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How to Properly Plan a Vacation

Aug 28, 2008
Traveling is seen as a luxury that can be afforded only by some and necessitates saving over several months in order to get the holiday that you want. This does not have to be the case. With a bit of careful thought and a lot of planning, it really is possible to travel on a budget.

Of course, traveling on a budget means different things to different people. Some would consider a budget holiday to involve backpacking and camping. This type of holiday can be done on a budget relatively easily; the real skill arises when you are trying to get a luxury holiday for a budget price.

The Travel Industry Association of America estimated that the average family spends over $2,200 a year on an extended vacation. This is an enormous amount. If you save just 10% of that amount, think how it will add up over the years.

Interestingly, paying more does not necessarily guarantee you a better holiday. Whenever you are on vacation, you will probably be surrounded by other families, some of which have paid more than you for the vacation and others which have paid significantly less.

Planning is the key to success when it comes to getting a budget holiday. There are many things that you can influence such as when you book, how you travel, whether you go package or build your own agenda. All of these things can have a significant impact on the price you pay. Above all, each of these things are within your control!

When to Book:

Most people know exactly when they are intending to take a vacation. This can be used to your advantage when it comes to planning.

Deciding on when to book is a bit of a gamble. Whilst many tour operators will offer cheaper prices and early booking discounts, you may find that last minute deals are also available which will prove better financially.

There are many factors that you should take into account when deciding on when to book for maximum financial gain:

- Are you flexible in terms of dates that you are prepared to travel?
- Are you flexible in terms of destinations that you are prepared to travel to?
- Will you be buying a package deal or will you be building your own package?
- Are you considering a popular destination where many tour operators or flight companies travel?

Firstly, if you are flexible in terms of location and dates then you will almost certainly benefit from waiting until the last minute to book your holiday. Last minute deals are, of course, something that you cannot rely upon and if you are set on going to a certain destination at a certain date then last minute is far too risky.

If you are planning on creating your own package then you need to be aware that you are taking multiple gambles. For example, you need to consider your airfare, hotels and transport. Whilst you may get an excellent last minute flight, you may not be so lucky when it comes to the hotel or car hire. In fact, you may find that paying a premium for other parts of your holiday will end up out-weighing any last minute savings you have made.

As a general rule, if you are looking to go on a specific holiday, a cruise, for example, with a specific company or a destination that is only offered by a few operators, you may find that last minute bargains are simply not available. Cruising is a classic example of this. A cruise line will offer holidays for a certain price, whilst they may offer their holidays through different agents who may individually offer discounts, the actual price of the cruise is likely to remain very similar no matter who you go to for your price.
About the Author
Learn more about budget travel deals at http://budgettraveldeals.blogspot.com
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