When planning a vacation, it can be so easy to over spend and lose sight of good budgeting habits. After all, vacations are supposed to be times of carefree fun, not financially stressful. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your vacation in terms of both money and in relaxation.

1. Don’t go over budget, remain faithful to the budget you’ve created. This may seem like an obvious rule, but it is very easy to adopt a casual attitude about a budget while on vacation. If necessary, only head out each day with the money you’ve allotted for that day. If you underspend one day, add that extra money to the next day’s allotment.

homestay2. Fully research your vacation. Find out exactly what is included in your accommodations package and what you will have to pay for. A little bit of research goes a long way towards guarding against those extra expenditures that have a tendency to sneak up on us. Research also helps you to find out exactly what you can pack ahead of time. The accommodations you choose might have a pool, for instance, and it is much cheaper to bring a suit from home rather than having to purchase whatever is available from nearby stores.

3. Local homestays are a fantastic way to save money. These are great opportunities because they are often cheaper than a hotel and the hosts have knowledge of the local attractions. Another advantage of this type of accommodation is that food is often included in the stay. A stay like this ensures almost full cultural immersion, which is fantastic if you have kids and are traveling to give them a broader experience.

4. Book wisely. Different areas are more or less expensive depending on how close they are to the center of cities and whether they are typical tourist spots. If you’re going to Chicago, for instance, it will be cheaper to stay a little further from the heart of the city.

5. Use local travel accommodations. Many cities have fantastic bus and subway lines that can take you to all of their tourist attractions. Driving and parking a car can get expensive, it might be best to look into a bus or subway pass. Lots of cities offer ten day or one week passes for a one time fee and riding a bus, trolley, or subway is a great way to explore like the locals.