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Seven Tips to Plan a Budget-friendly Vacation with Faraway Friends –

Vacating
with friends seem fun until you check your bank account and realize
that it is close to being impossible. Hanging out with the best
people in your life is one of the things many people look forward to,
but unfortunately, their hopes and dreams are cut short. It gets even
more frustrating when your social media feed is filled with people
vacating and hanging out with loved ones, and you can only but wish
to do the same.

The good
news, however, is that you don’t have to break the bank to have a
vacation with your friends. Below are seven tips to help you plan a
budget-friendly vacation with faraway friends:

1. Set your budget

The first
thing to do while planning a vacation, whether alone or with a group,
is to have a budget to work with. While vacations might seem like the
best thing, it can also get costly, adding up lodging, airfare,
feeding, maintenance, and miscellaneous. Know how much you can spend
and list out everything you will need to make the vacation happen.
The budget will help keep you in check as you plan, so you know when
not to cross the line and when to compromise.

Simple steps to get a budget include:

Calculate your expenses

Determine your income

Set savings and debt payoff goals

Record spending and track progress

Be realistic

Setting
up a realistic budget helps you make your financial goals a reality,
including planning a dream vacation.

2. Find a Middle Ground — Literally

If you
and your friends are coming from different locations, you can choose
a central point to have the vacation, where each one of you won’t
have to spend more than a particular amount on flight tickets. You
need to be flexible with your plans, such that you are able to change
destination venues to suit everyone’s pockets. This might include
last-minute decisions, as long as everyone is happy about it. It
might be impossible if you tie yourself to a particular location and
time of travel. Keep your options open and be flexible, and you just
might find yourself on the perfect vacation that aligns with your
budget.

You can
also look out for busy cities with interesting centers of attraction
that will make you enjoy your vacation. Most often than not, busy
airports with lots of people visiting tend to have a cheaper flight
so you might want to look into that.

3. Compare Prices

This also
follows being flexible. Don’t just stop at one airline or website;
try other websites, and compare the prices to see which suits you
best. Compare prices ranging from the airline to the hotels, trips,
and meal options. You can also use a travel advisor itinerary. At the
end of the day, the goal is to get the best price and service that
suits your budget.

4. Mix and Match Using Different Airports

This is
also another way to save on your flight tickets. You just have to be
smart about it. Simply check out flight movements and see if you can
get one with a stopover, which could likely get you a discount. You
could also use a neighboring airport if it is cheaper to take off
from there, and then, you can cover the distance with a cab or a bus.

5. Use a VPN to Find the Cheapest Deals

Prices
often differ based on where you are booking from. To avoid this, it’s
best to use a VPN which blocks your location and could make it seem
like you are booking from somewhere else. You could get the best
deals with this, after checking different flights.

6. Take Turns

This is
also another simple way to travel on a budget. Simply alternate and
go to the home city of one friend at a time. By doing this, you could
all crash at the host’s residence and split the expenses throughout
the stay. You can also all split the costs of travel, to ensure that
everyone pays the same amount regardless of where they are traveling
from. One simply compensates for the other by putting the money
together and splitting equally to each person.

7. Maximize outdoor photography

Getting an outdoor photographer could save you more money on photography. You could use your smartphones to take a great picture, and if you need someone to help take a group picture, you could ask a random passerby to help out. This will help cut some cost off photography, and you would end up spending little or nothing for photography.

You could
also alternate among yourself and your friends to take pictures of
your activities. Here are a few tips to help you take great photos
while on vacation:

Tilt your
camera for a more appealing angle

Incorporate
the surroundings; look for side attractions

Look for
lines and patterns to make your picture more dynamic

The
quality of light also matters

Always
remember details. Zoom in where necessary to capture the most
important figures.

Conclusion:

Planning
a vacation with a low budget might not come easy, but it is possible
if you try the above tips. A low budget shouldn’t automatically erase
the idea of a dream vacation.

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