We like to travel as much as we can, but we cannot always do it in the lap of luxury. The thing is, if you wait until you can travel on a huge budget, you might never do it. I try to make the most of the funds we have when we go away. When you travel as a family, it can be a bit more difficult to make savings. Little ones like Joaquín are expensive enough at home, let alone when you go traveling! But you do not need to be swimming in cash to have an enjoyable vacation. Keep reading to learn my tips for going on your travels, even when money is tight:
Plan A Trip And Start Saving
If you do not plan your trips, you are going to spend much more than you need to. It is much easier to keep to a budget if you have one in the first place. Do not just choose an arbitrary amount of money you are willing to spend. Create an itinerary for your vacation and cost up everything from travel to food. It is easier with some trips than others, like if you’re going on an all-inclusive vacation. Once you know how much your trip will cost, you can start saving toward it. Divide the amount you need by the number of months you have to save and put aside the final figure each month. In no time, you will have the cash you need for your travels. Look at http://www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-tips-and-articles/76405 to find out how to budget for your trip.
Travel With Others
Traveling with other people is excellent for saving money. It is not just for single people either. If you are traveling as a family, you could save by going with another family or taking a friend. For example, maybe you have one child, so you want a vacation rental with two bedrooms. It could be cheaper to split the cost of a three bedroom property with another couple. Group deals are sometimes available for anything from travel to excursions too. Why not go with some friends on your next vacation? Or perhaps make it a multi-generational vacation and take your parents or siblings.
Watch Out For Deals
Of course, looking out for discounts and special offers is a great way to save on anything. If you are like me, you are always looking for ways to save on baby items! Travel is no different and you can always spot some excellent deals. One of the best things to do is to wait until the last minute to book something. Of course, this means that you cannot have a solid plan. However, you can still set a budget based on where you want to go. Make sure you allocate a certain amount to accommodation. Some sites for last minute deals will not tell you exactly which hotel you are booking. So it can be hit or miss, but you usually get to see some information, including ratings.
Does your credit card offer you travel rewards? There are many available that will help you gain points with airlines or hotels. Some of them are affiliated with these companies, while others are independent. For example, you can get a credit card from British Airways for points with their Executive Club. Or you could earn hotel points with the Marriott Rewards Premier Club. These cards are excellent for earning points as you spend. Plus, being a member of the rewards groups is a good idea too. If you travel a lot, maybe be business, points can add up quickly. It is also a good idea to check out something like https://upgradedpoints.com/credit-cards/reviews/chase-slate-card/. These cards will not get you rewards points, but they will help to build your credit. This is a good thing if you are not currently able to get a useful rewards credit card.
Get Airline Memberships
As mentioned above, it is an excellent idea to join the rewards programs for airlines and hotels. Even if you don’t use their credit cards, flying or staying with them will get you points. They are most useful if someone in your family travels a lot for business or other reasons. However, they can also be of use when you take vacations. Plus, there are sometimes ways to earn extra points through competitions or other methods.
Be Happy To Haggle
It is not always appropriate to haggle, or at least you will not always be successful. When you are on your travels, you will find some people are more open to haggling than others. But if you do not ask about the possibility of a discount, you definitely will not get one. Try to negotiate prices down in hotels or perhaps when buying from small stores and market stalls. You can also try and get some extras thrown in. It will not always work, but when it does you could make some significant savings.
Live Like the Locals
Do all the locals take public transport because it is cheaper and more convenient than cars? Do they all go out to eat in the local restaurant quarter, rather than the central business district? When we are on vacation, it is easy to act like a tourist the whole time. You might take taxis to get where you want to go or eat at tourist restaurants. But you can save a lot more if you are prepared to do what the locals do. It is a great way to give your kids lots of experience with different foods and environments. Find out more about traveling like a local at http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/travelers-ed/tourist-no-more-three-secrets-for-traveling-like-a-local.
When we go on vacation, we all want to relax. So it is easy to say that you are not going to cook or clean for the whole trip. Or you might decide you do not want to drive around. That is okay, but if you want to save money, you should try to be a bit more self-sufficient. Instead of staying in a hotel and going out to eat for every meal, rent a property so that you have the choice to cook. Hire a car, take public transport, or even walk, instead of taking a taxi everywhere. These things will all help you to save.
You can still have family vacations if you are low on cash. You just have to be smart about how you save and spend!