Cost Effective Vacation Ideas

Going on vacation is rarely cheap. Between the costs for hotels, flights, car rentals, attractions, and meals, going away can really set you back money-wise.

But the cost of going away shouldn’t deter you from giving yourself (and your family) a much needed break! Here are some cost effective alternatives to a traditional vacation:


While the term itself may not be particularly inventive (it’s a combination of the words ‘stay’ and ‘vacation’), staycations have rapidly become all the rage. In essence, a staycation occurs when you act like a tourist in your own city and go explore the places and attractions you don’t normally bother with or haven’t been to in years. Go to museums, amusement parks, aquariums, and any other attractions you’re likely to see on your city’s tourism website.

The key is to plan in advance; check websites like groupon for deals and discounts and don’t forget to check the websites of the attractions you plan to visit to see if there’s a discount for buying online or booking your tickets early.

Look for Last Minute Deals on Travel Sites

Sometimes you can find some absolutely fantastic last minute getaways for a really reasonable price. The key with last minute deals is to make sure you’re as prepared as you can possibly be beforehand. Check that your passport hasn’t expired and that you’re able to book the time off work on short notice.


This is likely your most cost effective vacation option. Aside from the price of gas and the camp site fee, you can bring everything you need from home with you. Do your research before booking and ensure that the grounds are clean/have good reviews from previous campers and don’t forget to secure whatever food you do bring to keep the wildlife at bay (raccoons and bears are notorious for trying to get into coolers).

Hotel Alternatives

If your heart is set on traveling somewhere a little bit further from home, then your best bet is to look into affordable hotel alternatives. Sites like airbnb will often let you book accommodations for significantly less than a traditional hotel. Another option is to book with a hostel. The options typically  range from having your own bed in a shared room with others to paying more for your own private room. Make sure to do your research and read customer reviews before booking. There are some excellent hostels and some terrible ones; you want to make sure the place you stay falls in the former category.


Whether you decide to get away for the weekend or just for the day, a roadtrip is a great option to explore away from home without having to spend much money.

Go During the Off season

If you’re able to wait until the end of the summer, you’re likely to get a much better deal on your trip. Even better, see what kinds of rates you can get in the middle of September when the kids are back in school and tourism season is over.

Need some extra help managing your finances? You can apply online here.

Have you been on a ‘staycation’ before? Leave a comment telling us some of your favourite local things to do.