By Ayesha Haider, BA, MBA, AFC© Candidate, FINRA Military Spouse Fellow For most of us, receiving a tax refund is a...
With summer fast approaching, many people are getting ready to travel. Whether you’re going to see friends and loved ones or planning a relaxing vacation–or perhaps a fun-filled theme park trip–chances are, you need to stay within your budget. If your budget is feeling a little snug, there are several ways you can cut costs on travel and still enjoy the trip your family has been dreaming about.
Tip 1: Use Travel Rewards
Take a look at your credit card. While you should avoid carrying a balance on your card into the next month if at all possible, if you are using a credit card–whether for work-related expenses or for other reasons–look into one with a travel rewards program. Those rewards points stack up fast, often for spending that you’re already doing, and travel rewards can save you a fortune on your trips.
Tip 2: Don’t Eat Out at Every Meal
If you’re traveling to a place with kitchen access, plan to prepare as many of your meals as possible. If you don’t have a kitchen available, consider a cooler filled with sandwich supplies and replenished with ice from the machine down the hall. This is often significantly less expensive than even hitting up fast food restaurants. When you do eat out, try to make it for lunch instead of dinner: lunch menus are generally more reasonably priced, and often for the same meals you’d get at dinner time.
Tip 3: Look for Deals on Accommodations
Start looking for your accommodations early on to help increase your savings. Many places offer big deals well in advance of the travel season. In many cases, you’ll find that you can get a good rate at a reasonable hotel, even if it means doing without some of the amenities. Do some price comparison shopping online well before your trip begins.
Tip 4: Sign Up for Newsletters
Many hotels, trip planning websites, and even theme parks offer discounts through their newsletters. When you’re browsing online to make your travel plans, go ahead and sign up for those. Give it a few days to see whether or not a discount arrives in your inbox. You may be pleasantly surprised by how much money you can save!
Tip 5: Go in the Off Season
If you have the option to choose your vacation time, consider traveling during the off season. Not only will you find vacation destinations that are overall less crowded, you’ll also find that many places offer lower priced tickets during those seasons than they do during the busy summer months.
Tip 6: Imagine Your Real Vacation Wants and Needs
As you plan your trip, you image a stay in the lap of luxury. A hotel with a full spa, a king size bed, and a range of other luxurious amenities are at the very top of your vacation list, but are those really necessary? If you’re planning to go out sightseeing and check out all the local hot spots, for example, you might not spend much time in your hotel room. In other cases, you’ll find that you don’t really want to go sight-seeing so you can a little extra on the hotel. Take the time to think through your real wants and needs for your vacation as you’re setting your budget. You’ll find that this simple consideration makes it easier to cut corners while still enjoying your vacation goals.
Planning a vacation doesn’t have to break your budget for the entire year. By following these simple tips, you can reduce spending and have a little money left over for other important things on your list. Not to mention giving you the freedom to enjoy your trip without the stress of accumulating during your vacation. Check out these other tips for Ways to Save on Your Summer Vacation.
Information appearing in this article is obtained from sources we believe are reliable. The information may not be a complete statement of all available data and is not guaranteed as such. Marine FCU is not responsible for the contents of this article and advises its membership to investigate claims before following the information provided.