Feature Image of Weekend Getaway? How to Travel on a Budget in 2020

It seems that given the way this year is going, everyone needs time away to rest and recharge. Even with tighter travel restrictions in place, it’s possible to have an amazing weekend getaway in New York State and not spend a fortune to do so. A short trip can be just as fun as a longer trip, and they’re typically much more budget-friendly. Organizing an unforgettable weekend away requires some advanced planning, but with a little bit of research you’ll be well on your way to an amazing, affordable trip. Here are our best tips for planning the perfect close-by weekend getaway this summer on a shoestring budget.

Have a set budget before you go.

Make sure you review your finances and come up with a fixed number that represents your budget for the trip. Whether you’re keeping a budget because of economic reasons or just don’t want to spend a huge amount on a short trip, this should be top of mind while you’re planning and traveling. Talk about it openly with your traveling partners. Being honest about your finances helps everyone be on the same page and respect each other’s financial needs and goals. Given social distancing guidelines, this might be having separate hotel rooms vs. sharing so take into account those needs as you plan. You should also make sure you know the payment policies of each place you’re planning to visit, especially now. Some shops only take certain forms of payment and hotels differ in their pay now/pay when you check out policies. Make sure you have enough cash and the right cards with you on your journey.

Choose your destination thoughtfully.

New Yorkers are really lucky that our state offers so many different travel options from cities to countrysides and everything in between. Whether you want to visit a historic siteor be in the middle of nature, a weekend excursion in this state is totally doable. However, with different regions having different Covid-19 rules, it’s important to understand what you’ll be allowed to do in the region where you’re headed. This can also play a role in budgeting for your trip as you’ll know how to better plan for meals, paid activities (or not), and where you can stay.

2020 — The Year of the Road Trip

Since booking a flight isn’t necessary if you’re staying in New York State, pull up an app like Google Maps and brainstorm some destinations that are within a reasonable driving distance from you. Plus, road trips give you the added fun opportunity of great playlists with snacks and epic sing-alongs. Plan for expenses like gas and, given possible restrictions in regions along your journey, save even more money by packing yummy snacks instead of stopping road-side.

Hotels are usually more costly than an option like Airbnb. You can find great deals, stay relatively distanced from others and live like a local, which is pretty cool. Depending on the Airbnb you find, you might end up with some sweet perks too–like rooftop patios, a pool or kitchen access. Having your “own” place also negates having to eat out for every meal, which is a huge money saver and could even be necessary depending on restaurant availability near your destination.. Consider buying some groceries and making your own breakfast and lunch each day, leaving you with a little more money to spend on delicious dinners (or save for a rainy day).

Another option for your 2020 road trip is an RV vacation — your own “home” away from home.

Plan your activities accordingly.

There are so many things you can do while traveling for free or cheap! Plan plenty of nature into your itinerary; parks are usually free and there’s a ton of natural beauty to take in. Many museums are free or donation-based, so incorporate those into your itinerary as well. Do your research up front to find options that suit you and the times in which we’re living.

Happy traveling! We hope you stay safe, stick to your budget, and have fun on your exciting weekend getaway.

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