When talking about low-cost trips in 2022, it is important to note that tourism and the way people travel are drastically different concepts now compared to before the pandemic.
It’s true: back in 2019, a typical holiday-goer looking for affordable last-minute vacation arrangements would be able to find a wealth of resources and offers to suit anyone’s budget.
This year, experts have predicted that the summer season will be the most hectic one yet for tourist destinations, despite the increased costs of just about everything. Indeed, inflation has done a number on gas prices, which had a domino effect on every aspect of the travel industry. In short, it is simply not as easy to find cheap last-minute options for an impromptu summer holiday.
However, despite all these seemingly glum circumstances, there are still some ways to plan a last-minute summer getaway this year that are inexpensive and doable for anyone on a budget.
Avoid Peak Season
By traveling during your chosen destination’s off season, you could save a lot of money on flight tickets and accommodation while still getting basically the same experience as you would during peak holiday season—even if you book last-minute arrangements that are typically much more expensive now than they used to be.
For example, instead of going to a tropical resort in the summer, plan to go in the spring. If it’s pristine white beaches you’re looking for, you would have nearly the entire beach to yourself. Depending on the location, the water might be a little cooler than it is in the summer, though plenty of tropical resorts get hot and sunny well before summer rolls around.
In addition, summer is a better time to visit the mountains for hiking than winter when the ski crowd is thicker—not to mention the numerous health benefits you could gain from clean mountain air in the summer.
Go Local / National
After the monotony of not driving farther than the gas station for the past several years, many people are now craving opportunities to spend their summer holidays abroad. However, surging prices have affected every airline and tourist hotspot across the world, so if you are looking to save money but still have a fun and relaxing holiday, you should definitely consider exploring your own country’s sights.
Going local affords you more options in terms of last-minute plans for obvious reasons, and if you live in the United States, chances are you’ve been to a limited number of places anyway. By that we mean staying longer than it took you to drive through or fly over a certain location while traveling for work or college.
Instead of splurging on an international trip, plan one to a neighboring state or nature resort whenever you feel like it. It could be somewhere not as touristy so that you’d pay a lower price for everything from accommodation to dining out. Book a room in a charming bed and breakfast and finally try your hand at fishing, hiking or canoeing, and you won’t even miss sitting at an airport waiting for your expensive layover flight to a country in Europe.
For affordable ideas like this, keep an eye out for travel marketing campaigns on social media that promote just what we’ve described above.
Go Big on the Destination, But Small on Everything Else
If you are really itching to leave the country in favor of greener pastures elsewhere (no pun intended—we don’t think you want to vacation in a pasture), you should consider having only one expensive element of your trip, such as flight tickets, but low-cost everything else.
For instance, should you choose to visit a stunning island in the Caribbean this year, try to book cheap accommodation (such as an AirBnB that isn’t necessarily overlooking a beach), or figuring out how to prepare most of your food yourself by buying groceries at a nearby supermarket.
Unless you’re one to spend most of your time lounging by a luxury hotel swimming pool all day, you really don’t need expensive lodging on a trip. After all, you’re there to enjoy roaming and exploring, so you shouldn’t be losing money on hotel rooms you won’t be spending much time in.
If this is starting to sound like a brilliant idea to you, perhaps instead of flying over, you could opt to book a cruise on the Oasis of the Seas and tour the Caribbean in its entirety.
Have a Fixed Budget
This one was true even before Covid times: figure out how lavish a vacation you can afford before deciding where to go and what to do once you reach your summer getaway.
If your budget can only cover a weekend road trip, don’t start planning for a week-long excursion to an exotic and costly island resort. Instead, consider the exact amount of money you would be able to spend on your trip, and then plan said trip within those constraints.
You might be interested in looking into some credit card rewards programs or similar travel benefits, but you definitely don’t want your vacation to add to your stress by putting you in debt when you return home. Decide how much you can reasonably afford to spend and stick to it while making plans.