How to save money on travel for budget-friendly summer vacations

How to save money on travel for budget-friendly summer vacations

How to save money on travel for budget-friendly summer vacations

How to save money on travel for budget-friendly summer vacations. Debt is an enormous problem for Americans. According to recent figures, up to 80% of Americans are saddled with debt, with the median household deficit being over $130,000. Though the most common sources of debt stem from home mortgages, car payments, and student loans, there’s another, even more frightening source of debt that sneaks up on Americans: unpaid credit card balances.

Since credit cards are often used to cover miscellaneous expenses and other costs, the balances that accrue can go unnoticed for long periods of time. Credit card companies make it very easy to borrow money instantly, without adequately warning consumers of the great risk.

Despite all of this debt, more than half of Americans still vacation each year, whether it’s a budget-friendly summer vacation or not. In fact, a third of the entire population spends over $1,000 per person on summer vacation alone. Many carefully managed budgets are violated during the care-free days of easy spending and vacationing.

The reason vacation is a time of such extraordinary spending is that it usually acts as a break from the stress of everyday life-it’s a time to be relieved of the usual duties and put pressing concerns out of mind. Though there is virtue in taking the time and space to center and balance yourself amidst the stresses of life, it pays to consider all of the costs of vacation beforehand. Read on to discover effective ideas to save money throughout the year and learn about creating budget-friendly summer vacations.

How to Save Money on travel for budget-friendly summer vacations

A great resource to use while planning for your budget-friendly summer vacations is a spreadsheet. Use Microsoft Excel or a similar program to create a sheet where you can keep track of your yearly spending, and another where you can crunch the numbers for your summer trip options.

On your budget spreadsheet, fill in your Mortgage, Groceries, Utilities, and other daily, weekly, and monthly expenses. On your summer spreadsheet, make separate columns for Entertainment, Travel, Lodging, and Dining.

Do your homework by researching average prices of food in the area, the cost of the specific events you’d like to attend, and the price of travel to and from your destination. The best way to get a sense of the cost of a trip is to set all the numbers in front of you so that you can visualize and compare prices. Then, take a look at your budget spreadsheet to decide which summer plan fits your budget best.

Research and Planning

How to save money on travel for budget-friendly summer vacations? The key to learning how to save money on travel is to explore multiple options. With a little online research, you’ll find that there are plenty of affordable, non-traditional ways to travel. Rather than just looking at hotel prices in the area of your vacation destination, look into alternative lodging. For example, Airbnb provides a service where homeowners can list a room or a part of their house for overnight guests. It’s essentially a room rental, but often at a fraction of the price of a hotel. Also, Airbnb hosts may treat you to in-house accommodations, or offer to show you around the town.

Of course, all vacation destinations are not created equal, and it will take some research to find the budget-friendly summer vacation destination that you can enjoy while staying true to your budget. Remember that the cheapest option isn’t necessarily the best choice. For instance, if you enjoy the big city, but you decide to go on a cheaper trip to a rural area, you may not enjoy yourself and all the money you spent on the trip would be wasted. Look for the opportunity to maximize enjoyment while staying within your means.

From Point A to Point B

How to save money on travel for budget-friendly summer vacations? Another way to plan for budget-friendly summer vacations is to book your flights well in advance. Prices will be cheaper, and you may be able to find special promotions for exotic destinations. Consider molding your summer vacation around a great promotional deal.

Often, there are certain times during the year when buying flights can be much cheaper. If you can avoid weekends and peak hours, you can cut your flight costs by up to half of the original price. When you find an approximate time and destination that works for you, check a few other airlines to compare prices before you make a purchase.

You can also maximize your savings when you consider inner-city travel alternatives once you land. Instead of simply hailing a taxi at the curb of the airport, do your research into public transportation-buses or trains can save you a substantial amount. There are also mobile apps, like Lyft and Uber, which you can use to request a pickup anywhere in the city limits. These options are usually more affordable than taxi transport. Another way to save money on transportation is to rent a car, which allows you to cover long distances without planning around public transport schedules.

The Right Card

How to save money on travel for budget-friendly summer vacations? Making purchases for your vacation sometimes requires you to spend a large amount of money all at once. Maximize your budget-friendly summer vacations with a credit card that offers loyalty points for each dollar spent.

You can save money on gas with some cards, get cash back on others, or get flight miles for certain airlines. Keep an eye out for rebates and promotional offers that cycle throughout the year. As long as you’re spending money on a credit card, you should take advantage of the rewards that come along with it. This is a hallmark of how to save money on travel.

A Fun and Cost-Effective Staycation

How to save money on travel for budget-friendly summer vacations

How to save money on travel for budget-friendly summer vacations? A quick price comparison is all it takes to discover the enormous financial advantage of staying at home for your vacation instead of traveling. A “staycation,” as it were, can be one of the most budget-friendly summer vacation options out there, since you can eliminate the price of travel and lodging. Avoiding this large expenditure will free you up to spend a little more money on food, fun, and activities at home and nearby.

If you know how to save money on travel, you know that straying far from home is not mandatory for a fun vacation. There are plenty of enjoyable activities you can discover locally. Summer is packed with festivals, fairs, and markets all over the country. These specialty events feature unique items and acts that you couldn’t find anywhere else. Take the kids through the booths at the farmer’s market where they can see homemade arts and crafts, handmade clothing, and farm-fresh food items.

You can also take advantage of a staycation with a season pass to a local amusement park. Staying home all summer affords you many opportunities to visit a park and enjoy the benefits of a season pass. After five or six visits, you’ll see the pass pay for itself when you save money on food, parking, and other activities.

There are many other spontaneous activities you can include in a budget-friendly summer vacation. Hit the road with your phones to do some geocaching-a real-life treasure hunt where you track down GPS coordinates of hidden boxes, or caches, which contain tracking logs and mysterious treasures. Caches are often difficult to find, which makes the search a real adventure. When you discover the treasure, you take something from the box and leave something behind for the explorers who come after you.

You can also host potlucks and BBQs, visit local museums, join community center activities, and attend city-hosted movies and concerts in the local parks. Don’t underestimate the action-packed summer your local city can offer.

Sticking to Your Budget Throughout the Year

How to save money on travel for budget-friendly summer vacations? When it’s time to start saving up for budget-friendly summer vacations, you can free up your budget by living frugally all year. Save up for your vacation by setting aside a small amount of extra money each month. This seemingly insignificant bit of cash adds up over the year, and by the time your vacation rolls around, you can use your savings during the summer months. Here are some very simple ways to cut back on costs throughout the year:

  • Utility Bills. Besides cutting down your monthly charges, keeping your utilities in check is great for the environment. There are simple ways of curbing your utilities usage, such as taking shorter showers and turning off any lights that aren’t being used. Learn how to save money on travel by developing habits to lower your monthly bills.
  • Smart Grocery Shopping. A big mistake people make while shopping is just buying random food while meandering through the store aisles. This leads to buying too much food, splurging on overpriced foods, and buying food you don’t need. Make a grocery list before you go to the store that includes all the essentials for prepared meals, find coupons for the foods you purchase most often, and set aside a budget for non-essentials like sweets and ice cream-importantly, don’t let yourself exceed that allotment. These changes will benefit your health and your budget, leading to more money for budget-friendly summer vacations.
  • Saving on Clothes. Visit a few thrift stores to look for hidden gems. Local clothing exchange stores often have incredible bargains for thrift-hunters. You can find very stylish clothes at affordable prices. If you love shopping, get into the thrift-circuit, where you get the thrill of discovering incredible clothes at a fantastic price.
  • No-Spend Days. Try controlling your spending by designating certain days of the week as “no-spend days.” You’ll save extra money throughout the week, and you’ll discover that most of your daily purchases are impulse based. Cutting down unnecessary spending is just one more way you’ll learn how to save money on travel.

Eliminating Credit Card Debt

How to save money on travel for budget-friendly summer vacations? Credit card debt is one of the biggest culprits against saving money. An average American pays over $2,000 in interest per year to credit card companies. Reducing your debt is one of the best ways to save money, especially in the long term.

Ask your creditor what their policies are on debt consolidation and debt negotiation. Often, you can persuade a creditor to give you an extension for more time to pay off your debts. You can also negotiate for a better interest rate, or move your debt to another credit card that has a lower rate The less credit card debt you have, the more budget-friendly summer vacations you can afford.

Choosing Your Summer Savings Strategy

No matter which strategy you choose to curb spending during the year and save funds for the summer, be sure to set realistic expectations for yourself. A good strategy would be to try implementing one money-saving tip at a time. Perhaps this week you can try controlling your utilities, then next week make the switch to thrift stores.

The path to financial freedom needs to be taken one step at a time. Choose the options that are most attainable for you, your family, and your lifestyle. Just remember not to underestimate savings because they seem insubstantial.

If you found this guide helpful, stay informed on more of the latest strategies for staying debt-free and managing existing debt with tips with the Budget Build Buy blog.

How to save money on travel for budget-friendly summer vacations

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