Taking vacations is important to both your physical and emotional health. You feel better about your life, get away from your stress, and bond with your family. But many people don’t take vacations. They reason that they don’t have the time. They’re too busy working to even think about going away on vacation. Besides, vacations can be expensive. So what do you do if you want to get away from it all, but you’re short on time and money? Read on for tips on how to enjoy a stress-free vacation, even if you’re super busy and can’t spend a ton of money on the trip:

Save Your Pennies

Want to save up for that dream vacation? Start saving now! In fact, start saving before you even decide where you want to go. Place the money in a savings account specifically dedicated to your vacation fund. Putting a little money away each time you get paid can slowly add up over time. Before you know it, you’ll have enough money to pay for your vacation without going into debt.

Shop for Discounted Flights

One way to score reasonably-priced tickets is to purchase tickets during the off-season. If you fly during peak times of the year, you’ll end up spending more money. Planning a beach vacation? Book your trip during late summer or the beginning of autumn. Find online sites that allow you to search for discounted airfare. These sites permit you to compare various airlines, flight times and destinations.

Finding Hotel Accommodations

Use vacation booking websites to find inexpensive hotels for your vacation. Don’t forget to visit the official hotel website to find any deals they offer. Search for online coupons that offer discounts on accommodations as well. Choose hotels that offer free WiFi, breakfast and parking to help you save even more money. Call hotels and politely ask if they can give you a larger discount or a room upgrade for the same price.

Plan Ahead

If you plan ahead, you can book cheaper flights if you plan to fly any other time besides holiday seasons. Domestic airfare is less expensive when you book six to eight weeks in advance of your trip. On the other hand, international airfares are cheaper when you book six months in advance.  

Be Flexible

If possible, keep an open mind about flight times. Plane tickets with early morning flights are sometimes cheaper than flights in the late morning or afternoon. You can also check 

Plan a Trip Close to Home

You don’t have to fly somewhere to enjoy a vacation, and you certainly don’t have to plan a trip to a foreign country in order to get away from it all. Instead, hop in the car and take a road trip to a nearby location. Take a trip to the lake or rent a cabin in the mountains. Stay in a bed and breakfast in another town. You can explore new places and enjoy your mini-vacation by just taking a few days off from work.

Inexpensive Activities

Once you arrive at your destination, you don’t have to always do things that require money. If you’re staying in a historic city, take a day to stroll around and view the architecture and famous landmarks. Spend a day lying on the beach and playing in the ocean. Have a picnic in the park, or visit the local flea market and search for some inexpensive souvenirs. 

Keeping Your Home Safe

Don’t forget about home security when you go on vacation. Consider signing up for a home security service to alert you if anyone tries to break into your home. Notify family that you will be out of town, and ask a family member to drive by the house one or two times a week to make sure the house is secure. Stop your mail service during the time you’ll be away so your mail doesn’t pile up in the mailbox. You don’t want would-be robbers knowing that nobody’s home. You can also investigate technology that allows you to keep an eye on your own home even if you’re thousands of miles away.

Take a Staycation

If you still want to take a stress-free vacation but you don’t have the funds for flights and hotels, take a staycation. Staycations take place in the city where you live, and they’re perfect for when you’re short on cash and time. Take a few vacation days from work, and plan your itinerary. Visit the local museums, coffee shops, a spa or the movie theater. Just because you’re staying on your home turf doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy the benefits of a more traditional vacation.

Short on time? Is your wallet a bit thin? That’s still no excuse for skipping a vacation. Taking time away from work and your everyday cares is crucial for enjoying a happy, healthy life. With a bit of planning, imagination and research, you can plan a stress-free vacation that will help you relax and recharge. 

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