Planning a Memorable Vacation While On a Budget: It Is Possible

It’s summer vacation and it seems like everyone is going somewhere for a fun travel adventure. Then there’s you, with a limited budget and so many places you want to see and experiences you want to be a part of. You may think you can’t have a memorable vacation but you can.

Whether you are limited based on a budget or your current location, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your vacation time and create a fun and memorable one! Adventure exists where you allow yourself to find it, so here are some tips to help you plan a fantastic summer vacation!

Identify your goals.

What exactly do you want to get out of your vacation time? It might seem like an easy question to answer, but it’s not always obvious what exactly we want to do with our time and get out of the experience. You may want to use your vacation time to gain job experience, develop a skill, take a class, or simply try new experiences and spend more time with friends or family. Consider what is important to you, your goals, and what you hope to fulfill from your vacation time to make the most of it. Based on knowing that, you can then plan accordingly.

Think local.

Who says fun must cost a lot?! Local events are often taken for granted but they are a great option for those on a budget. Most local events are often free and available to everyone, and can include local cultural and food festivals, outdoor movie showings, and fun benefits for charities. There are so many fun and interesting events available to be a part of, it’s just a matter of finding them!

Or consider exploring local museums or other local venues you’ve never visited. It is often tempting to only want to do the fun things that you know about and already love, but it is also cool to explore new places you’ve never gone to before – including trying out that art museum or restaurant you’ve always seen but never visited. Who knows? You might discover a new great eatery, a new organization to join, or simply a new place to explore. Checking out local art museums, theater shows, and trying new restaurants has enabled me to meet great people and appreciate art forms and cuisines that I didn’t know about before.

Do your research.

To make the most out of your vacation experience it is important to first research as early as possible before formulating a solid plan. Figure out and consider potential places you’d like to go, costs, things to see, do, and recommendations to better enhance your experience (including learning basic phrases in a foreign language should a different language be spoken in the place you’d like to visit).

To save money, you can additionally consider staying in a town near your target (potentially expensive) destination and do a short commute for a cheaper price. Also check often for airplane and hotel prices, as prices fluctuate a lot based on demand and how soon you book based on the expected trip date.

Just go!

Ever been on the road and driven by a city or beach that you’ve been curious about, but never been there? Go there! It can be something as simple as planning a short weekend trip to that city or spending a day in a beach town that’s 2 hours from where you live and have always been curious about. Little exploration trips can turn into fun little vacations!

Enjoy – be in the moment.

To make the most of your vacation time it is also important to have the right mentality, and that includes making sure to be in the moment, enjoying your time. Turn off your phone, relax, take care of yourself (including your mental and physical health). Just do what you need to do so you can be in the moment, enjoying and making the most of it.

Simply spend time with your family and friends.

Sometimes simply spending time with your loved ones can be everything you need and what can make any vacation time truly memorable. Whether planning a fun weekend beach trip with friends, hosting a movie marathon featuring some of your favorite movies, going outdoors and planning on having a picnic and camping with family, a fun and memorable vacation can be simply doing the things you love with the people you love.

Creating a fun, memorable vacation doesn’t necessarily have to mean going somewhere far away and spending a lot of money. It is about how you chose to spend your time and the meaning you put in it. Adventure can truly exist wherever you open yourself to find it, whether it be in a foreign country in a different continent, within a fun road trip, a trip to Disney World, or even in your own backyard.

Where will your next vacation adventure take you?

Pearson Students: What are some tips you have to help create and have a memorable vacation while on a budget?



Doralicia Giacoman-Soto recently graduated from Tallahassee Community College with her Associate in Arts degree and is pursuing double majoring in Mass Communication and Film. She plans to become a film director and writer for media, film, and television. When she’s not recording short films and writing, she enjoys drawing cartoons and traveling. She is active in recycling efforts and taking care of the environment.

Doralicia is a Pearson Student Insider. To learn more about the program and apply, click here.



  1. Cassandra 1 year ago

    I really liked your tips of staying local and being with family and friends! Often times we can have a lot of fun doing things in the town around us with the ones closest to us.

  2. Amethyst O'Connell 1 year ago

    Good Article!

  3. Amanda Skinner 1 year ago

    Good ideas.

  4. Meilin 1 year ago

    These are some very good tips!

  5. Rena 1 year ago

    Nice job!

  6. Amber DuBois 1 year ago

    I recently took my children on a road trip. The trip was supposed to start at the top of Oregon (Tillamook) to the bottom of California (Santa Monica), taking hwy 1/101 the entire way so my children could understand the full magnitude of the oceans size, but Google ruined our trip. Every time we put in a location to the Google maps, it would revert our selected route (without warning or permission) onto the main hwy 5. No matter how many times we tried to fix the route, google took it upon itself to change direction. Google literally ruined our trip and wasted hundreds of dollars of gas and we didn’t get to ride the coast line like we had intended. Lots of tears and frustration! This was beyond infuriating and I have since deleted google maps and will never use their service again. From this experience, I learned that it is important to plan your trips with physical maps and leave the GPS closed. Thanks for the other tips!

  7. Ebony Milner 1 year ago

    This was a great article!

  8. Sam 1 year ago

    I also enjoying the “staycations” where I explore something local, like a new part of the city I am not familiar with for instance. I agree with this article!

  9. Daiki 1 year ago

    Awesome tips! Thanks for sharing them!

  10. J 1 year ago

    Nice article

  11. chris 1 year ago

    Now if only I could keep my wife from planning out every second.

  12. Jennifer L 1 year ago

    Really thoughtful ideas and great article, Doralicia! It has been really amazing seeing you continue to write, grow and develop as a writer. Keep At It!

  13. LeeAnna 1 year ago

    Cool article!

  14. Madison Rowe 1 year ago

    I really like your ideas. Some of these I have done before and some I have not.

  15. Olivia 1 year ago

    I enjoyed this article. “Staycations” are great, I hope to be able to have some this summer.

  16. Paulina 1 year ago

    Great mindset!

  17. Sanscherley 1 year ago

    Thinking local trips to save money is a great idea! If you live in a big city where things happen, I find it hard to find things to do locally that are entertaining

  18. Sidney 1 year ago

    Awesome article, quite informative.

  19. Sidney 1 year ago

    Awesome article, quite informative.
    Super helpful for people that might want to get away from home for a while in the summer.

  20. Jennifer 1 year ago

    Informative post for people who need a little more guidance.

  21. Johnny Hopkins 1 year ago

    I have always gone the “staycation” route by going to Raleigh, NC during Fall Break. I would reserve a room at the Clarion near downtown Raleigh, which was near several restaurants and nightspots. If they are still in business, Snoopy’s makes the best hot dogs.

  22. Jaesza 1 year ago

    That was a great article!

  23. Hasna 1 year ago

    Wow, really informational.

  24. Kaylan 1 year ago

    Great strategies! I never thought of some of these strategies before. Thank you!

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