Traveling is part of my soul and has changed my life! I think everyone deserves a great vacation – dare I say, a dream vacation. Here’s a few tips on how I make incredible vacations more affordable.
1) Make a vacation fund that you deposit money into every single month. If you start putting $300 a month into a vacation fund right now, a year from now you will have $3600. That can pay for an amazing vacation! If $300 is too much, start lower. Even if you have to save for 2+ years, that’s okay. Isn’t waiting 2 years worth it to achieve your dream vacation?
2) Book a vacation that allows for a payment plan. Whenever we do a resort-type vacation we use a local travel agent. This agent doesn’t cost us anything and is paid by the resort. She requires that the entire vacation is paid in full 30 days before departure. That allows us to make payments when we can! Just like the monthly vacation fund, payments take the sting out of paying thousands at once. Many cruises and resorts allow for interest free monthly payments.
3) Use travel credit cards to earn points for free flights/hotels. I am a huge fan of the Chase Sapphire line of credit cards. We have earned many free flights through Chase!
4) Stay at an AirBnB or hostel instead of regular hotels. Ive found that you can stay in expensive cities for much less if you avoid the pricey hotels. I love AirBnB and it allows you live like a local! Here is a $40 off coupon! Also, there are incredibly nice hostels all over the world that would impress even the pickiest person.
5) Eat out less while on vacation. Instead of a boozy brunch every morning, opt for some bagels and cream cheese that you keep at your rental. Save the brunch and fancy dinners for a few special days on the trip instead of every single day. Even passing up the sit down lunch for some cheap street food will help you explore the local cuisine on a dime. Don’t forget about you travel days either! I have been known to stuff a few Lunchables in my carry-on luggage on long flights so that I’m not tempted to purchase food at the airport or in-flight.
6) Stay with friends that live in awesome locations. We are lucky enough to have great friends all over the world! Often times, they love having visitors and its a great way to catch up with friends that you don’t get to see very often. It brings another great aspect to your vacation when your friends can show you their favorite spots!
7) Travel with a group. Splitting lodging can save you hundreds! Splitting lodging doesnt mean you have to sacrifice quality either. Often times, places that can sleep more people are bigger and nicer than a single room. If you have enough people, you might be able to qualify for a group discount.
8) Search the web for travel deals and cheap flights. There are some major deals to be had out there! Read my blog post about how I find the cheapest flights and great travel deals.
9) Pack light. Most airlines charge for checked luggage. That can add up for multiple bags round-trip! Try to stuff as much as you can into your carry-on luggage. You can usually carry on one rolling bag and a bookbag which is a decent amount of storage.
10) Stop buying gifts for people. All the little trinkets add up AND take up your precious luggage space. If you really feel the need to bring someone a gift from your travels, a 50 cent post card should suffice.
At the end of the day, if you want to have the trip of a lifetime, you need to make it a priority. Cutting out the random trips to Target and the late-night Chinese takeout will allow you to put more money towards a vacation. Some people think they will never be able to afford a vacation – but thats just not true!
One more tidbit: Studies have shown that traveling actually makes you far happier than any material goods can. Travel and adventure provide memories that are a source of joy for the rest of your life.
Do you have any tactics to make travel more affordable?