Now that the coronavirus has cooled off and the weather is heating up, many people are getting ready to take their summer holidays. So dust off your maps and get your swimming trunks on, because your next holiday trip awaits.
But before you break the bank on a lavish trip, why not explore the ways you can have a wonderful vacation while maintaining your financial stability. Use these tips to not only have a great holiday but do so in a financially responsible way.
Make a budget, but don’t go crazy
If a budget is important for the rest of your life, why wouldn’t it be important for planning your holiday? Budgeting for your perfect holiday getaway will keep you on track to maintain your financial life after you get back while also ensuring you can have a wonderful trip with your family.
Remember to include the following items for your budget:
- Airfare/Travel costs – This is an obvious one. Try to look for last minute, discounted flights to cut your travel costs.
- Lodging – Staying in hostels or local establishments could save you some money.
- Food – You can always find great food wherever you go, just as long as you do your research.
- Entertainment – These costs don’t have to be high. In fact, outdoor adventures like swimming or hiking don’t even have to cost you anything at all.
- Souvenirs – Bring back special gifts and treats for your loved ones, just don’t overdo it.
But don’t go too crazy with your holiday budget. This time is meant to be spent enjoying yourself, and not worrying about whether or not to spend that extra €10 on a souvenir for your parents. This requires a balancing act: let your budget guide your decisions on holiday, but don’t let it ever dictate your happiness or ability to enjoy your experience. After all, you have to take advantage of these moments when they come!
Use your rewards
Holidays are the perfect time to pull out your credit card and other rewards and use them to your advantage. You may have been saving up airline miles or hotel points for years, waiting for just the perfect time to use them, and after more than a year of quarantine, this is a perfect time. By taking advantage of your rewards you might even be able to plan a trip for low out-of-pocket costs. So when you are sitting on a French beach you will not only be relaxed because of where you are, but you will also be at peace knowing you didn’t have to break the bank to get there.
It may even be smart to open a new credit card for the initial rewards they provide. For instance, some companies offer 100,000 free airline miles for simply opening a new credit card. Just be careful to read the fine print on these deals, as they often marketed better than they seem.
Watch out for added fees
Traveling out of the country can mean added fees that you aren’t expecting. For instance, currency exchange fees can rack up quickly if you aren’t prepared. You can avoid these by looking to exchange currency while still at home and not at expensive locations like airports or hotels. Also watch out for mobile data and roaming fees, especially if you plan to use your cell phone regularly. Roaming fees can be very dependent on both your cellular data plan and where you travel, so make sure to do your research before you leave.
Other fees for things like checked bags and resort fees at certain locations might catch you by surprise. But they don’t have to. Just make sure to do your research on every aspect of your travel before heading out on your holiday. It could save you from a larger-than-expected bill.
Travel off the beaten path
Sure, a trip to Paris or Venice might be on the top of your list, but spending your holiday in these tourist-heavy destinations will cost you. This is especially true this year as most travelers are fiending for excursions after being stuck at home for more than a year.
So if you want to plan a trip but not get stuck paying more than you can afford, look to go somewhere a bit off the beaten path. These destinations might not seem like the most glamorous, but we can assure you there is plenty of fun to be had while not breaking the bank.
- Laos – While most tourists flock to Thailand, its neighbor is just as beautiful, and can be even cheaper. Majestic waterfalls, small village excursions, and cute boutique hotels are just some of the things you will find here.
- Georgia – Tbilisi not only has its wealth of history but is gaining steam as a go-to destination with its own up-and-coming cultural revolution.
- Ukraine – Explore the vast cities and villages throughout the country. Hiking in the mountains and wine tastings are just some of the things to do in Ukraine.
- Poland – The country has a long and rich history which will make history-buffs happy. At the same time, its delicious food and fun cities can all easily be explored on a budget.
It’s time to explore once again
It’s likely that in 2020 the coronavirus halted any summer holiday plans you might have had. And for many, the travel bug is likely back in full force. So get out there and explore the world and all it has to offer on your summer holiday. But don’t forget to be financially prudent in your decision-making. This way you can not only have a great trip, but you will also still feel good when you return home and look in your bank account.