Everyone wants a yearly vacation to look forward to. Whether it’s a family reunion, a cross-country road trip, or a short journey across state lines, we all like a break from work, school, and the regular routine. Unfortunately, since traveling is expensive, not everyone can do it. The combination of airfare, hotels, dining out, and going on touring experiences adds up.
If you’re in a position where you are traveling on a tight budget, there are plenty of options to save those dollars. Here are a few cost savings suggestions:
Save, Save, Save!
Obviously, the most important resource you’re going to need in pursuit of a phenomenal trip is to have plenty of money saved.
In terms of saving for travel, there are two basic approaches:
- Start saving money on day-to-day expenses. This can simply be done by spending less than what you earn. Cut back on dining out, trips to the movies, and other non-essential purchases. Take a look at your monthly budget to see where you can make cuts to save up for your vacation.
- Increase your income. This could include a second job or a side job like babysitting, tutoring, or selling homemade items. You could also find valuables in your home to sell on eBay or have a garage sale.
In addition, you can always take out a personal loan. Taking out a loan is usually the easier path, but it isn’t always the best option. Being able to put expenses like flights and hotels on a credit card is definitely possible, but it’s best to find a credit card with the lowest possible APR. You can visit online loan companies like https://personalloan.co to take out a loan or get more information on getting extra cash for that trip.
While getting a loan is easier up front than getting that second job and/or living more frugally, you will be paying more in the long term due to interest rates. In my opinion, there is something to be said for saving and working towards your vacation goals, finally reaching them, and enjoying the rewards after the hard work of saving is done.
Find Cheap Flights
Airfare these days does not come cheaply. If you’re traveling internationally, flights can take a huge chunk of money from your travel fund. But it doesn’t have to.
If you are flexible with your flight dates and have some time to shop around for the best deal, you could save hundreds on flights. Sites such as skyscanner.net and vayama.com compare hundreds of flights from almost every airline to get you the lowest possible flight. This can save you plenty of cash, just by using a comparison search engine. Be sure to check actual airline websites as well. Sometimes the cheapest prices are offered only by the airlines.
Hotels can be expensive, so budgeted travelers can find places to stay with Workaway. Workaway is essentially working for your room and board. Many programs require you to volunteer a few hours a day (perhaps at an orphanage, a family’s home, or animal sanctuary), and in return you get a roof over your head and a couple of meals a day. Not only is this an affordable way to travel, but it’s a great way to be part of a community and meet other people (travelers and locals alike), all the while making a difference to the community you’re visiting.
If you’re not too keen on volunteering and are simply looking for free accommodations, you can always check out Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing is an alternative way to stay for free, get to know the locals, meet other travelers in the city, and potentially experience much more than you would on a normal vacation.
Of course, there’s always VRBO.com and AirBnB.com. Renting a condo or vacation home has become my family’s preferred way to lodge as my kids have become teenagers. For us, getting the additional bedrooms and bathrooms (and space!) beats the amenities that a hotel has to offer. Plus, you can save additional money by cooking your own meals.
So, if you’re eyeing up that epic family vacation you’ve always dreamt of, start saving money now and put in a little effort to be sure you can save money while booking flights and accommodations. Once you reach your destination, be sure to check out the free travel books offered in airports, hotels, and train stations. You can often find great deals and coupons for activities and excursions while traveling in the States and abroad.
Frequent travel usually equates with budgeted travel. You just have to do your research to find the best deals that fit your family.
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