Visiting new places can be fun and exciting, but long vacations to eye-popping destinations can take a toll on your wallet. Here are a few tips to make your vacation budget go farther!
One of the most exciting parts of life is seeing the world that we’re so lucky to live in. At the same time, we understand that the limited nature of money sometimes requires us to travel on a budget. You don’t have to sacrifice vacations altogether; you just have to prepare and know a few tips to stretch and maximize your vacation budget. Here are a few ways to do just that.
Planning your vacation in advance is one of the best ways to save money, as it can give you clear and concise direction for your travel, your accommodations and more. It might also give you the opportunity to book flights or experiences that wouldn’t otherwise be available, offering more flexibility or giving you your pick of the litter when it comes to travel dates and times. For example, while finding better flight rates on a Tuesday seems to be a myth, you may be able to get a better deal through diligent price tracking and being open minded about your travel schedule. It’s also important to consider the stress you can relieve yourself of when planning early. It’s no secret that we all make better decisions when we’re not backed into a corner, and planning when your trip is a good way’s away can help you weigh your options and make well-thought-out choices.
Stick to That Plan
It’s easy to get swept up in the sometimes-expensive allures of the destination you’ve traveled to, but that can be one of the easiest ways to accrue expenses. That’s why it’s important to stick to your plan, as you’ve likely accounted for each of your activities and various costs in relation to your budget. Now, we’re not saying to eliminate all of the unexpected costs, and we strongly encourage you to set aside a bit of extra cash for the surprises you may encounter once you’re on vacation, but visiting a high-end restaurant you stumbled upon, seeing an extra show, or freely and spontaneously spending simply because you’re there can be detrimental to your wallet.
Travel During Low Seasons
Depending on when you decide to travel, you may be able to find more affordable flights and accommodations; however, high seasons and low seasons will be different for each destination. For example, summer will likely be the high season for any coastal cities and states in America, meaning that if you’re trying to travel and stay for a low rate, it may be better to visit during the fall or winter. That said, you may have to give up some of the luxuries of the high season like warmer ocean water and better weather for those lower rates. At the same time, even if you aren’t able to capitalize on the perks of the high season, it’s likely that you can still have a fun and creative vacation. As an example, in Japan, spring through the tail end of summer is considered the high season because cherry blossoms are in bloom, and mountain climbing is open to the public, but gorgeous fall weather and beautiful autumn foliage can make a third-quarter trip worthwhile while still offering reasonable costs and fewer competing visitors.
Choose Accommodations Wisely
This sounds obvious, but being mindful about how and where you stay can help you stay cost efficient on your vacation. First and foremost, be sure to explore your options, and be wary of ancillary fees that hotels and homestay apps may tack on before showing you the final price of your stay. You may also be able to save by traveling to places that don’t add costs through resort fees or other extra methods of running up your bill. Additionally, it can be a good idea to consider staying in less luxurious accommodations. While you certainly want to be safe and comfortable, that may still be achievable at more affordable hotels or even hostels. It’s safe to assume that you’ll be spending most of your time exploring and away from the hotel, so sleeping arrangements could be less of a worry than you realize.
Do As the Locals Do
When in Rome, right? Truly, though, those who live in the cities and towns you visit often know the best ways to save a few bucks throughout the day. For example, taking public transportation might save you hundreds in comparison with the cost of ride-sharing services or renting a car. Major metropolitan areas often have extremely efficient ways of traveling throughout the city and getting everywhere you need to be, typically for a relatively affordable rate. They might even have a day-long pass, allowing you to jump on any train or bus for one low rate. Asking for restaurant recommendations might also help you get the most bang for your buck, as residents likely visit restaurants they can afford on a daily basis. Plus, they probably know all the hidden secrets and the best places to find the most delicious food that internet search results may not pull up.