How to Plan an Inexpensive Summer Vacation

With spring break likely behind you, it’s about that time of the year where you can start making plans for summer vacation. For many Americans struggling in these tough economic times, summer vacation might sound like an impossibility. Between the opportunity cost of missing work and rising fuel prices, you might feel like you have to delay vacation until summer 2014.

Well, for your sake, we hope not! If you want to have an affordable and enjoyable summer vacation, check out these tips from your friends at Complaints List. As “the consumer’s voice,” we’ve taken it upon ourselves to help you plan a great summer vacation that won’t break the bank…

Don’t use cash. Barter! Do you have a friend, relative, or business contact that owns a vacation home or condo? If so, then why pay someone else cash for a rental? Try bartering with your friend/family member. Maybe you can offer some services or work in exchange for a weekend or week use of their vacation property. Also, you don’t have to personally know someone to make this strategy work. Websites like operate on this age-old principle!

Avoid holiday weekends. If you were hoping to go on vacation over Memorial Day or July 4th, we’d urge you to think again. These holiday weekends are some of the most expensive times to book a rental. Also, you’ll have to deal with even more traffic on roadways – which eats into your vacation time (and gas!).

Eat in. Instead of getting a hotel room, get a condo instead. It might cost a little bit more, but you’ll have a kitchen, which will allow you to take back all those savings. (Also, you’ll have more room.) By dining in on your vacation, you’ll save tons of money. Restaurants are one of the biggest vacation expenses for many families.

Free activities. Lastly, don’t pay for high-priced tourist attractions. Seeing one or two attractions on your trip is fun, but don’t feel like you have to spend five straight days in and out of amusement parks and entertainment facilities. Every city – especially touristy ones – has free entertainment!

Happy summer vacation 2013!

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