Many people put off saving for a vacation because they’re under the impression that they’re too expensive. However, it is completely possible to shatter these financial myths and make affording a holiday a much more achievable goal!
By identifying each aspect of your trip and finding a way to save, you can easily cut down costs and create a budget that’s well within your reach. Then it’s simply a case of creating a saving strategy that is within your limits and, finally, enjoying the vacation of your dreams.
To help get you started, here are a few great tips for saving money for you trip, and ensuring your dreams can come true, no matter how strapped for cash you might feel.
Most will be glad to know that there are more money-saving travel options available to help you get to your ideal destination than ever before. Low-cost airlines, such as Ryan Air, WOW air or Norwegian, are popping up all over the world and offer fantastic ticket prices that require no extra effort.
However, if you’d rather fly in style, or just want to cut the costs even further, there are a few great flight hacks that can be put into play:
- If your flight has a stopover, book both legs separately. It’s almost always cheaper.
- Choosing when to book is important; buy your flight as soon as possible, and then install a flight price alert tool that will notify you if the prices fall.
- Opt to fly midweek. After much speculation, it’s generally agreed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the cheapest days to travel.
- If you’re traveling over land, coaches almost always cost less than air travel.
Following these tips means you can stretch your money further to spend on the things you want!
Ever dreamed of bumping yourself up to first class? Flying off-season can also dramatically alter costs. While a luxury flight from London to New York will set you back around $10,000 in summer, taking same flight in winter could save $3,000, making it a much more affordable option.
Where to Stay
There are loads of fantastic options available for holidaymaker’s accommodation. If you’re not planning on spending much time indoors, hostels are the ideal choice for those trying to keep the cost low. Similarly, Airbnb offers places to stay at a range of prices and, particularly if you share a room, this option can very often be kinder on the purse strings than better-known budget choices. By doing this, you can afford to pay for that exciting hiking excursion, or even just pick up a few extra souvenirs to take home with you!
If you want to spend your vacation meeting the locals and immersing yourself in the native culture, couchsurfing.com is a brilliant resource where you can link up with users who will host you for free. Members are usually well-vetted and reviewed, so it’s a much less risky option than it appears on the surface. Plus, it offers you a unique insight into the local way-of-life in the country you’re visiting.
What to Do
As the most touristic of attractions usually have the heftiest price tags attached, taking better care of your money while on holiday often allows you to experience a more authentic side of the destination you’re visiting. No matter where you are, it’s always free to wander around the city streets and sit back and relax in the local parks; you can almost guarantee there will be a botanical garden and adjacent old town that won’t charge for entry.
Often civic and historical museums allow guests to peruse their content for free, so with a little bit of research, you are sure to find something to do. Similarly, for a small fee (although sometimes free as well) there are often locally run walking tours so you can learn more about the culture you’re visiting from a native who knows it well.
This also means you can indulge in some classic holiday retail therapy and have money for extra essentials, such as a new pair of sunglasses to improve your sunbathing experience or umbrella for those unpredictable summer storms.
What many fail to realize is that the often the biggest travel expenses are the unplanned ones. Making sure you have prepared for all the most likely disasters is the best way to avoid hefty bills and unexpected charges.
Obviously, one clear example of this is with medical care. No one expects to get sick on holiday, but if the worst happens and you aren’t adequately insured, the hospital expenses you will be faced with could be crippling. This is why, even though you might be tempted to avoid investing in travel insurance, it’s guaranteed to save you more money to enjoy your well-needed vacation in the long run.
Similarly, cybercrime amongst travelers has been on a dramatic rise of late. While public WiFi can be extremely handy for cutting costs when overseas, these unsecure networks have become a hotbed for hackers waiting to pounce on unsuspecting tourists inputting their credit card details.
This growing problem has been mainly attributed to the fact that these shared networks leave your data completely unencrypted, so if you don’t want to sacrifice the convenience they provide, then it’s wise to use a Virtual Private Network, which will do the encryption for you.
No one should sacrifice a vacation because of the money. These tips make it perfectly possible to have the time of your life no matter what your budget. So, what are you waiting for? All that’s left to do now is pick your dream destination, and you’re all set to have the adventure of a lifetime!
About the author: Cassie is an internet entrepreneur and experienced finance manager. She has managed to create a thriving career by instigating smart hacks to cut costs and allow her to better use her funds. She hopes her advice can help others to do the same.