• Summer is just around the corner, and if you are like me, you will start to dream about where to go next. I think about our next family trip, girl trips too, I think about couple trips, even group trips. In Washington state, when the sun is out, we start planning whether to go out of state or even a hike away. It is our most beautiful season {IMO} However when we start to feel summer is coming up, we start thinking about the fact that school is out and we have kids for months. We have to go do something! Kevin and I both own businesses, so we have the freedom to keep days open, which I know could come as another challenge for those with employers.

    As you start brainstorming locations, the best way for us to do so, is to first think in the most cost effective way. I know my Husband never stops pressing the fact we need a budget. A budget for everything. I never knew what a budget was until I got married, then I found out alot about it lol. I have done a little research and through experience, have found Booking and planning early can help save you money. Whether we decide to purchase a vacation package or to rent a private home, planning is key. So how do I plan? How do I budget? 

    Here are tips to help plan a great trip without breaking your budget.

    Your Budget
    Many people budget a certain amount for their vacation. But if you spend everything on a hotel and flight, expenses at your destination may be a problem. Making the right choices will help save the money you need.
    Consider alternative lodgings.
    Booking a property, home instead of a Hotel room is usually less expensive. I was reading about Air BnB, and have heard friends rave about it. It is a great alternative to Hotels. Something I will most likely look into next time. Renting a vacation home helps you skip costs, like room service, by giving you a kitchen, where you can make your own meals, your own pool area to hang out with your friends, an outdoor bar area, so you do not have to go running around to find a place to be loud and hang out. You are able to use all of the amenities and utilities for no extra cost. Also no parking costs, theres a driveway. Just one, no valet needed. I am also a private vacationer, I love quiet, and to be able to be me. I will usually visit large cities and Hotels and hang out for the day, maybe stay the night but all week to me seems like awhile. I love the personal Homey feel.

    Low rental car rates
    For me this can be the most expensive area of my trip, haha. no joke! So jumping around and doing research for great rates is a must! But also first consider if you are truly needing one. If you are needing to go to many places that are widely spread out, then I would suggest so.

    Figure out your activities in advance.
    Doing research in advance not only can save you money but also will help you figure out just want you WANT to do. Also there’s sometimes discounts for booking in advance. Everyone like to be prepared right? Some places you will be surprised to find out are free. You do not have to spend a lot to go have fun!

    Package deals
    Packaging deals or bundling them together could save you almost $600 according to expedia.

    Get your flights booked earlier than normal
     Booking flights should be done 2-3 months in advance. While doing research, I found they say to book trips to Europe nearly 180 days in advance. I know I was looking at flights yesterday for Alberta, Canada for a potential destination Wedding in 2017. I am a bit early still, I realize. lol.

    Research you airline’s total costs
    you flight ticket does not include food, and baggage fees. Find out total cost of your flight prior.

    Flexibility can pay off
    I know as crazy as it sounds, my in-laws, book flights on Holidays or during certain days of the week that are rare seasons. Between peak and off season I have heard can save you money. These seasons will be less crowded and you will have more opportunities to run on the beaches {they may be cold haha} get through lines quicker or waited on faster at you fav dining spot. My in-laws travel a lot and they have told me their stories at airports. Sometimes the airlines will offer free tickets to whoever gives up their seats for someone who may have had a flight delayed. {or for whatever reason} They would have to wait on standby. Because of their earnestness, they have received FREE tickets to travel anywhere in the US. {anytime, but not sure about expiration dates}. They have done this multiple times. My mother in law gets more excited about this than my father in law does.

    I know its great to research this stuff out for myself, especially since I have my little family here and am an "adventurer" by heart but full aware of the beauty behind frugal spending habits. I hope this helped someone out today! Lets plan a great vacation this Summer of 2016! 




    Chat soon!

    xo Ashley


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