Ways to Maximize Your Travel Budget
It’s no secret that traveling costs money. And while it may feel like costs can add up for your big trip, there are also lots of ways to save and make sure you’re getting the best value for your vacation, whatever your budget may be. Here are some of my personal tried and true tips.
Keep your dates flexible.
While I understand that this is sometimes easier said than done depending on your life situation, traveling outside of a destination’s peak times will always offer a cost savings. For example, prices in most of Europe will be highest in July and August, as this correlates to their school holidays, and prices in the Caribbean always peak over Christmas and New Years.
Even if you’re limited to traveling during peak times, consider flying midweek instead of weekends. Flight prices can be substantially lower for weekday departures.
Look at various airports.
I personally live by smaller airports. However, I always compare flight prices for airports within a few hours of me and will happily drive to Atlanta if it means saving several hundred dollars per ticket over flying from Savannah.
If you live in a metropolitan area, you may have multiple airports within an easy reach of you. It can be worth comparing your options, as each airport may carry different airlines or have different routes that will make sense for your trip.
Bundle your trip components together.
Perhaps you’ll need flights, hotels, and a rental car for your vacation. Rather than booking them all separately, it’s often most cost effective to package them all together. Airlines, hotels, and other tour providers usually have negotiated package rates that offer a discount to you just for bundling them all together. (I will always recommend package rates to you if it’s appropriate for the trip you’re considering.)
Talk to a travel advisor who can read between the lines.
One of the most important parts of my job when we work together is making sure that you are getting the best value for your money, translating the terms of your trip, and recognizing when a deal is too good to be true.
For example, you might be looking at a hotel in Hawaii that’s $200 per night but doesn’t include any perks or amenities. I might recommend one that’s $250 per night, but it also includes breakfast and free parking (a savings of $60 per day, in this case), is in an ideal location for sightseeing, has been recently renovated, offers flexible booking, and doesn’t charge extra for things like WiFi or resort fees. In this case, spending just a little more upfront will give you lots of added value in the long run.
Consider various destinations.
At the end of the day, certain destinations will always be more expensive than others. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have an amazing vacation!
If you’re looking for a tropical all inclusive resort stay, destinations like Mexico and the Dominican Republic typically offer better bang for your buck than places like St. Lucia and Antigua.
Got Europe on your mind? Greek islands like Zakynthos and Rhodes are more affordable than Santorini and Mykonos (and just as beautiful). Experience Italy’s Amalfi coast from quaint Ravello rather than cosmopolitan Positano. Stay in Chantilly or Versailles and enjoy the train ride into the center of Paris.
Think about how you’ll get around.
Don’t forget to budget for transportation!
For some destinations like Costa Rica or Ireland, a rental car may be the most cost effective and easiest way to explore. In other places like Japan and Italy, the train networks are wonderful and efficient, and a rail pass is the way to go.
I’ll be happy to talk to you about transport options for your choice destination so you can decide what will make the most sense for you.
Do you have questions about maximizing your travel budget? Are you ready to chat about your next adventure? Contact me today.