Vacation planning-some people’s biggest stress. You spend all this time stressing to literally spend time relaxing… It doesn’t make sense people! You are doing it all wrong. The only thing you should worry about is if you packed enough socks or something. I will teach you how to plan the best vacation on a budget stress free. Sure you can always go get a travel agent, pay them to much money and go wherever you would like but no matter how much money I make I don’t understand why people blow their money this way. Go to more places, go for longer, budget that vacation!
1. DETERMINE THE LOCATION
This is the absolute hardest part for me since I want to go everywhere… Literally but it can be easier than you think. European travel is at an all time low right now because of the Euro going below the USD. Asia is cheap but the flights are usually more expensive depending on your location. Budget should be the main deciding factor and based on experience and research I have listed below the price ranges you should be able to plan your trip right now with a hotel.
Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, China, etc) from the West Coast of the USA: flights $300-$600 and a hotel will be roughly $50-$80 a night for a 3 star hotel.
Europe (Ireland, England, etc) from East Coast of the USA: flights $400-$700 and a hotel depending on location will be roughly $70-$110 USD a night for a three star hotel.
Central America from the Southern USA (Belize, Coasta Rica, Honduras, Mexico, etc): flights $150-$400 and a hotel depending on location will be roughly $40-$90 USD a night for a three star hotel.
So I narrowed down your location for you strictly off of budget. I get weird looks all the time when I tell people you can fly to Asia for $400 because they have NO IDEA! They figure they can’t a afford it and that’s the end of it. Why would I fly to Asia for $1500 (which you can easily) when I could just fly there for $400 and take a bus or train to my destination?- it doesn’t make sense! I tell them how I flew to Belize and stayed a week for under $600 (flight and hotel) at a hotel that had a private balcony overlooking the ocean and they are in shock. I could of stayed at a cheaper hotel and spent under $400.
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2. FIND THE HOTEL
I just am in utter shock at these people that pay $150 or more for a hotel. That’s great for you that can afford it but I would much rather save and stay longer. Plus…hopefully you want to explore the country itself and are not around the hotel all day. Do yourself a favor and go to Kayak.com when it comes to finding a hotel. It will even tell you if a sight is cheaper than Kayak and you can book directly from there. Also do yourself a favor and don’t go to one of those all inclusive all immunities included hotels. The reason you go abroad is to explore the world and learn about other cultures not explore the hotel. Staying at hostels is another idea to save money. You get to stay with a local and also other travelers as well in a dorm-like environment. I knew a lot of people that have stayed in hostels and they had an amazing experience!
3. LEARN THE CUSTOMS
Now that you have planned everything from the hotel down to the flight finally the most forgotten thing is learn the customs. I know this has nothing to do with budgeting but take the time to learn the customs. You are going to another persons home… The least you can do is show respect. Americans get a bad rep and I feel this is something everyone should look into.
Who knew in China it was rude to leave your chopsticks upright? Who knew the left hand was offensive in Nepal? Who knew in some European countries it is rude not to ride shot gun in a taxi? Who knew it could be considered rude to tip in Japan? Who knew a thumbs up could be very offensive in the Middle East?
As you can see somethings that might be completely normal to you or me could be highly offensive to another culture. Travel the world, view it, learn about it, embrace other cultures and take the time to learn about them as well. If you leave your vacation and the only local you spoke with was the hotel manager in my eyes- you failed! Get to know the locals, be friends with them, and most importantly learn how they live!
Now you are off to your next dream destination that you never thought possible because you learned to budget. All of these places you thought would cost thousands, but come to find out can cost less than half that. Where would you like to go next?