Budget travel planning has been something both my partner and myself have carried out for years, ever since we no longer had two incomes coming into the home.
Gone are the days of booking the first hotel we come across and usually being ripped off by their over priced rooms and add-ons.
Now we spend a little time planning ahead and discovering that there are plenty of ways to travel in style without paying a fortune. Frugal vacations need not be diffcult to organise.
Of course budget travel planning also sometimes means not going on the usual two-week holiday just because it is something everyone else does. Instead it could also mean planning lots of short weekend breaks and day trips throughout the year.
I used to miss one week at the start of term when I was little because my parents couldn't afford to go on holiday at peak times, it was very difficult to catch up.
There are always things that can be easily forgotten when budget travel planning and which can throw the whole expenditure into turmoil if not careful.
Vaccinations - if you are planning to go to a country where lots of vaccinations are required before you go, it is best to check with your doctor if there are any charges for these, especially if you live in a country where the health service is not free.
These vaccination charges can mount up if the whole family need them,
so it best to try and build these into your budget travel plan. Of course
you could just be very frugal and decide to go somewhere else instead.
Equipment - You may be planning on going on an activity holiday where you will be expected to either have some of your own special equipment or clothing or will be expected to hire them once you are there.
Skiing vacations are a good example of this, where skiing equipment and extra warm clothes costs will be on top of your travelling and accommodation costs.
Even if you do have your own skies and clothes and plan to take them with you, it may cost you extra to travel with them in your luggage due to size and weight. Build all these costs into your frugal budget travel plan.
Luggage - make sure that you do not pack too much when travelling abroad. Too many people have been hit hard at the airport when they have to pay extra weight charges on their luggage. These costs can be high, so always check exactly what your weight allowance is before you go. Be frugal with your packing and ask yourself "do i really need all these clothes"?
Insurances - Always build in insurance costs into your budget travel plans. Lost luggage, double booking and accidents are all good things to insure your self against. Make sure you buy your insurances separate from your holiday seller to ensure you do not may too much. Also it is possible to buy insurance that will cover you for a whole year if you plan to frugal travel more than once, it works out a lot cheaper in the long run.
Family vacations - When you have a family your choice of holidays dramatically change from when you were single.
Now instead of wanting to sip cocktails in the moonlight, you now have to make sure that there are plenty of activities to keep the children amused so that you at least get the occasional five minutes to yourself.
Planning a vacation for the family can work out expensive but it is possible to take advantage of many child friendly vacations on offer and by comparing the deals you may even end up saving yourself some money. Who knows, you may even find a great deal on that perfect resort you've had your eye on.
Backpacking - For those of you that have the wanderlust in you, backpacking is a great way to see the world on a shoestring if you don't mind roughing it a bit.
There are many offers for student travel available and if you are prepared to work a little on these vacations you may find that accommodation costs are practically nil. Frugal living at it's best.
Working Vacations - These vacations used to be very popular in the UK during the 50's when a lot of families who could not afford holidays would spend two weeks picking hops on farms in the south of England. However these sorts of holidays are still around today and in many different parts of the world.
Whether it is picking fruit, grapes for wine, olives or helping to clear rhododendrons as part of an environmental scheme, they are all great fun, cheap and a good place to make new friends.
Camping - traditionally the cheaper way to go on vacation, where accommodation costs are minimal and experiencing the great outdoors is all part of the joy of the holiday.
Keeping this type of vacation simple and not eating out at restaurants every night but cooking your own food and making the entertainment up yourself will ensure that this holiday will remain a budget travel reality.
Timeshare Rentals - A great alternative to staying in a cramped hotel room, timeshare rentals provide spacious accommodations which commonly feature separate living and dining rooms, so you can spread out and relax on your vacation. Resort amenities often include on-site swimming pools, hot tubs, restaurants, game rooms and fitness facilities, so there is plenty to do without even having to leave the resort. Many timeshare rentals also provide eat-in kitchens, so you can save a lot of money by not eating out every night and, instead, enjoying a home-cooked meal.
Vacations for singles and couples - Even if your dream is of a fairly luxurious and perhaps romantic vacation, it is still possible to make a budget travel plan that will help to keep the costs to a minimumand within your frugal budget. After all every frugal traveller knows that it is possible to still have a great holiday on a budget. You could even decide to take a virtual trip to say somewhere like Las Vegas instead. A little piece of Vegas can be enjoyed via online casinos, just keep within your budget.