01 Apr Spend This Time Saving for Future Travel
Now is the time to start saving for (and dreaming about) the places we can eventually travel. With summer around the corner, use this time at home to start planning a well-deserved trip. Whether you’re embarking on a road trip to a neighboring state, or taking a flight to somewhere tropical, we’re here to help you save money to make your well-deserved vacation as relaxing as possible.
At least 90% of our saving tips come into play before leaving on your trip. This will help you be prepared, and will also help eliminate stress while you’re out of the office.
While you look into all of the fun activities that you’ll want to do while on your trip, be mindful of the costs. Plan out an itinerary so you have a general idea of what you want to do on your trip. Having a plan decreases the chance of random spontaneous charges that can add up. For certain tickets (plane, museum, attraction) it’s a good idea to go ahead and buy those in advance. You’re likely to get a better price, and it’ll give you a chance to pay off those expenses before you start traveling.
For other expenses that you can’t take care of ahead of time, it’s wise to create a dedicated savings account that you contribute to in the weeks or months leading up to your trip. Having an idea in mind of how much you’ll want to spend while you’re on your trip will guide you to contribute the appropriate amount from each of your paychecks.
If you’re traveling out of the country, pay attention to the foreign currency and the corresponding exchange rate. Having an idea of how much a meal, a cup of coffee, or transportation is going to cost will help prepare you to budget correctly.
Pro tip: Be mindful of your destination’s “peak season” and what that means for your wallet. Traveling during a city or country’s off-season means lower prices on hotels, flights, and attractions, as well as fewer crowds. Planning your trip to avoid peak times is optimal, but if you have a strict window of time to travel, use it as an opportunity to work backward. Research the time you’re looking to take a trip, and then choose your location based on that time period.
Whenever you travel, it’s a good idea to prioritize what’s going to be most important to you. Activities, hotels, and flights are usually the priciest part of your vacation, so pick which one you’re going to spend the most money on. If you’re going on an all-inclusive beach vacation, you may want to pick the hotel with the best amenities. If you’re backpacking through Europe, you’ll want to skip the luxury hotels that you won’t be spending much time in any way. Whatever you save on accommodation you can use towards experiences.
Prioritizing also comes into play in the short weeks leading up to your trip. Try and save everything you can during this time. Skip the cafe-made coffee on the way to work, ordering takeout, and any other unnecessary expenses. This final financial push will help make more room in your budget to spend while on your vacation and will make your trip feel like even more of a reward.
On the trip:
To make the financial transition back to real life a little easier, it’s helpful to take out cash ahead of time, and to write down credit card expenses along the way. Having some cash on hand will assist in managing your spending and monitoring your budget. Writing down larger credit card expenses will help keep you on track and lessen the blow of a hefty credit card payment. Whether it’s an extravagant dinner, a train ticket, or an evening boat cruise, it’s worth it to experience these things but to stay mindful of your spending at the same time. While on your vacation, your number one priority should be to relax and enjoy, and by following these tips you’ll set yourself up for the best possible experience.