What's recently began happening, though, is I'll flip through my DVR (chalk full of Travel Channel shows at the moment), settle in excitedly to watch Anthony immerse himself in Provence, and an hour later I'll be whimsically depressed, cursing the day I ever decided to not be a host for a Travel Channel show. (Not like that was ever a clear-cut option, but you get the point.)
These days my budget doesn't allot for the wayward three-day weekend in Spain, or the month-long vacation-on-a-whim in the heart of Tuscany, but if I tone down my excessive tastes, I may yet be able to squeeze in a trip or two this year. Women's Day recently published a fabulous article, "Can You Afford to Go on Vacation", that has excellent pointers in planning a vacation on a budget. Among my favorite tips:
- Stay close to home and still have a great time (plus save on travel expenses) by opting for a summer getaway that you can reach with one tank of gas or less. Check out TripAdvisor.com/TankOfGas for destination options, then research sights and activities online. If a local bed-and-breakfast stay is on your agenda, look for one that’s part of the Free Gas promotion: Guests get a gas rebate or a gas card for refueling. Find participating B&Bs under “Special Packages” at BedandBreakfast.com.
- “It’s usually cheaper for families to rent a vacation home for a week than to spend seven nights in a hotel,” Gregory Karp, author of Living Rich by Spending Smart, tells WD. “You’ll get more space for the money and will save on food by cooking meals.” Go to HomeAway.com, VacationHomes.com or VacationHomeRentals.com
- Trading houses with another vacationing family is a growing trend. To make it work, take precautions: Get references. Agree on house rules. Have several phone chats to make sure you’re comfortable with them. Request home photos or videos. Lock valuables in a safe, or leave them with a friend. Have a neighbor check your home while you’re away. Learn more at HomeExchange.com.
For the complete article and to learn more frugal travel tips, visit WomensDay.com.