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Save money on your next weekend vacay with these tools and tips.
Getting away for the weekend is an easy way to unwind and recoup without taking time off from work. Taking a break from the daily grind is important, but what if you don’t want to drive or fly for hours to find your next favorite place? Enter the perfect solution: a quick trip that isn’t too far away from your home base. You’ve got choices when finding the best weekend getaways in each state. But going on a weekend trip closer to home will help you keep costs down amid rising inflation. With more budget-friendly trips, you can get away without spending a fortune. Three hours away is the happy medium for mini family vacations on a budget, so get out of town and discover a new locale.
Finding the perfect getaway within three hours
There’s a new way to find a weekend destination quickly. No, you don’t need to break out a real (or digital) map or browse through travel websites. Instead, try Within Hours, a simple new tool that lets you plug in your area, select the time or distance you want to travel, and hit “Go.” Since you can pick a destination just a few hours away, you can save money on transportation. No plane or train tickets are needed!
So, say you live in New York City, and you’ve decided, “I want to find weekend getaways within three hours of me.” On Within Hour’s home page, type in “3 hours” in the distance box and “New York, New York” in the location box. At the touch of a finger, you’ve got some great suggestions, including Albany and Cooperstown in New York or Cape May in New Jersey. When you click on a destination, it brings you to Trippy, a travel website that gives you an idea of what to do, where to stay and where to eat.
How do I plan a weekend getaway on a budget?
If you’re still looking for the best fall weekend getaways before winter starts or want to plan ahead, there are plenty of ways to save. First, decide on what a comfortable budget is for your trip. You can save on hotel bills by booking your stay on a Saturday, Sunday or Monday, when the prices are cheaper, per travel aggregator Kayak. Kayak also claims a Sunday check-in date can save you money.
You can also take advantage of booking websites, which often offer deals like discounted rooms. For instance, Priceline offers discounted deals on specific hotels through its Express Deals or Pricebreakers features. It also helps to check sites like Tripadvisor or Kayak to compare booking prices in seconds.
The easiest ways to save money are to stay flexible and stay local. Don’t go more than a few hours away—this will quickly eat into your budget. And when you’re planning your trip, keep an open mind. Maybe you don’t need to stay married to a specific rite of passage, like a famous museum with expensive tickets. Look for low-cost activities and restaurants that aren’t too fancy. Try outdoor excursions that cost little but provide a lot of memories. Most of all, have fun and make meaningful memories.
- Kayak: Global Hotel Study: When to Book and How to Save