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How to Plan a Vacation on a Budget

The majority of people today have a passion for travel. Some enjoy to travel far, others prefer to travel near. No matter where you want to go, traveling can get very expensive. Between the cost of gas, airfare, food, hotels, and activities, travel can get unaffordable at times. Luckily with the travel experience I have, I know a few tips and tricks on how you can plan your dream vacation on a budget and still do the activities you wish without spending a fortune.

First and foremost i’ll use Mammoth Lakes as an example for a travel destination. Decide how long you want to stay for, will you be traveling by air or car, and whats your max budget? For myself my budget was $2,000 I stayed for four days, and I drove.

Transportation Price Options:

Driving from LA: Depending on what type of car you have the average price you would be spending can be anywhere between $40 – $70 to get to Mammoth Lakes.

Flying from LAX Round Trip: Can range between $157 – $207 depending on the times and dates you wish to leave.

Housing Options:

Typically people search on Airbnb and VRBO when trying to find a vacation rental, unfortunately these places tend to be expensive. Although the best place to look is  at your destination property manager such as, Nomadness Rentals. They have become my all time go to company when renting a vacation home. They offer affordable places to stay at fantastic locations and are always offering discounts and more! As many do, I also highly recommended Nomadness.

Budget Rentals: If you’re okay with a smaller place to stay that’s not luxury, you’ll save a ton of money and you’ll still be cozy! An estimate four night stay will cost anywhere in between $754 – $1,144 (prices based without discounts.)

Food Expenses:

Cooking: Eating out very night will definitely dig into your budget a lot. So bringing frozen meals or groceries you can cook will save you a tremendous amount. Depending on the groceries you buy you’ll typically spend from $50 -$150 for the week.

Restaurant: If you’re not a fan of cooking, there are some pretty delicious restaurants that have low prices. Per person it would cost between $10 – $40 per meal depending on what you order.


Skiing/Snowboarding Lift Tickets: $150 per day (ages 23-64)

Mammoth Sledding/Tubing: $40 per hour

Adventure Sledding: Free! (Take your own sled, explore into the woods and find some rolling hills to sled down)

Scenic Gondola Rides: $35

Adventuring/Off Roading: Free! (Explore whenever and wherever you want)

Ice Skating: $10

Adding up The Expenses:

Between everything, a four night stay in Mammoth lakes, including gas, food, a place to stay and fun activities your total expenses would total out to around $1,100.

 Additional Helpful Tips:

  • Do lots of research & shop prices around
  • Talk with other travelers and see what they did
  • Travel mid week to save more
  • Travel with a large group to combine money
  • Take advantage of your student ID (ask everywhere if they offer a discount)
  • Save on gas by taking the free trolley around town or just walk

Where to Book: Nomadness Rentals


Phone: (818)883-2488

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