to the Consumer Expenditure Survey, vacation spending was about 2% of total household budgets last year. A 4-day trip averaged $581 per person.

Vacations can be an expensive item with travel costs, hotels, restaurants, and activity fees. According to the Consumer Expenditure Survey, vacation spending was about 2% of total household budgets last year. A 4-day trip averaged $581 per person.

  • Compare Prices – lodging and travel are two big ticket items. Driving is typically less expensive than flying. Lodging can be as inexpensive as camping or as costly as a luxury resort. Consider the options. Comparison shop. Be sure to read the fine print.
  • Schedule – Some places have certain times of the year when prices are lower. Ask about off-season rates. There may be discounts for purchasing ahead of time. Plan and schedule your vacation to take advantage of these savings.
  • Plan Spending – Keep spending under control by making a written plan. Decide the total amount you can afford. Remember that you’ll still have all of your monthly bills to pay when the vacation is over. Prioritize – what’s most important to you and your family? Would you rather spend less on food so you can afford a more expensive hotel? Can you save money by camping so that you can spend more money on shows, theme parks, and activities?
  • Staycation - A staycation is an alternative to a traditional vacation. Staycationers stay at home or close to home and enjoy local, regional, or state attractions. Staying close to home means that you save money on travel costs. Another benefit of a staycation is that it supports your local and state economy. The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism offers free travel guides that are a great tool for planning your staycation. Arkansas has a great variety of different types of museums, parks, and outdoor adventure. You could do something different every day of the summer. Some favorites are Crystal Bridges Museum, Buffalo National River, and Blanchard Springs Caverns.

Having fun doesn't have to break the bank. Enjoy your summer vacation or staycation!

Laura Hendrix, Ph.D.; Associate Professor – Family and Consumer Economics; Accredited Financial Counselor

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