Basically, a vacation is going to cost you as much as you want it to. A lot depends on how long it is, the kind of luxury you're shooting for, and what time of the year you're going. Going on vacation in peak season can easily cost you three times what it would cost you at an off-peak time.
In the hit sitcom The Wonder Years, the father takes the whole family out on summer vacation to the beach resort, and he can't stand how everyone keeps bickering all the time. He clenches his teeth and says, "Can we all just get along and have a good time? This thing is costing me a fortune."
That's hardly the kind of attitude you want to bring going on vacation. Certainly, it's important to stay within budget. But if you believe you're going to be worried about money all the time, it probably means that you've overextended yourself. It doesn't matter where you go. You could drive 50 miles to a little known resort nearby. If it costs you very little money and if it doesn't make you feel like you're drowning in debt, that's what a real vacation is.
The first rule of going on vacation is simply – that you need to buy less vacation than you can afford. That way, you'll really enjoy yourself.
Even if there are lots of no-frills airlines out there today, ticket prices are still pretty high, and going higher. On average, your entire vacation for a family of four is going to set you back about $5000, airfare included. Be sure to book well in advance, plan your luggage needs and pay for your checked bags online. This way, you'll come out ahead.
Additionally, do your research all over the Internet, but buy with the airline. This way, you get some pretty competitive prices, and there are no penalties for changes of plan. You can find some great hotel deals, such as Craighaar Hotel.
Surprise expenses often feel a lot more expensive than they really are. The little unexpected extras can often cost a great deal of money. You might need to hire some kid to housesit for you, you might need to find a place to board your pet, your rental car might break down and you might need to quickly spring for a hotel nearby, or someone might fall ill.
There'll be all kinds of little unexpected expenses that totally foul you up. It would be a great idea to simply sit down and think hard, and account for all possible unexpected expenses. This way, when they turn up, they will not ruin your vacation.
Basically, going on vacation is about creating beautiful new memories that are worth keeping. That's the way to get the most out of the money you are spending on your vacation. That's what you should aim for. Basically, whatever you do, this should be the spirit that guides your decisions – does this help make my trip more or less memorable.