As most of my readers realize, I am an American. I come from a culture that, for whatever reason, does not seem to value vacations as the rest of the world does. We are stuck in a rut where we feel we cannot leave our jobs for fear of losing them or falling too far behind. Fewer women than men take vacations, but I am not one of those women.
Most people in America are lucky if they force themselves away from their job for a single vacation each year. I on the other hand take at least three vacations, with mini getaways in between. Most years I take four. I go for ten days at a time, sometimes more, sometimes a little less, but I go and I leave my worries behind. If more people took vacations more frequently, perhaps we would have less mid-life crises and fewer nervous breakdowns from being at max mental capacity. It’s just a thought; I’m not here to cure the American worker, just to encourage using what you are entitled to. Everyone deserves a little fun.
To plan your trip you can go about it several ways. You have your all-inclusive packages, and you have your ala carte packages that you build as you go. You can fly, drive, boat, or take a train. Everything comes down to your personal desires. One of my buddies loves to take the train to Oregon, and then fly back home at the end of the week; I think that sounds like a blast, though I have never done it before.
If you are booking an all-inclusive package for March, you probably want to start looking for it in October or November. There is a certain timeline for Mexico especially, in which you can get the best prices and have the most options to choose from before things start filling up. We tend to take an all-inclusive trip every few years and it’s always been a blast. I definitely recommend scoping the hotel prices for a few days to see how they fluctuate. All-inclusive prices can go up and down, as can plan tickets, depending on the day of the week you look. You always run the risk of losing out on “the best price,” if you wait too long, but sometimes waiting is beneficial and can win you an even lower price.
If you are planning a road trip, your best bets for pricing are to look to VRBO.com, Groupon, or a timeshare. Timeshares frequently run specials where you can stay for under $300 for an entire week. If you don’t own a timeshare, you can find people on Craigslist who are looking for others to buy a week from them. You always need to proceed with caution when dealing with Craigslist though; I have seen people get ripped off this way in the past. VRBO.com gives you the option of choosing your location and amenities and being able to negotiate on pricing a little more. This route is, in my opinion, safer than Craigslist. We have acquired accommodations from people on VRBO at least ten different times and we have never had a bad experience. Groupon is a great way to find hotel deals as well, but keep in mind they often come with resort fees on top of the price you are paying for the deal, so they aren’t always the cheapest route.
When booking flights you can score some great deals last minute, if you are open to possibilities. Spirit can get you some pretty low price fares if you are able to travel bare, which means you only bring a small carry-on. Spirit is one of the cheapest airlines we have found so far. Flights often drop in price on certain days of the week, be sure to watch the flight and see ahead of time how the prices change from day to day, before you book.
This September my husband and I are taking a trip to Colorado. We are driving and we are staying via timeshare in Winter Park. We will probably plan a few other stops on either end of our timeshare stay. I like traveling this way because it gives my husband and me the freedom to come and go as we please and to see more than one destination during a trip. No matter how you choose to vacation, you always have plenty of options for saving money and gaining that extra cash to spend on fun things like zip lining and white water rafting.
For information on some of the sites we utilize for our trip planning, please check out the following: