When we think of the word Vacation, our minds instantly fill with joy. This joy is followed shortly by a moment of sorrow when we realize that it requires some serious cash flow to jet off for some R&R….

Fear not my fellow travel enthusiasts! Where there’s a will there’s a way.

I’ve comprised a guide designed to reduce costs while traveling without taking away the overall experience of a Vacation or Holiday. This guide is based on personal experience as well as personal testimonies from peers and friends who have also discovered savvy ways to save money without compromising the things they love.

So, for your reading pleasure, here are a few tips you can take with you on your next vacation. This should maximize your fun and minimize the much hated spending!

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One of the most important things you need to do is to create a game plan. It’s time to channel your inner girl (or boy) scout and PREPAIR!

  • Visit websites like www.lonelyplanet.com, www.travelmuse.com, www.tripit.com and www.travefy.com to plan your budget and activities in any area your heart desires. Search by country or by activity for your much needed get away.
  • Check for destinations with faltering currencies; based on the exchange rate of a country’s currency, planning a trip to this destination could be worth it for your wallet.
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$ SAVE $

Saving for a trip will sadly require you to change some of your spending habits (sorry). So, here’s what you need to do:

  • You can start small by cutting back on lunches or coffees purchased each day, you will be surprised on how quickly the change will come rolling in! Let’s be real, we’ve all got coffee makers at home!
  • Sell some old stuff you’ve got laying around. Good memories are more important than “things” anyways! We all have those items we KNOW we’ll never wear again, so it’s time to say goodbye.
  • Set your money aside somewhere you can’t access it – I know it’s tempting, but the ends will certainly be justified by the means! Start an incognito piggy bank by hiding it somewhere in your home, or even better, start a savings account that makes accessing the money slightly more difficult.
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I think it’s safe to say that flights eat up the majority of your funds when planning a trip. Don’t let it discourage you. By searching for different rates during different seasons you will notice the prices change drastically.

  • During Holidays or “Peak” Seasons the cost of flights skyrocket, leaving people with little to no options when planning within a specific time frame. If you’re booking a trip during a peak season it’s strongly advised to book your flights up to 8 months in advance to avoid significant increase or fluctuation in price. For the best deals visit www.expedia.com.
  • Some great ways to stay in the loop with flight sales is to sign up for alerts with airfare websites to keep up to date with costs and promotions. Certain websites will even let you know the most affordable time of season for a specific destination.
    www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.expedia.com and www.sandals.com
  • Air Miles is another way millions of people are able to save towards flights, sign up for for FREE today to start saving towards your dream vacation. Air Miles can be accumulated at a wide variety of local retailers in order to earn points towards your future flights. Places like gas stations, grocery stores, and banks, collaborate with Airmiles in order to promote travel! Check out www.airmiles.ca now to start earning flight reward points!
  • To reduce flying costs, it is also advised to do some research on surrounding cities in which you could fly to, or “secondary” locations. For example; the cost of flying from New York City to Los Angeles can be different than flying into southern California’s Santa Ana. By researching secondary destinations like this it can end up saving you hundreds in flight costs.

If flights are completely out of the equation due to finances, we suggest DRIVING!
If you are planning a trip with a group of friends driving can actually end up cutting the costs significantly when divided or split by a carload of people, not to mention life long memories of road tripping with your favorite people are made in the process!

There are several apps designed to help you calculate the amount of fuel required for your road trip, or if you are on a strict budget you can set the maximum amount of fuel you wish to spend and it will calculate destinations within the area for your adventure seeking pleasure!

  • Apps such as www.tripadvisor.com “Tank of Gas” tool, can help calculate the fuel needed to get you where you wanted, or give you an idea of where to go within your fuel budget!
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Depending on your travel destination, hotels and resorts can either be expensive, scarce, or just plain busy! If all inclusive is not your style, and hotels don’t quite have that charm you were looking for, I’d advise renting out a condo or house.

  • Rent a Condo / House Websites like www.homeaway.com who offer a wide variety of accommodations for those traveling in groups, or who require more space and privacy than simply renting a hotel room.
  • All Inclusive Resorts All Inclusives can certainly work in one’s favor financially! One of the main benefits of All Inclusives is that you pay one fixed cost for a wide variety of activities, food, beverages, and accommodation. If you’re considered “bad with money” All Inclusive is definitely the right match for you! Visit www.expedia.com for resort and travel accommodations. Also, check out www.beaches.com, www.travelocity.com, www.sandals.com and www.kayak.com for some of the best deals on fixed cost trips and destinations.
  • Hostels Selecting a Hotel is always a good option. They are a great way for you to meet like minded people while exploring new destinations. For the more socially integrated, I suggest doing research on hostels not only to save you the money, but to enrich your overall traveling experience.
    www.hostelworld.com, www.hostels.com and www.booking.com
  • Airbnb We LOVE Airbnb! This site has taken the world by storm with its progressive business take on a customized hotel combined with some of the world’s most breathtaking travel destinations. Airbnb accommodates a wide variety of standards, in which all spaces are unique in their own rights. Check out www.airbnb.com for a wide variety of amazing temp-homes around the world.
  • Camping Don’t forget about camping! It’s quite self-explanatory, and a frugal option for those who seek a simple means of escape. With hundreds of locations to camp worldwide you may just consider buying yourself a tent or hammock in the near future! Visit www.booking.com for camping locations worldwide. You might just be astonished by some of the locations one can find themselves camping. From secluded beaches to tropical rainforests, there are campsites everywhere waiting to be occupied.
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Depending on your accommodation, most places offer kitchens and fridges to safely and securely store your food. While traveling, lots of people like to enjoy the local food and restaurants. This may come at a price.

  • If you are staying in a Hostel or Airbnb, go to the local market and pick up a variety of foods to cook at home. This will allow you to save exponentially while also experiencing the local cuisine. By visiting markets you can see different exotic foods, wildlife, and local cooking techniques, which is extremely inspiring and valuable when traveling on a budget. Not to mention it is a fun and social activity to pass the time when meeting new friends!
  • To save money on wine & spirits while traveling, you will definitely want to check out local grocery stores. You can buy alcohol and beverages anywhere that sells it for usually one third of the cost of a bar or restaurant. Bring your drinks back to your location to enjoy and socialize before a big night out.

I want to stress one IMPORTANT point: Never let money get in the way of your dreams. There is always some way of achieving your goals even if money is a factor. We are young and curious creatures who should not be bound to or confined within parameters, it’s in our nature to crave exploration. We deserve this privilege to enrich both our body and minds. Take the time to do some research, because you never know what you may find in your own backyard!

By Alixandra Postman
E-mail: alixandrapostman@gmail.com
Instagram: @joosebumps