Vacation planning!

March 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

Kids at the shore

March in Maine doesn’t really mean spring. There’s still snow and plenty of winter left. It seems to me a terrific time to plan a sunny, summer vacation! Where do you start? Here’s some quick tips to get you happily on your way.

Set a budget– Know what you want to spend before you start making arrangements. Don’t leave yourself with piles of debt because you weren’t disciplined at the beginning. You can have a beautiful vacation with only a great attitude and your creativity. But I’m a financial advisor. So with me everything always starts with a financial plan.

 Ask for suggestions– use all the free info you can collect by talking to friends, posting your questions on best places to stay in a particular city or are on Facebook or Twitter. Then do your own research by checking out web sites that feature reviews to see interesting and cost-savings ideas that will make this vacation the best ever.

Check travel deals often–  Staying flexible on dates, according to experts, allows you best chance for less expensive bookings. And airline booking sites often allow you to  ‘check the ‘flexible dates’ box’ that will search for the cheapest flights. Though many experts say that leaving on one weekend day (such as Saturday or Sunday) is no longer a cost-saving option it once was. But mid-week flights can be cheaper.

Choose a theme- One travel site suggested that planning a trip may be easier and less expensive if you plan your trip around a theme. Themes such as a walking trip, or focusing on history or food may really focus your spending and sightseeing ideas. When we visited Italy, it was all about the food, baby.

Lodging – We live in Maine, ‘Vacationland.’ If you live in a great vacation destination Maybe you can put a friend’s family up for a bit of time this summer. If so, maybe you can visit their region, too. For other inexpensive lodging ideas try smaller hotels, housing swaps through agencies that manage the arrangements, or camping. When our kids were young camping was our prime discount lodging mode. When you get into the groove, it can be fabulous.

 Lastly consider the all-inclusive fixed-price options such as cruises, resorts offer you a one price for all meals and some fun.

 Planning early gives the whole family time to dream, to save and plan so you can get the most from your holiday. (CR9075)



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