Spring Break and summer vacation are right around the corner. Are you dreaming of warm, sandy beaches, amusement parks or of hitting the slopes? No matter what your ideal location, it’s important to make the right moves and budget ahead of time for flights and hotels. This week I would like to share my travel tips on the cheap. Don’t worry, they’re easy!
Months and Weeks Ahead
My husband and I plan well in advance for our trips, sometimes even up to a year ahead of time. We save up for airfare and hotel, as well as saving for what we’ll spend on our meals and activities. A simple way of estimating how much you want to save is to choose a rough total and then divide it by the number of weeks you have to save up. Every week, move that much money into a special savings account for your vacation. https://www.communityamerica.com/special-purpose-savings
Make Sure Your Fare is Fair
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One thing we always will look at during our vacation planning is the prices of airfare different times of the year. Plane tickets are always cheaper when you’re not going somewhere during its peak season of travel. However, this can be an opportunity instead of a roadblock. Visiting a big city like Chicago or New York in the winter may seem unappealing at first glance but remember there’s a lot to do indoors, such as museums or other traveling exhibits. You do need to remember to factor in your travel expenses once you arrive at your destination. Cab fares can be high, so take that into consideration. https://infographiclist.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/off-season-travel-guide_5216163b91a1e.jpg
Off-site Not Always On Point
Off-site hotels are cheaper than hotels in the middle of the action, so you can save a lot of money by searching surrounding areas for hotels. For example, a few years ago, we went on a family vacation to Disney World. We wanted to save money on our hotel by staying in a hotel that was 10 miles from the theme parks.
Although we did save money on our hotel, we ended up spending a lot more than we wanted to on cab fares to and from the airport and the theme parks every day (sometimes even a few times a day), making our trip more expensive than we planned. Add these costs to the price of snacks and souvenirs and our off-site hotel was a wash.
The Rubber Meets The Road
In comparing the prices, I also found that for my family, it would have been much cheaper to pile into the car and drive to Orlando rather than flying across the country. Not only would we have saved on multiple plane tickets, we would have had our own vehicle on vacation. Admittedly, it would have been a daunting car ride there and back, and having the extra time can be an issue for many, but to me it is worth it to save the hundreds of dollars we spent on plane tickets and cab fares. http://www.mousesavers.com/transportation-for-disney-vacations/road-trip-to-disney-world/
With some careful planning and an open mind about location and timing, you and your family can take in some new views and make some awesome memories. Don’t be scared to make a change this year!
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Tina Mapes is an assistant branch manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens.