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Monday, March 5, 2018

How To Plan A Boujee Vacation On A Budget

March. Ahhhhh. Don't you just love that word? I do. When you live in a cold environment, March is the universal term for "We're pretty much through the worst of it." This for many also means an awesome week-long getaway! Spring Break is great, but it can really dry up your bank account and the planning can stress you out. My preferred spring break would be to go to Disney World. or Disneyland. Anything beginning with Disney basically. Perhaps a week-long cruise with spa treatments and an all-you-can-eat buffet with 24/7 pool access? Maybe a trip to Martha's Vineyard or Wine Country? I have expensive taste, okay?! With this expensive travel palette, I've learned how to get creative when it comes to taking trips. I'm here to bestow that knowledge upon y'all.

Pinching Pennies

  • Go to Groupon! Groupon's deals tend to be location sensitive, but you can often search for location-focused activities AND hotels. If you live on the East Coast and nature's your thang, you can find awesome deals on hotels in Vermont, Maine, etc. Activities can go for dirt cheap! Especially if you Google small towns to stay in rather than the more touristy spots. A short drive from the real point of interest can save you tons. Make sure to always read the fine print under these deals though! Some places may only have the deal valid on weekdays or require you to stay for a certain amount of time. All that aside, Groupon can be an awesome way to score a great find. They often do special site-wide sales focusing on travel! Keep an eye out for those to score an even better deal.

  • By going somewhere local, it can save you a lot of hassle, time, and money. No matter where you live, a staycation doesn't require much!

  • Ebates.com is awesome for booking hotels without a discount. Without any discounts from other sources, Ebates is great for saving you a bit of money. They work with sites like Expedia and Booking.com, which makes already discounted rates cheaper through the cash back you'll be getting! It also comes in handy for Spring Break clothes shopping, as it works for retail stores also! Promise, not an ad. I just really love this website.

  • When researching flights and hotels, always put your browser in incognito mode! Websites like to track how much you visit to look at prices before your trip and depending on how often you visit the site, the higher the prices might go.

  • Check Target! Yes, you're welcome. An excuse to go to Target!! While you're there, check out their gift cards. They might have some related to what you'll be doing for your trip! (E.g., Disney) When you open a Red Card, you can save 5% on every purchase, which includes gift cards! It's a minor way to pinch pennies but a dollar saved is a dollar earned, right?

Pack Like A Pro

  • Roll your clothes! The easiest way to compact room in your suitcase is to roll up your clothes! I have a system for packing that works great every time. If you're packing bulkier items such as coats, jackets, jeans, etc., always put them at the bottom of your suitcase. After, take your thinner T-shirts and squeeze them in between the cracks.

  • Make use of the pockets on the front! I suggest investing in a few vacuum bags to condense thinner materials into one area (think undergarments, socks) to make room for more cosmetics and shower necessities. This will free up more room for bulkier things like sneakers. I always wrap my shoes in a grocery bag to avoid dirtying my clothes. 

  • Leave room for souvenirs! Everyone seems to forget about leaving enough room for what you'll be bringing back; myself included. When looking for souvenirs, try to keep it small. So if you're going to Mexico, no giant sombreros. Think rose gold Minnie ears, a mug, etc. Always keep in mind how you're going to get it home! Mailing is always an option, but it's not always the most price friendly. Plus if it's breakable, there's no guarantee it'll make it back home in one piece.

  • Lists, lists, lists. When you're traveling, especially somewhere far, you're not going to want to forget something important. You might not always remember everything off the top of your head. Sometimes it can be detrimental! Maybe forgetting a medicine or a charger they may not sell in other countries. Also, when coming home it's a great idea to make one to prevent leaving anything behind!

Mind Those Ps & Qs

  • When planning with your friends, collaborate your ideas on a group Google Doc! That way, everyone's plans and ideas are considered while keeping it all in one organized place.

  • Have it all on paper! Technology can be your best friend, but it can also be your demise. Any plane tickets, important proofs of purchases, insurance cards and other things like that should be copied on paper and put in an envelope in a safe place. A phone could go dead in two seconds with no explanation, so it's nice to have that peace of mind while traveling.

I hope these tips help you have the best, best, BEST Spring Break ever while keeping your sanity and some money in your pocket. I would love to know where you're planning to go! Leave me a comment below :-)

Until next time,
Onward & Upward!
Kiana





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