Fall is here, and if you find yourself filled to the brim with autumnal wanderlust, you’re not the only one! Whether you’re hoping to get out of the house for a weekend or if you're planning a longer trip, we know that vacations can be expensive. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank to have your dream getaway. Check out our tips on how to have an affordable vacation this fall!

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Visit an off-season location


Visiting Cape Cod or Aruba during the summer is great: Wading in the cool ocean water, relaxing on sandy beaches, and meeting new people. However, the high prices and heavy tourist traffic is definitely not great. Have you considered visiting these locations during their off-season? Sure, you may miss out on some sunny weather, but the savings and lack of crowds make up for it a thousand times over. Do research ahead to time to see what locations are considered off-season during the fall and book your trip!

Visit the great outdoors


Many national parks are free to the public and allow you to go sightseeing without having to even break out your wallet. Spend some time hiking in the woods, relaxing on a picnic blanket underneath a canopy of trees, or sitting outside a tent gazing up at the stars.

Pack a cooler or cook a few meals


It’s a truth universally acknowledged that paying for food is one of the priciest parts of going on vacation. Luckily, you can make traveling budget-friendly without going hungry. If you’re traveling by car, pack a cooler full of food that you can eat while on the road: sandwiches, fruit, salads, etc. You can also pack dry goods that don’t need to be refrigerated such as trail mix, jerky, and cookies. We also encourage travelers to consider cooking a few meals during their trip. If you swap homes for vacation, you are guaranteed to have an equipped kitchen that you can use to cook in instead of spending money on takeout or going out to eat.

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Go out to eat for lunch


If there’s a restaurant you’re dying to try while on vacation, consider going during lunchtime. Oftentimes, restaurants will offer a cheaper menu or lunch specials that you can take advantage of. Don’t forget to check and see if they have senior or military discounts that you could qualify for as well!

Stay in a HomeExchange


Swapping homes is by far the best way to save money on accommodations, which can eat up hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Why not save that money while also experiencing the comforts of home? For $220 a year, HomeExchangers can swap homes with other members as much as they want without having to worry about excessive hotel and vacation rental prices. Staying in a local’s home also allows you to enjoy your getaway more authentically as opposed to staying in a resort.

Stroll off the beaten path


Let’s face it: The big tourist locations are overrated and overpriced. If you want to really know your vacation destination while also saving a few bucks, then spend some time off the beaten path. Do some research before you go to see what hidden gems you can visit and what restaurants are most beloved by locals. You can also go out of your way to visit a city or town that is not often frequented by tourists: You get the experience of fully immersing yourself in the local culture while also saving money.

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Whether you’re on a budget or you’re hoping to save some money on your next vacation, there are plenty of great ways to save money while on your autumnal getaway. After all, the experiences you have on a trip with loved ones are worth more than what money can buy, so you might as well save money on activities and accomodations!