There are a few things that bring joy like longer days and warmer temps. But before you dive deep into summer travel, and your wallet, check out these tips that can help you have fun in the sun without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Realistic Budget
Before you hit the open road (or sky…or seas…) consider all the expenses involved, including transportation, accommodation, meals, and activities. Allocate a portion of your budget for unexpected expenses. Having a big picture overview of your financial limitations will steer your decision-making process and make overspending less likely. Opening a separate savings account to cover all or most of your expenses can be quite helpful, too.
2. Travel Off-Peak
Take advantage of off-peak seasons or weekdays when prices are often lower. Avoiding popular travel periods can help you secure better deals on flights, accommodations, and attractions. Moreover, you'll be able to enjoy destinations with fewer crowds, enhancing your overall experience.
3. Explore Alternative Accommodations
Instead of opting for traditional hotels or vacation rentals that often come with cleaning fees, explore alternative accommodations to save money. Consider options such as hostels (single rooms are often still an option), house-swapping or even house or pet-sitting for friends if your dates are flexible.
4. Be Flexible with Your Destination
Explore different destinations based on affordability. Lesser-known or up-and-coming locales can offer rich experiences without the premium rates. Research affordable domestic or international destinations—by being flexible on the ‘where,’ you can uncover hidden gems without shelling out a ton on airfare.
5. Embrace Free and Low-Cost Activities
Many destinations offer walking tours, public parks, museums with discounted admission rates, or specific days when attractions offer reduced entry fees. Take advantage of natural wonders, public beaches, and hiking trails and engage with locals to discover hidden gems and receive insider tips on affordable attractions and events.
6. Plan Your Meals Wisely
Splurging on food and drinks is easy, especially when you add in inspiring scenery. Opting for accommodations with kitchen facilities or access to a shared kitchen can save you hundreds. Prepare some of your meals instead of dining out for every meal and frequent local markets to purchase picnic-style fare. When dining out, street food vendors often offer tasty options without restaurant price tags.
7. Use Travel Rewards and Discounts
Have an airline or hotel account? Leverage those travel rewards programs, credit card points, and loyalty programs to your advantage. Additionally, search for discount codes, coupons, and promotions when booking accommodations, flights, and attractions—it literally pays to shop around!
The reward of travel lies in the experiences, connections, and memories you create, and these don't have to come with a hefty price tag. Want to see how travel fits into your big picture budget? Check out this budget worksheet from our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness or take a look at our Financial Wellness Toolbox for more budgeting tips.
If you’re interested in learning more about budgeting for your upcoming vacation, we’re here to help. Please stop by any of our convenient branch locations or call 248-322-9800 extension 5.
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