Effective budgeting of your next vacation can make all the difference between spending a bundle and saving a bundle. Of course, you need to budget both time and money for the best trouble-free vacation. You want to shed stress, not add to it. Proper budgeting should help put your worries to rest and let you just enjoy your time away.
Luckily, with technology so advanced, there are many tools that can help you work out your finances and plan stops along your route where you can save money. You need to concentrate on bonding with your family and marveling at this country’s wonderful sights. You can download various apps to your smartphone that will make travel easier and even less expensive. Here are my picks to help you with budgeting on a road trip.
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Before you even think of downloading the apps, however, you need to choose your vacation destination. Remember, each vacation spot can have its own expense demands. For instance, a Disney World vacation is likely going to cost more than a visit to Yellowstone National Park. Decide how much you have to spend and match it to your destination (along with the type of getaway you’re looking for – such as hiking in the mountains, amusement park fun, horseback riding in a national park, swimming in a pristine lake, or sightseeing in a historical city.)
Once you decide on the place you are going for your vacation, you can map out the route there and get apps that will assist you in finding great things along the way. You can locate local attractions, grocery stores, and gas stations with the least expensive gas. Use the YP Local Search & Gas Prices, and you can find restaurants serving just the dish you want or inexpensive local gas stations. Another great app for finding less expensive gas is the Gas Buddy app. Find local eateries by using the LocalEats app.
Another app of interest is the City Maps 2Go app, with thousands of maps available even when there is no WiFi or cell phone signal. This is great when getting lost and spending so much time to find your way back to your route is not an option. You will also need access to the weather reports for the areas you will be driving through. You can plan for indoor attractions on days when it is too rainy to get out in the forest and fit in some hiking. For this you need the Weather Channel app download.
Of course, there are times you need to find other spots and will need an app to help out. Say you need to find a movie theater or a grocery store, or you need some hiking boots and need to find a shoe store. The AroundMe app is perfect for these searches. And when you need to have access to the Internet along the way (and who doesn’t!) you will want the Free Wi-Fi Finder.
When you are ready for a fancy dinner and don’t yet have reservations, use the OpenTable app. It is perfect for when you are approaching a city and didn’t know earlier that you would make it this far for dinner. Make your reservation, arrive, be seated and eat!
Now, while it is great to have apps that help you on vacation, they won’t take away all the worries and stresses of vacations. You would also prepare before you leave to ensure your vehicle is in perfect working condition. Take it to your mechanic and let him check it over, ensuring fluids are at proper levels, all the lights and turn signals are working and there is no malfunctioning part. It’s well worth the cost of this inspection to keep you and your family safe.
Yes, proper preparation and careful budgeting will get you an inexpensive and safe trip to wherever you wish to go. You can get a great break from the workaday world and get rid of all that pent up energy. Shed that stress rather than accumulate more. Enjoy your vacation and make the most of it! You deserve it!
About the Author:
Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV, a nationwide RV rental company. El Monte RV also sells used motorhomes through eight different locations across the United States.