Step By Step Vacation Plan

I am about to release to you guys, my step by step, on how to plan a cheap vacation!

Step 1: Make a list of Destinations you want to go to

Have a variety of places you want to go to. While searching around for plane tickets and hotels, it is important to be opened minded. You want to go to Norway in the winter? Probably not the best idea, since that is the season for Northern lights. But want to go to Mexico, as well. Go during the winter, it is off season and cheaper. Have an open mind. You can go everywhere you want to go in the world, just be flexible. Go during off season times.

Step 2: Have flexible dates

Know times of the year you can ask off from work, won’t have school, or can afford to miss school. It is best to miss in the beginning of the semester, you won’t have any many assignments, tests and projects due right away. Often times, the first week is all about the syllabus anyways. Know a variety of dates that you could possibly take your vacation, so you can see when the cheapest time to fly. Look at the fare calendar, and see when it is cheapest to fly. I often look during the week days to fly, since Friday-Monday , are usually the most expensive days to fly.

Step 3: Go for more than a week, for international travel

You will need more than 5 days. Flights are cheaper, the longer you stay. Also, with flying international, you loose a lot of time, with traveling, so you want to make the most of your trip. If you have 5 days planned out for your vacation, 2 of those days will be for travel. So you only get 3 days in that country. Not worth it! Make it a bit longer of a stay!

Step 4: Start with booking your flight

This will be the most expensive thing you will purchase for your trip. I use Kayak and Expedia, to book my airline tickets. Like I stated about, I am flexible with my dates, so I look to see when it would be cheapest to fly. I also see where it is cheapest to fly out of. I am located in SLC, UT , and our tickets are not always the cheapest. I always check LA and Vegas as well. I can easily drive to these departing cities, or catch quick and cheap flight from SLC.

Step 5: Book your hotel accommodations

I have noticed, with experience, that Expedia is the cheapest place to book hotels.

Also, when you are traveling, you need to check out websites that offer FREE rewards programs. We ran across Expedia’s rewards program. We simply just created an account with our email, and, THAT. WAS. IT. Bring on the savings!
We often save over 50% on our hotel accommodations, by booking with our travel account. When we stayed in Phi Phi Islands, we got a bungalow to ourselves, with an ocean view, for $36 a night. If we booked without our rewards account, or through the hotel’s website, we would have spend over $70 a night (which, may I say, is still a good deal for almost a 4 star hotel!).
Through out, our whole trip, I checked Expedia, to see what deals they had. And I am SO glad I did! I have never used Expedia before, to book my hotels. However, this best kept secret, will be used again, in the future!
Go check out Expedia’s page and sign up, even if you do not have any vacations planned. You will thank me later!

Step 6: Airbnb

If you are traveling domestic, I would stick to websites like Airbnb. Airbnb can save you anywhere from 40-60% on hotel accommodations. Go check out my other post on my review of Airbnb, to see why I just love that site!

Step 7: Save up for your trip

Know what things you want to do while you are there, and know how much they cost. I usually plan my trips out, a few months out, so I have time to save us. I will work overtime at work, sell unused items on swap pages and KSL and pick up side jobs for fanily and friends. It is such a stress reliever to not worry about spending extra money on activities while on vacation. Give yourself a buffer and save up before you go

Step 8: Go have fun!

I always know what things I would like to do on vacations, but I also leave space in the itinerary to just go explore. That is when you have the most fun and really get to experience the place you are in!

-Happy Traveling!

What are you favorite places to travel on a budget? What other tips do you want to hear about?


“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkie


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