Monday, March 18, 2013

Vacation packages: a good deal?

Now that it's almost spring, probably a lot of you are thinking about your summer vacation.  Where will you go?  How long will you stay?  And, most importantly, how much will it cost?

I highly recommend coming up with a budget before you do any planning.  Figure out how much is the most you can spend.   Remember to figure in cost such as travel (airfare or gas and wear and tear on your car), hotel, rental car if you're flying, all food, extra clothing and shoes you might need for a particular climate, entertainment, and souvenirs.  It might add up to far more than you expect.

And don't be tempted to use a credit card for your vacation expenses.  First of all, it's way to easy to overspend.  And secondly, you don't want to be paying off your vacation long after the trip is but a memory.  Instead, save up the cash that you need.  If you can't save up the cash, you can't afford the trip.

Sometimes vacations for cheap vacation spots often offer package deals, which might on the surface seem like a good deal. and a way to save money on your vacation.  But, check into the package very, very carefully.

First of all, vacation packages may only be for one airline, one hotel, or one type of car rental.  Would it be cheaper to find each individually?  You need to do the research.  Perhaps there is a discount airline which has cheaper tickets than the one in the vacation package.  Perhaps there are lower rates at a particular hotel, or staying at a different hotel would be less.  The car rental package may require the rental of a fancier car than you need - or perhaps you really don't need to rent a car at all.

Second, the packages may include items that you really don't need.  A hotel package might include the all-you-can eat breakfast every day.  Perhaps a lighter breakfast, or breakfast off-site, would be less expensive and a better use of your time and caloric intake.  Or it might include in-room entertainment which maybe you'll watch, but maybe you won't.

So it's possible that vacation packages can save you money, but you really have to do your homework.  Good luck planning your summer vacation!

(This is a sponsored post and may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


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