How To Budget For A Vacation Like A Pro

How To Budget For A Vacation Like A Pro

Learn to calculate costs ahead of time.

Balancing spontaneutity and plan-making can be tough. Especially when you have to. Traveling pros calculate as many costs possible before they leave to have a better idea of how much money is left for fun when they get there. This guide will help you line out your trip, but still leave room for unplanned pit stops and adventures.

Will you fly or drive?

Sometimes deciding whether to drive or fly is tough. I bounce between Google and Skiplagged to find the cheapest flights. Skiplagged pre-inputs promo codes so you never miss a sale, and they also show hidden flight options. Which means, you buy a two or three leg ticket and only take the first or second flight. One time I was trying to get home to Phoenix from Newark, NJ. I ended up buying a flight to Cabo. It was cheaper to stop in Phoenix on the way to Mexico than to just buy a direct flight.

For those planning to drive, see how much gas is going to cost with a mileage calculator. Once you get there, parking might be hectic. I can’t help you find a space, but being able to find your car later is equally important. I like to drop a pin when I park so I can wander carelessly and always find my way back.

Where will you stay?

Having friends or family who live where you’re traveling to is ideal, but not always the case. There are dozens of sites to find deals on hotels. I’ve heard is really great, but I tend to use Priceline .

Anyone who’s on a tight budget, check out Airbnb or the Couchsurfing site. Another cool thing I found, but have never personally used, is Camp in my Garden. You can pay a small fee to camp in someone’s backyard, mostly in Europe.

In the U.S., camping for free is even easier than you’d think. Whether you’re desperate and take a spot on the side of the road, or you’re adventurous and make your own path into the woods, you’re allowed to camp free anywhere in a National Forest.

If your trip is too long to make in a day, you’ll need to stop and get some rest. If the weather permits, sleep outside and save some cash. Bring camping gear if it’s convenient, but non-campers (or if you’re tight for space), just sleep in the car and use a pool floatie as an air mattress.

When can you budget on the way to and from?

It’s easy to get in the mindset that you are bound to spend money while traveling to or from your destination. Bring some snacks for the plane ride (seems pretty obvious to do in the car). You can’t bring drinks through airport security but you can bring an empty water bottle. If you need some flavor bring a propel packet.

You don’t have to go data crazy. Reserve by using Google Maps offline tool. Download music before you leave. You can even do it for free, legally. Try out listentoyoutube. Take any Youtube video URL and download the audio directly into your iTunes library. You can also check for free wifi along the way with this WiFi Map app.

Fill up at the cheapest stations by searching for gas along your route in Google Maps. Or try Gas Buddy. Another popular idea for frequent roadtrippers is to use a gas card. Read more about which card company will give you the best return.

A few other tips…

Reuse your 3oz toiletry containers. Keep filling them up with your toiletries at home. Look up your airline’s baggage fee policy before you pack. With that being said, make the most of your “personal item.”

For those on the road, find clean bathrooms with the SitOrSquat restroom finder. Another pit stop tip: truck stations tend to offer more services, cleaner bathrooms, and are open later than average gas stations.

Plan wisely, but do it light heartedly. Traveling is fun, don’t get caught up in the logistics. But do so while protecting your wallet from unnecessary spending.

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30 Places Every Millennial Girl Needs To Travel To BEFORE She Turns 30

Live your best life, all around the world.

I am a travel enthusiast. There is nowhere I do not want to go.

Traveling the world is one of my biggest goals in life and I am determined to make it happen. The world is so big and I would love to see every inch of it at some point or another.

However, if I can travel to these 30 places before I turn 30, I will feel as though I have accomplished more than enough.

1. New York City, New York

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

3. Grand Canyon, Arizona

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

5. San Francisco, California

6. Los Angeles, California

7. Nashville, Tennessee

8. Honolulu, Hawaii

9. Walt Disney World, Florida

10. Chicago, Illinois

11. Nassau, Bahamas

12. Cozumel, Mexico

13. Cancún, Mexico

14. Bridgetown, Barbados

15. Basseterre, St. Kitts

16. Philipsburg, St. Maarten

17. Montego Bay, Jamacia

18. Christiansted, St. Croix

19. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

20. Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

21. Tortola Baths, Tortola

22. San Juan, Puerto Rico

23. Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

24. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

25. Oranjestad, Aruba

26. Mykonos, Greece

27. London, England

28. Paris, France

29. Barcelona, Spain

30. Rome, Italy

Okay, so these are 30 places I want to go out of like, a million. I have traveled to some of these places and would not hesitate one second to go back.

Every new place is like a new adventure, and traveling will forever be so exciting and intruiging to me.

Cover Image Credit: Maisa Teat

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10 Things To Do In Indiana To Make This Summer The Best Summer

Because let's face it, Indiana can be a pretty boring place.


Often times our summer nights in Indiana consist of bonfires, Steak and Shake, and a trip to the local Walmart because we are just so bored! Let's face the inevitable conclusion, we were all born in a dreadfully boring state. Thankfully, there are places all over the state that are just waiting to be explored this summer! Pack your car, board your friends, and hit the road to experience some awesome adventures!

1. Turkey Run State Park in Parke County.

Nichole Doty

What else can you think of other than the amazing feeling of hiking, camping, and enjoying the fresh air? With many places outside of the park to camp and stay, getting to the park is a short drive from nearby housing. The trails and beautiful sites will yield a perfect camping destination!

2. Zao Island in Valparaiso.

With Go Karts, Mini Golf, Laser Tag, a Laser Maze, Game Rooms, Batting Cages, Slides, and even an Alligator Exhibit, this destination is the one stop you have to make for the summer! With family fun all around at good prices, this place will be the one place you will want to continuously visit! Plus they have pizza, too!

3. Indiana Dunes National Park in Chesterton.

Lining Lake Michigan, the Dunes is the perfect beach destination to go on a hot summer day. With hotels and restaurants lining the park, there will always be somewhere to stay and somewhere to eat, plus all of the amazing qualities of the park, such as swimming, hiking, and soaking up the sun rays, making this destination a trip you have to make!

4. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in Indianapolis.

I think we can all agree that sometimes we are all kids at heart, and what better way to celebrate our "youth" than to take a visit to the Children's Museum! With exhibitions that contain Dinosaurs, an International Space Station, ways you can explore the everyday lives of Scientists, Fireworks of Glass, and many more, this is the perfect way at a decent price to spend your summer afternoon!

5. Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus.

This attraction hosts a variety of themed attractions, including coasters and water coasters! As well as having a wave pool, a river, and tube slides, this attraction is the perfect location to go when you want to have fun as well as a cool down from the hot summer sun!

6. Conner Prairie in Fishers.

I don't know about you all but I LOVED when we got to go to Conner Prairie for a school field trip! Being one of the most visited outdoor museums in the country, Conner Prairie showcases the 19th-century lifestyle where you get to see 1836 Prairie Town, the William Conner House, and even experience what it was like in Indiana during the Civil War! This history destination will leave you in awe of how life used to be!

7. Bluespring Caverns in Bedford.

I was so jealous that my parents and sister got to experience these caves and I didn't! This underground river that stretches 21 miles houses many unusual and cool species, such as many amphibians, blind, and albino animals.

8. Indiana Medical History Museum in Indianapolis

This museum is an old pathology building that houses an autopsy room, amphitheater, laboratories, photo archives, as well as records from when the hospital was up and running. This cool destination is home to outdated medical equipment as well as anatomical structures that are breathtaking to see.

9. Indiana Beach Boardwalk Resort in Monticello.

This fun beach gives us a little taste of everything, from rides, games, to even walking a boardwalk. Located on Lake Shafer, this amusement park is a fun time for those who are looking for a little taste of fair life, yet can't wait until August to get it!

10. Indianapolis Zoo in Indianapolis.

Located in White River State Park, this zoo houses over 2,000 animals, all ranging from lions, elephants, and dolphins! As well as containing a botanical garden and exhibits where you can feed the animals, this zoo is a fun destination when searching for a fun break. Plus, who doesn't love visiting all the cool animals up close?

Whether you visit one or all of the destinations listed above, we have to acknowledge the fact that although Indiana can be a boring state, there are sometimes some pretty cool things we can do with an adventure around every corner!


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