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Vacation Savings Tips – How to plan a fun vacation without breaking the bank

Surveys indicate that, as a general continuation of cost-cutting in everyday life expenses, vacationers will be spending less in terms of travel and lodging. So how do you get in on the best deals in keeping with this frugal trend? Here are a few suggestions for anyone looking for ways to get maximum value for your vacation dollars by using right “keywords” in internet searches.

Three examples of queries with keywords that give suggestions for vacation savings and extra fun

1) Be specific about the name of the location where you’ll be spending your vacation. For instance, for anyone coming to the Sacramento, Central Valley area, you can search online by using a search term like:

a. “tips for budget vacation in Sacramento California” [http://www.visitcalifornia.com/Explore/Central-Valley/] or

b. “frugal vacation in Sacramento, California” points to 10 ways to save money on your next vacation” http://www.stretcher.com/stories/03/03jun09c.cfm

2) Be general about the type of activities and use search term such as “family vacation package” which will give ideas for family fun applicable to every interest and age.

a. Here’s a site for local activities that includes ways for teaching about other cultures through local attractions and food: http://local.stretcher.com/Family_Vacation_Packages_West_Sacramento_CA-p1596554-West_Sacramento_CA.html

b. Don’t be shy about using a keyword like “cheap” in your query, it can lead to valuable information and ways to compare the high and medium price for essentially same experience. Here’s an example of a hit entitled “honeymoon like a celeb on the cheap” http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/06/28/honeymoon-like-celeb-on-cheap/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxbusiness%2Flifestyle_money+%28Internal+-+Lifestyle+%26+Money+-+Text%29

3) Be creative with vacation ideas by considering why you are taking time off from work in the first place and how to achieve your goal of relaxation custom-made for your needs. A search such as “vacation to balance work and play” yields plenty of ideas at http://www.wikihow.com/Balance-Work-and-Play

Couple of other points which may be of interest:

A. Point your vacation goals towards the quality of experiences, not quantity
If your vacation budget is too flexible, it is easy to increase the amounts of things to do and miss opportunities to relax and be more fully present to the joys of being with family, friends, and beauty, excitement and education of new places. Sometimes more can be less.

B. Know your budget and then plan to overspend intentionally on something special.
Ever notice how being completely practical is boring? Why not plan for a little impracticality at the beginning and go do something that may stretch your budget (but does not break the bank) but creates fun and memories that will always be considered truly worth it.

C. Learn frugal tips in advance and you can nix overspending
Pre-planning does cut down on expenses you could have avoided. Good packing tips can save you money and frustration when you don’t have to purchase items when away from your usual shopping deals. Unexpected circumstances can be expected if you study the road trips learned by previous travelers. Here’s website with 15 of such examples: http://beatofhawaii.com/frugal-hawaii-vacation-planner-15-ways-to-save/

What is the most valuable thing to YOU about taking time off from work? Is it more time for play, for time with family and friends, new experiences, opportunity for entertainment, education, enterprise? Or do you just want to zone out and contemplate. If you are looking for options online, you’ll find plenty of inspiration and advice. And sometimes you just want to know that there are others like you who have a hard time letting go of the work brain and getting on with doing things for the pure fun of it!:

In summary, here are the two best things about vacations:

1) Vacations are times of creating value in terms of refreshment, relationships, and renewal: and

2) The time and money we spend on them can give back a greater return than their cost.

Kaushik Ranchod practices bankruptcy and immigration law in San Francisco and Sacramento.

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