With inflation, costs are rising. This can affect almost everyone regardless of financial preparedness. Even if you’ve spent the past year budgeting or even working with an advisor to manage overall spending, increasing costs are likely to disrupt plans somewhat, and leisure is no exception.
With travel costs rising even faster than inflation, it’s more important than ever to plan your vacation carefully. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your travel budget:
Know your budget
The first step to planning a vacation is knowing how much you can afford to spend. Rather than starting with a destination, it can be helpful to have a number in mind and work backwards from there.
If you have ever accidentally gone over budget on a vacation, you know how frustrating it can be. By being proactive and planning ahead, you can save yourself a lot of money and stress.
Do your research
It’s important to know how much your trip can cost before you book anything. You can use a travel planning website or app to get price estimates of flights, hotels, and activities.
Once you have a budget in mind, you can start researching the cost of different potential destinations. This may help you narrow down your options and choose a place that fits within your budget.
Keep an eye out for travel deals
There are often ways to save money on travel expenses if you know where to look. Some travel websites have daily or weekly deals, and there are mailing lists and apps that can let you know about drops in airfare prices.
It can also be a good idea to look for package deals that include airfare and hotel to get the best possible price.
Use airline miles if you have them
If you have credit card points or miles, this could be a good time to use them to book airfare. Some airlines are now charging higher prices for award tickets, but you may still be able to find a better deal by using miles.
Consider alternative accommodations
One of the biggest expenses associated with vacationing is accommodation costs. If you are willing to stay in a less expensive hotel or Airbnb, you can save a lot of money. If you’re planning an outdoorsy trip, like to a national park, consider camping instead of staying in a hotel.
Be flexible about when you go
If you can travel during off-peak times, you will likely find that prices are lower across the board. This includes airfare, accommodation, and activity costs. Some travel websites let you select flexible dates and let you know on which days airfare and hotels are cheaper.
Be prepared for unexpected expenses
No matter how well you plan, there is always a chance that something will come up that you didn’t budget for. Before you go on your trip, it can be a good idea to have some extra money set aside in case of an emergency.