Three photos on a purple background: a ski lift in the snow, a city street view and sunny palm trees

When it comes time to get out of town and cash in your vacation days, you have a lot of choices. Are you looking to explore the great outdoors, or are you more of an urban tourist? Luxury hotel or quaint cabin? Do you prefer no agenda or an action-packed trip?

To help you decide where you should go on your next vacation, you’ll want to consider your preferences, timetable and budget.

 

Plan for your personality

To begin narrowing down your options, think about what a vacation means to you. Maybe you want nothing but rest and relaxation, or you’re looking for a little excitement and adventure. A good way to think about it is: Do you want a vacation or are you looking to take a trip?

A vacation might mean mostly lazy beach days with nothing planned but rest and relaxation. On the other hand, a trip may include sightseeing, thrills like ziplining and checking out the local cuisine scene. You should also consider how much time and energy you want to put into planning your sojourn. A family vacation abroad could require months of advance planning, while a lake house retreat will probably take less effort.

Mind your money

Remember that a fabulous vacation need not break the bank. A road trip can be a great way to save on travel expenses, so consider locations within driving distance. How you choose to spend your days away will have a major impact on your budget as well. Beaches and public parks are often free to enjoy, and even urban destinations offer free or low-cost activities, such as museums, art galleries or concerts by local musicians.

Think outside the hotel box

When it comes to accommodations, check out deals and cost-comparison sites like Trivago and Hotwire. And don’t limit yourself to traditional hotels. A cozy cabin, chic vacation rental or even a more out-there option like a houseboat or tiny home might suit your vacation needs and be easier on your wallet.

Don’t neglect your dining dollars

Whether you’re a full-on foodie or happy to grab the nearest grub available, you have to eat while you’re on vacation. If you stay at a rental property with a kitchen, you’ll have the option to buy groceries and cook some meals, which can help slash your spending. Want to splurge on a fine dining experience but still stay on budget? Look for other opportunities to save, like taking advantage of breakfast at your hotel or trying inexpensive street food.

Find your perfect getaway

Travel is all about following your passion and exploring new territory. Whether you want a low-key break or a lavish journey, you can make your trip one to remember. Start saving for your dream getaway using smart tools like buckets, a feature of Ally Bank’s Online Savings Account.

Start Saving For Your Dream Trip