Budget Vacation Ideas for Couples

It is not possible to take a luxury vacation during every holiday. And then, with so many options in budget vacations, why spend the money even if you have it? In this article, we’ll look at 5 interesting, low-budget vacation ideas for couples.

Everyone needs a break from their regular routine. Sometimes, couples need to take a break from children, work, and other responsibilities. But, with a tight budget, many couples do away with the idea of taking a vacation. However, there are several budget vacations you can choose from, which are easily available. It is really possible to take a vacation with your loved one and yet not burn a hole in your pocket. You can now surprise, treat, and gift your better half with a vacation and thus, spend some much-needed quality time together. Take your pick!

5 Interesting Vacation Ideas on a Budget

Visit a National Park
Visiting a national park is a great idea. Opt for a national park where you can camp for a day or two. Explore the park together, camp under the moonlit sky, and reach the park after a road trip. Choose the park keeping in mind your interests.

Hit the Beach
There are many state parks in the country that protect beaches along both the coasts. Visit any one of these parks and have fun at the beach. Look for a park that offers more than just the beach. This way, you buy yourself a beach vacation with more things to do.

Go on a Cruise
Another affordable option is a cruise trip. Many cruises offer off-season packages, where you can sometimes pick up a deal in less than half the amount. However, a good cruise usually takes a week or more; plan your holiday accordingly.

Know Your City
Many a time, most people, end up taking their city for granted. By this, I mean that we think we know everything about the city we live in. This is, however, far from the truth. Make a list of places you haven’t seen in your city, take two days and a weekend off, and visit all these places.

Rent Vacation Homes
Vacation homes, lodges, and villas can be easily rented. Rent one of these and stay indoors for your entire vacation, doing absolutely nothing but relaxing. Again, off-season bookings come really cheap. If you want to save some more, rent these homes with another couple. You’ll directly cut your cost by half.

Though these vacation ideas for couples are low-budget, they offer the same thing that luxurious holidays do – time you can spend together. Zero in on an idea of your choice and give romance a chance in your busy life.

Plan an Affordable Vacation to the Maldives

The Maldive Islands are counted amongst some of the most expensive holiday destinations in the world. However, spending a budget vacation there is also possible, albeit challenging.

The shopping scene in the Maldives is not very happening, but it can be tempting. On some of the local islands, you will find really interesting handicrafts to buy as souvenirs. However, know that they are not only outrageously expensive, but also made outside the Maldives.
In the Indian Ocean, to the south-southwest of India lies the Maldives, a pristine archipelago comprising some 1,192 coral islands. The Maldives is regarded as one of the most luxurious holiday destinations in the world, and there are several reasons for this. For one, it boasts of absolutely stunning white-sand beaches, which are perhaps amongst some of the very best in the world. Moreover, it also offers some of the world’s best underwater activities and a fascinating marine life. What is even more compelling about these islands is the fact that virtually every resort in there has its own private island, and the facilities and services that these resorts offer just seem to be unparalleled.

Maldives on a Budget
Alright, let us get this straight―the Maldives is expensive. It never was a typical backpacker-type destination; however, there are ways to save money on your Maldivian vacation if you research well and know the tactics of spending wisely. Buzzle brings you this brief guide to help you plan, not a cheap, but an affordable vacation to the Republic of the Maldives.

Visit in the off-season.

The off-season in the Maldives runs between the months of May and November. This is the time when the islands experience heavy rains and storms. During the off-season, there are fewer tourists around, and the resorts tend to lower their rates to a considerable extent.
So, if you are not very choosy weather-wise, the off-season is the best time to travel on a budget in the Maldives. Those interested in surfing should note that the surfing season in the country ranges from March to October. So, by traveling in the off-season, you will be getting the best of both worlds―you will save money as well as get a fantastic surfing experience.

Book your flights and stay online.

Making all your bookings on the Internet can be both convenient and affordable at the same time. Booking for flights and accommodations online, more often than not, entitles you to certain benefits and discounted offers, which cannot be found otherwise. Moreover, you can always compare prices quoted on different travel websites, and acquire the cheapest possible bargain. However, remember to check all the details carefully before making payments, and also look for any sort of hidden costs, taxes, etc. Moreover, it is also a good idea to read customer reviews for the hotel/resort, and then decide on whether or not to opt for the same.

Look for last-minute deals.
While it is an extremely good idea to plan your vacation well ahead in order to get the best deals, sometimes, last-minute deals may also do the trick for you. Often, resorts and even airlines offer tempting discounts on last-minute deals to attract people. Although these may not be very cheap at all times, you will definitely be saving a certain amount of money of such deals. Especially, if you are intending to travel during the high season, it is a good idea to look for such deals. They might not be available at all times due to the large number of tourists traveling during the peak season; however, you can always test your luck.

Go for an all-inclusive package.

Everything in the Maldives comes for a price, and it is not one of the most suitable destinations for those on a budget. However, one of the best ways to save money on your Maldivian vacation is to go all-inclusive. There are a number of resorts out there, which offer all-inclusive packages that include, apart from lodging, lunch and/or dinner buffets, activities, excursions, and sometimes, even transport. Moreover, if you intend to consume a lot of alcoholic drinks, opting for an all-inclusive package will be the only worthwhile option at your disposal. It will strictly restrict you to house drinks, rather than buying them at splurging prices outside.

Stay on a local island, instead of a resort.

As mentioned before, virtually every resort in the Maldives owns an island for itself. This means that these resorts offer you exclusive facilities and activities, which in turn also means that you will be ending up breaking your bank. If you are visiting in the low season, you might be able to afford a stay in one of these resorts, but even then, there are other less pricey options available. A good number of B&Bs, inns, and guest houses are available in the inhabited atolls of the Maldives, which provide pretty good facilities at affordable rates. And, staying in the inhabited atolls also have an added advantage. You will get to experience the local fervor of the country, something that you will miss out on in the resorts.

Some local guest houses and B&Bs offer cheap activities.
This is, by far, one of the best advantages of opting to stay at a local guest house or a B&B. The owners of these facilities almost always tend to double up as your tour guides, and you can buy their courteous services at pretty affordable prices. Added to this, some guest houses also offer water sporting activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing at less than half of the resort rates. All you need to do is to book them in person with your lodging facility―it may not be a very luxurious experience, but a memory worth cherishing.

Travel as the locals do.

The main modes of public transport available in the Maldives include boats and air taxis. The only places where you will need to travel by road on the islands are the capital city, Male and the archipelago’s southernmost atoll, Addu. At these two places, you can hire private cars and motorbikes―there are various local companies offering these services―however, these are again pricey. You also have an option of hiring bicycles at these places, which are available at affordable prices, and walking is of course free. On all the other atolls, water transport is the only reliable mode. Inter-island ferries are available; prices depend on the distance, but are still not very pricey. If you are traveling in a group, you may also go for chartering a boat/water taxi, which might seem affordable as the total amount will get divided amongst your group members.

Do not opt to stay very far from Male.

There is only one international airport in the whole of the Maldives, which is the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in Male. This means that no matter in which corner of the Maldives you opt to spend your vacation, your first and last stop in the country is going to be Male. So, the closer your destination is to the country’s capital, the lesser you will have to spend on your transfers.

The resorts which are more far off from Male generally require expensive seaplane transfers both ways. Plus, it is also time-consuming, in that you may have to spend a night on one of the domestic airports from where you may be getting a connecting flight. On the flip side, if you choose an island/atoll that is not very farther apart from Male, you will save a substantial amount of money on getting to your destination and back.

Traveling to the Maldives on a budget can be a big challenge; however, it is not impossible. It is very important that you are extremely careful while planning your budget, as the country is never going to turn out to be cheap, especially by Asian standards. The best way to avoid busting your budget in the Maldives is to stick to your plans and control your splurging urges.

Tips to Plan an Affordable Trip to Spain

Traveling to Spain on a budget requires a little bit of research, a pinch of tenacity, and an amazing grasp of the concept of substitution. Too confused? Well, Buzzle has laid out some handy tips for you.

As much as we’d like to curse the state of the Euro at the moment, it isn’t the only factor that’s making our European holidays expensive. It is the cumulative cost of air travel, hotel stays, internal transport, meals, entrance fees, taxes, and the likes which deliver a lethal blow to our best laid plans. But worry not, as we’ve lined up the best penny-pinching tips to help you plan a fabulous Spanish sojourn. Let’s begin.
Book your tickets early … or late.

Both might give you a cheaper deal, but if you’re looking to be on the safe side, book early; as early as three months in advance. If you think your transatlantic flight to your Spanish destination is very expensive, you may try booking a cheaper ticket to a different country close to Spain, and then book a seat on a European budget airliner like Ryanair. Keep in mind, though, that most budget airlines have a knack of levying “extra” surcharges that can elevate the cost. Therefore, it is prudent to do all the math before you book; but it is recommended that you fly direct, especially if this is your maiden visit.

Last-minute deals could be up for grabs on sites like Expedia or Orbitz. But these may not always be enticing enough, which is why early booking is your best bet.

Hotels? Or Hostels?

Yes, hostels are cheaper, and we’re all aware of that. But we’re telling you to opt for neither. If you happen to be going solo/as a couple/in a small group, we recommend Couch surfing or Airbnb. These sites will help you get in touch with people (in Spain) who will allow you to house-sit for free, while they’re traveling themselves. The arrangement works well for people who are planning an extensive stay in the country. The advantage is that it lets you stay among the locals, than be cooped up with fellow travelers in a hotel or a hostel.

If you’re not comfortable with house-sitting, or if you are traveling in a large group, renting an apartment makes more sense. The overall cost works out to be cheaper, and you always have a kitchen at your disposal―which means that you can cook and save some dough which you would have otherwise spent. You may not believe it, but home-cooked meals save you some serious money, and you only realize it on the penultimate days of your holiday. And as we all know, it is one of life’s greatest joys to discover a surprising stash of our own money when traveling abroad.

Did we hear cheap grub?

Spain, for one, is a delightful place to be in if you are a food aficionado. Their cuisine is out-of-this-world amazing, and though, we recommended that you cook a few meals in your apartment, eating out in Spain is a must. Spaniards believe in keeping their breakfast light, and their lunch is the biggest meal of the day. Which is why, they have the concept of Menu del Dia or Menu of the Day. This is a rather filling, all-inclusive meal that costs under USD 10, and feeds you all the delicious Spanish delicacies of your dreams.

Spanish people have a proclivity for late dinners, which is why they gorge on tapas, which are appetizers sold in bars. At times, they come as a free accompaniment with the drink, or you can purchase them separately. Two or three rounds of these, and you feel like you’ve drowned in food, especially if this is on a day when you’ve feasted on the Menu del Dia.

Tighten your travel expenses.

Barcelona tourist bus
Buses in urban Spain are relatively cheaper than trains. That said, Madrid and Barcelona have an excellent subway network that is easy, efficient, and not-too-expensive. Renting bicycles in Barcelona is quite the rage among Eco-conscious travelers, and is a great way to explore the city for cheap. SANDEMANs NEW Europe Tours conduct walking tours in Madrid and Barcelona. These are conducted by well-informed local guides who work on a tips-only basis. If you’re traveling to the interiors, you may want to rent a car if you have a large group, or take advantage of Spain’s extensive bus and train network. Renting cars in the big cities is definitely nor recommended, since parking fees in most urban areas tend to be exorbitant.

Sightseeing for less.

National Prado Museum
Most museums in Spain tend to have a free-entrance policy during late afternoons or on Sundays. Of course, you can expect serpentine lines during these times, but if saving money is a priority, this should not be too bothersome. Checking individual websites of attractions will let you visit these places sans the charge.

Discount cards are offered in most major cities of Spain. These passes allow you to enter several city attractions at discounted rates, and can be used over the course of around 4 weeks. This option is suitable for travelers who plan to stay put in Spain for an extensive period, rather than those who will just be spending a couple of days in a city.

Each major city also has a system of public transport discounts combined with attraction tickets, like the Barcelona Card, for instance. These passes are fabulous budget savers as they combine the cost of transportation and entrance fees as well.

Steer clear of tourist traps.

Tourists on Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain
Unfortunately, tourist traps are an inevitable part of the tourism business, and we can’t really help it. But as someone wanting to stick to a budget, it is advisable to keep these places at an arm’s length. A visit to Barcelona’s La Rambla could be on your agenda, but whatever you do, avoid shopping there, as everything is insanely expensive. Yes, even a silly Sagrada Familia fridge magnet can set you back by a cool 15 Euros. Are you really interested?

Big tips aren’t necessary.
In Spain, the generous tippers usually tend to be tourists. By Spanish standards, a 5% tip is more or less the upper limit, as against the American norm of 20%. Also, locals mostly tend to leave loose change in tips, which should give you a fair idea about the tipping customs here. So, avoid leaving hefty tips, and don’t beat yourself up for having done so.

Saving money on money matters.

Withdrawing money from ATM in Spain is a better option than carrying currency from your country of origin. You will need to talk to your bank regarding the charge levied on international withdrawals before your departure. It is recommended that you avoid money exchange bureaus, since they charge hefty fees for money transfers.

The Value Added Tax (VAT) refund in European nations is mostly seen as a hassle that most tourists don’t wish to bother with. However, if you are planning to shop a lot, do take the effort of claiming the VAT refund when you’re leaving the country. To avail this refund, your purchase has to be above a certain amount, which is 90 Euros. Also, this minimum amount has to be spent at a single store at one go―you aren’t allowed to add up your purchases from various shops to reach the required amount. Finally, when you’re leaving the country, you need to carry the transaction receipts, the billed purchases, and your passport to prove you’re not a resident of the European Union. The Customs officials will examine your documents and the corresponding goods, and the refund will be debited to your credit card in about two months’ time.

Now, there can never be an end to money saver tips, and if we were to list them all, you’d actually never end up in Spain at all. So, while budgeting is important, do not let it get in the way of having some wholesome fun. You’re going to be in Spain, after all.

Ideas for a Cheap Mini Vacation

Planning to go on a mini vacation but a little tight on budget? Don’t worry, as this article on cheap mini vacations will provide you with some good and inexpensive ideas for a small vacation.

Who doesn’t like to spend a quiet time in the woods, eating a hot meal and relaxing by the river side? But alas, this is a too idyllic situation for most of us. First of all, we cannot afford to take a leave, forget leave, most of us are engrossed in work even on weekends! And if one ever gets a golden opportunity of an extended weekend, there are many problems which make this dream even more distant! First of all, one is not aware of mini vacation destinations, that can be thoroughly enjoyed in the short period of two-three days, secondly the popular mini vacation spots are always crowded. And lastly, some really beautiful places that are not crowded and are also nearby, are way beyond your budget. One obviously cannot spend all the savings on a weekend getaway, so what should be done? Well, all you have to do is scroll down and take a look at the ideas given below. The spots mentioned in these budget travel ideas are perfect for you, as they are inexpensive, fun, not far from where you reside and also very relaxing.

Vacation Ideas

Day Trip: All you have to do is, book a flight to your neighboring state. Pack only the essentials and start your journey! Do not make any extensive plans. Just go to your neighboring state, find an inexpensive motel there and spend your weekend lazing around! There are loads of airlines which have really cheap fare, so you won’t be spending much money there. And once you go to your destination, you can do whatever you want. If you only have a weekend to spare, you can go on visiting the tourist attractions of that state throughout the day and sleep in churches at night! I know that is a little overboard, but trust me, it is fun! To truly enjoy this crazy weekend getaway, dine at the small local restaurants, as these restaurants are the ones which serve the actual specialty of their town. You will surely remember this trip for a long time!

Theme Park: If you are in search of cheap family vacations, this is the best one for you. When it comes to vacations, all kids can think of is loads of games and unlimited playtime. And even adults can enjoy some of the games of kids. The games I am talking about is not the regular hop-scotch games, the games are the huge roller-coaster rides and swings of the theme parks! Theme park is one place where adults and kids, both can equally enjoy. And more importantly, they do not cost much! So you can visit a nearby theme park of your state, or go to some bigger theme parks like the Disneyland. If you are visiting a small theme park, visit four-five of them, and of different cities!

Camping: The best part about these cheap mini vacations is that you have a lot of options to choose from. You can go camping in the Himalayas or even in your backyard! Whichever location you choose, it will be fun. If you search a little, you will find many camping organizations which organize camps even for families. So you can join them or go on a camp on your own. Just remember to take all the necessary things with you.

As you must have observed, you do not need to burn a hole in your pocket for a nice little vacation. All the above mentioned inexpensive vacation ideas will definitely save your money, but will also provide a nice happy time with family. So what are you waiting for, start packing!