It is a sad fact that many people only get 2 weeks vacation a year from their salaried job or self-employed business. If this is your situation then every day of your holiday is precious and has to count. You don’t want to spend too long travelling to and from your destination. We don’t spend more than 1.5 days travelling each way on a 2 week trip. On a one week trip we would limit this to one day each way maximum. Time restraints and travel times will influence where you choose to go on your holiday and what type of holiday you take.
On a short vacation you may choose to splash out on more luxurious accommodation and expensive activities but, if you’re like us, you’ll still always be on the lookout for a bargain. Here are 5 ideas for saving money on short vacations.
1. Look out for promotions from new carriers or new flight routes from established carriers. Earlier this year Hawaiian Airlines opened a new route from Auckland, New Zealand to Honolulu, Hawaii, and their promotional offer was about US$150 cheaper than other airlines on the same route. In 2011 Air Asia started flights from Christchurch, New Zealand to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Their opening sale was amazing and we were able to get return airfares for a crazy US$300 return each! That began our love affair with the Perhentian Islands and we returned there a year later when there was another sale.
2. Camping is traditionally cheaper than other types of holidays but if you don’t want to rough it too much, you could try “glamping”! “Glamping” stands for glamour camping! With “glamping” you hike, cycle or kayak etc but the tour company carries your luggage and provides you with comfortable accommodation and meals. That way you get the adventure but still get a comfortable night’s sleep. As an example, in New Zealand you can choose to “free walk” the Milford Track (one of the most beautiful hiking tracks in the world) where you carry your own food and gear and sleep in basic huts, or you can pay extra and “glamp” it.
3. Consider going on holiday with friends and share your accommodation. That way you’ll reduce your costs and have great company at the same time. If you book a holiday villa you could share it with 1 or 2 other couples, depending on the size.
4. Look for opportunities to go to a conference with a friend and then extend the trip by a few days. I have done this annually over the last 5 years with my best friend in Melbourne, Australia. Each year the conference we attend has been held at a different holiday destination within a few hour’s drive of Melbourne. My work pays for my airfares and accommodation during the conference and then my friend and I go on a mini-break for a few days afterwards. I get to go away for 6 days but only use up 2 annual leave days with the rest being education/conference leave.
5. Instead of your family always coming to visit you, or visa versa, why not go on holiday together and share the costs. That way everyone gets a vacation instead of the host having to do the lion’s share of the work. And if your lucky, Mum and Dad might pay! Of course this is only an option if you get along with your family :-)