Recently there has been a major push for people to slow down from their hectic work lives and take time to focus on one’s self, meaning VACATION! For some, this sounds like a great opportunity to get away, see the sites, and relax. For others, it’s a few days off, binge-watching some shows, and trolling social media as their friends and colleagues show off their fun destinations. Why is this? While travel and vacation appear to be the perfect stress-reliever, it could be a major financial drain if you are ill-prepared. So how are these Globetrotters getting to travel so much while you’re at home squeezing pennies together? It could be that they are millionaires, or maybe they have learned how to use strategies to properly plan, budget, and stretch their income so that their getaway doesn’t eat up their hard-earned funds. Here are 4 ways to financially prepare for a vacation.
Research/Choose a Destination. It is easy to think that travel is out of our price range, but it is not difficult to find out. Perform some searches on locations you are interested in and consider when you would like to go there. The earlier you plan the better! Find out the costs of travel to and from the location, hotel rooms, food, and car rental. Write a list and compare the total costs and decide which location you can best budget for. If planning is not your forte’, try a travel agency. They can plan every aspect of your trip and give you a final price.
Create a Budget. Once your destination is set, make sure to allow yourself enough time to save up the funds. It is much easier to save money when you have a goal and set time schedule. By keeping your budget in mind, you’ll be more likely to save on the small luxuries in anticipation of a larger reward. Put aside a set amount each check into your vacation budget. You may even want to open a savings account at a bank. A high-yield savings account may grow your money slightly while you save.
Use Discount Resources. We are in a Laisse Fair economy, meaning it is an open competition. Travel agencies, airlines, hotels, restaurants, and car rentals are all fighting to have your money! So much so that they are willing to offer discounts and perks to new and returning users of their service. The more discounts you find, the more money will be in your pockets for your trip!
Use Travel Rewards. This tip is for those with good credit or who are looking to build credit. There are several major credit card providers that offer reward points based on your spending. These points can be redeemed to pay for a hotel, flight, and dining expenses. Be sure to understand the Terms and Conditions of the credit card you choose so that it works for you, not against you.
Traveling is a wonderful way to unwind and rejuvenate after having to deal with the pressures of life day in and day out. There is no better time than right now to plan your getaway. Follow these tips and before you know it, you will be posting selfies from your dream location!