How to Create a Travel Budget
May 13, 2017
With summer around the corner, making vacation plans with family and friends may be on the top of your list. Getaways can be expensive, but you can still have fun and relax without going broke! It just takes some planning.
Before you book a trip, first set a travel budget to determine what you can afford to spend. A budget is a great tool to help you stay within your spending limit and can help you make good decisions for your trip. Researching your desired vacation locale is the second step. The more you know about the destination and activities you would like to participate in, the more money you can save. You are bound to find a list of free things to do along with discounts for restaurants, attractions and shopping. Try to be flexible with your plans to take advantage of bigger discounts that may be available — especially for the cost of flights.
Here are tips to plan for some great memories without going into debt:
Online Deals Can Help Your Travel Budget
Be sure to sign up for travel alerts online and on social media so that when a deal is announced, you can jump on it to save extra money.
Use Accumulated Rewards
Credit cards offer many different rewards and some allow you to exchange points for travel rewards, whether those are airline miles or hotel points, or you can use rewards to pay for travel expenses charged to your credit card. Depending on how much you’ve accumulated, you may be able to pay for the most expensive part of your vacation with reward points.
Book Your Flight and Hotel Together
Booking the flight and hotel together is one of the best ways to save money on your vacation. The amount you save depends on the number of people you’re traveling with, the length of stay and where you’re traveling. You may be able to find better discounts if you’re planning to visit a popular resort destination.
Save Money by Booking Flights in Advance
The earlier you book your flight, the more you’re likely to save, especially if it’s a long flight. Plus, you may have more flexibility to select better seats.
Rental Car Reservations
Car rental reservations can be cancelled if you find a better deal, so be sure to shop around. Also, check with your insurance and credit card companies about whether they cover insurance on a rental car. Rather than rent a GPS, a smartphone can serve as a cheaper alternative — just be sure to bring a car charger along.
Consider Alternative Lodging
If you’re traveling with a group and need more than one hotel room, renting a vacation home at your destination may be less expensive than a hotel. Vacation homes have kitchens so you can skip room service and dining out by cooking your own meals. You’ll save money just by eating breakfast at home.
Don’t Forget Food and Activities
You may be able to save money by booking activities in advance. Daily coupon sites can offer opportunities to prepay at restaurants or to buy tickets for activities at a discounted price. By prepaying, you can control your budget better.
It may Pay to be Spontaneous
Sometimes last minute travel plans can fit your budget. Airlines often offer seats at discounted prices a few days before traveling, and you may find some great discounts by booking a hotel the same day you want to check in. There’s always the risk of less availability if you wait too long so don’t travel to a destination without making reservations unless your plans are flexible.
We’re here to help. You can find more information about budgeting in our Simply Speaking blog. We also offer information on personal banking on our website. Our Customer Service Team can be reached at 866-224-1379.