Preparing for a trip can be a challenge and also very expensive. According to an American Express survey, the average US citizen spends about $1,145 on travel expenses alone. That figure already includes accommodations, car rental, extended holidays, tourist spots, food, and so on. However, this is not set because there are a lot of factors that can dictate how much you’ll spend on a holiday vacation, especially outside the county.
That said, if you’re looking forward to going for a vacation soon, but you’re quite worried about how much you’re spending on it because you’re on a tight budget, don’t worry, we can help you with that. In this article, we will be talking about some tips on saving money for a vacation. These are some general tips to help you set your priorities straight and budget your money accordingly.
Here are some of these tips.
Set a Firm Budget
Of course, the first thing you have to consider when going for a vacation is to set a budget. This should be a hard upper limit that you should never cross. But how do you set a budget? The key here is not precision. The event is too unpredictable, and many unforeseen events might happen when you’re on vacation.
So instead of going for precision, you should go for an educated estimate. Of course, this estimate should include your accommodations, meals, sightseeing, activities, shopping, incidental expenses, and emergencies.
That said, you can first research your big-ticket items like how much you’ll spend on airfare from sites like NextVacay.com and lodging from hotel websites. These are the ones you can easily research because you can usually find them online.
For everything else? You can check your gut for items like daily expenditures in your destination. Do you expect to eat at restaurants? Rent a car to tour around with? Or do you have more than one destination in mind?
Arrive at costs for each of your items and add them up altogether to get a total of your expected cost range. You can pay the total up by 10-15% for unexpected emergencies such as delays, fluctuations in prices, and so on. After that, the final number should be your upper budget limit, which you should never cross.
If you have the luxury to set your vacation to a date where it’s not a holiday, then you’re in luck. This is an optimal time to travel because, for the most part, air travel and hotels are much cheaper. The summer is often the most expensive time to travel because companies tend to bump their prices to capitalize on the crowd going for a vacation.
The other advantage of traveling non-peak is there’s almost always no crowd to the tourist destinations you want to go to. Sure, a few fellow tourists will be touring with you simultaneously, but at least you’re not squeezing in with a crowd.
Use Travel Credit Cards
One way to offset some of your travel expenses is by using a travel rewards credit card. The signup bonus can usually get you a free ticket somewhere, but the main advantage is that the more used it is for purchases, the more rewards you’ll get. The rewards are often in the form of free air mileage, free car rental, or free accommodations. A pretty sweet deal if you’re looking to save some money on those things.
Another advantage of them is that they often come with free travel insurance. This can save you a lot of money in cases of lost baggage or a delayed flight. Also, some of them offer no foreign transaction fees. Most travel rewards credit cards often have foreign transaction fees, which can be annoying.
They are charged to you every time you use your card for purchases outside the country, and they can rack up over time. If you’re considering getting a travel rewards credit card, find one with no foreign transaction fees to avoid stress and headaches.
Set Up a Special Savings Account
If you want to save a little faster and much more efficiently, what you can do is create a separate savings account. You can then set your salary to have a percentage of it be transferred automatically into this savings account, so you don’t have to manually do it, and you’ll have no time to hesitate. Of course, try to avoid dipping your hands into it if you don’t want it to run out even before you’re out of the country.
Saving for a vacation can be a tough challenge, especially in terms of finances. However, though it may be generally expensive, there are things that you can do to save a little bit of money for your vacation. You just have to be smart and creative about it.