I went to spring training in Arizona recently with some friends, and while it’s difficult to call four days away from home a real vacation, the short vacation still felt like a worthwhile one.
Four days off in a row is basically a long weekend, and it can be hard to justify the expense of a flight, hotel, rental car, meals, souvenirs and other expenses that often come with a vacation.
I’m a big baseball fan and a trip to spring training is worth the expense, but spending a lot of cash for four days of fun is still hard to justify. For example, spending $1,000 over four days is a lot more expensive per day — $250 — instead of over a week, though extra time will add to your cost. But my thought is if you’ve already spent the money on a flight somewhere, you might as well enjoy being there for more than a few days.
With some planning and the generous help of friends, I made the visit to Arizona an inexpensive trip. The financial tactics I used can be used for any trip, short or not, but can be especially helpful on a budget for a short trip.
Here are five ways to save on a short vacation:
Go where friends and relatives live
I have family and friends living in Arizona, and while I didn’t impose on them during this trip for a bed to crash on, some have invited my wife and I to stay in their homes if we’re ever in the area.
You never know if those invitations are sincere or not, but if they are, then three nights is probably the most amount of time you’d want to spend there for the sake of everyone. You want to be a good guest, and after three nights it can get difficult.
The high school friend who hosted us during this trip is an incredibly nice guy and has offered to let me stay at his house. On this trip I was traveling with two other friends, so there wasn’t room for all of us.
Still, he was nice enough to drive us around, and offered to let us use his family’s second car — which we declined. Luckily, we found a place to stay that was a short drive from his house. And that’s another area to see if a friend or family member who lives in the area you’re visiting can help you out in — transportation. Many people have second cars that sit idle all day, or you could use Lyft, Uber and public transportation. Continue reading