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Travel is one of the greatest gifts that you can give yourself and your family. But, it’s not always easy to get away, especially if you’re a business owner working on a tight profit margin. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sneak off for at least a long weekend now and then. Keep reading for a few tips on how to keep your budget in check while you indulge in a little R&R.

Plan Ahead

As with just about everything in life, saving money on your trip starts with how you plan ahead. Spend a few minutes ordering or packing the necessities. The Jaunt Trip Kitt is ideal for a long weekend and includes everything you need to manage cleaning needs while you’re away, including hand soap, a biodegradable sponge, and five trash bags. It’s not uncommon to show up at your rental only to find the bare minimum and then have to turn around and spend three times more than you should at the closest grocery store. You’ll also want to make sure to delegate tasks at work to trusted employees while you’re away. One tip from ZenBusiness is that if someone can do your job 80% as well as you, let them do it.

Skip the hotels

On the surface, hotels have great pricing. But, if you dig a bit deeper, you may find that it’s more expensive to stay at a hotel. Instead, choose a small, locally-owned accommodation, such as a bed-and-breakfast. Not only is your experience more personalized, but you’ll also take advantage of the owner’s knowledge of the area. You probably have better food and access to luxury amenities, like coffee service or a swimming pool, that you may pay extra for at a hotel. Whether you’re visiting the mountains or the beach, don’t be afraid to go slightly off the beaten path to find an inn that gives you all the comforts of home without the surprise resort fees.

Consider a cruise

Although cruise ships can no longer fill their beds to 100% capacity, there are still plenty of deals to be had. This is because cruising bundles your food, entertainment, and lodging into one fee. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a port of call within six hours that offers a Thursday through Monday cruise, which is a great opportunity to see the ocean while leaving your cares on the shore.

tour like a local

No matter where you go, you can bet that all of the bustling tourist traps are going to be both more expensive and lower quality than places the locals visit. Forget Google when it comes to finding things to do. Instead, use a local tour guide and plan to shop at local markets. They can show you the unseen sites and likely point you in the direction of free things to do that will be twice as much fun as anything that requires your credit card.

pack your own snacks

One of the best budget tips is to simply pack your own snacks. You can get a case of bottled waters for $5, or you could spend $2 each at every gas station you stop at. The same goes for things like beef jerky, popcorn, and protein bars. You can buy these in bulk (or, better yet, make your own) for a fraction of the price that you will find on the road. If you have small children in tow, avoid anything with chocolate, cheese, or peanut butter… unless you want to deep clean your back seats upon return.

Traveling doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, especially if you’re going away for a long weekend. But, when you run your own business and you’re on a budget, you have to prioritize planning. We hope the tips above will help you get a few extra miles under your belt and a few extra memories that will fill your heart for a lifetime.

Contributing Author: Lisa Walker. Please visit Lisa at www.neighborhoodsprout.org