Traveling or taking vacations give us time to get away from our daily hustle and bustle, enjoy some new experiences or just relax. The holidays, when we often connect with family and friends, are also excellent times to get out of town. Whenever you travel, here are 10 areas where you can cut costs and make your trip more affordable.
Meals are among the biggest expenses when traveling. When booking your hotel, look for one with a kitchenette or at least a fridge and microwave. Prepare some of your meals in your room, and you’ll reduce the cost of eating out.
When you venture out from your hotel, carry snacks and water with you instead of purchasing them on the go, when they are likely to be more expensive.
3. Hotel Costs
Shop around for hotel rates in the area where you want to stay. A little calling around or online searching can save you a lot of money.
4. Hotel Location/Transportation
When booking your lodging, determine how close it is to the places you want to see. Are some of your locations within walking distance or on a bus/subway route? This will help you avoid taking expensive cabs everywhere.
Be as flexible as possible on the time of day you can fly, the number of layovers, and your seat selection. Often the cheapest days to fly are Tuesday and Wednesday. In the U.S., it is sometimes less expensive if you book your flight on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday.
When booking your flight or hotel, use any points or miles you have accumulated with an airline, travel service or rewards program. If you aren’t already accumulating points, sign up to receive those benefits down the road.
Plan your vacation travel in the offseason. Typically, airplane tickets and hotels will be cheaper then, and more flights and rooms will be available, too.
Pack light to save money on checked baggage. Use the space you have in the carry-on allowed. Make sure you have all the essentials you will need so you don’t have to buy them after you land.
Look for free community activities at your destination. Research ticket prices for museums and parks; depending on the day and time of the week you are there, you could find a deal.
Create a budget for your trip, and stick to it. You’ll feel great when you come home, knowing that everything is paid off and that you did not overspend while you were away.
Using all these tips takes time and planning, but the savings will add up. And hopefully, you will return from your travels without debt and the added stress it can bring. Happy planning!
If debt is holding you back from traveling or taking vacations, call LSS Financial Counseling at 888.577.2227 for your free and confidential financial counseling session. Or, you can start by creating your financial profile online. Our certified counselors will work with you on a budget and a realistic action plan so you can gain more control over your finances. We are available to provide support whenever you are ready.
Author Jenn Kostek is a Certified Financial Counselor with LSS Financial Counseling.