Here's how you can vacation on a budget

vacation elaine courtney

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension agent Elaine Courtney — pausing in Porto, Portugal's central train station, during a 2013 trip through the Iberian Peninsula — says that taking public transportation is one way to maximize vacation dollars.

Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Friday, March 14, 2014 at 16:15 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Residents don't need to go bankrupt to have fun, memorable vacations, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension agent Elaine Courtney said.

By planning a budget, saving for a vacation, checking Internet bargains, vacationing at home or traveling off season, travelers can maximize their vacation for minimal dollars, she said.

Saving toward a trip months in advance can save thousands compared to charging it to a credit card, said Courtney, who works in the Extension's Crestview office.

For instance, the average family's vacation costs $1,600; if charged to a typical credit card, it would take 14 years to pay off making minimum payments, and would cost $3,500 with interest, she said.

Adequate vacation planning also is essential for a stress-free get-away, taking the most advantage of limited vacation days, Courtney said during a March 4 presentation at the Crestview Public Library.

Visiting the library for planning tools such as travel guides and atlases, especially if planning international travel, can help, she said.

Vacationers with limited budgets might consider a vacation at home, also called a "staycation."



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