With careful research, you can plan the trip of your dreams without spending a fortune. Avoid brainstorming unrealistic ways to travel like studying abroad or winning the lottery and get real with simple but effective ways to plan your travel budget. Here are the five top tips you should follow for a stress-free and financially-sound vacation and traveling budget.
1. Create a Smart Plan
Traveling is not something you can usually do spontaneously. Unless you’ve got a trust fund that keeps on coming, you probably don’t have the luxury to travel from place to place without thinking about your budget. Take a few moments and write down a general itinerary and the amount of money you expect to spend in each area you plan to visit. Look into an airline deal comparison before booking your flights. By planning ahead, you reduce the chance of unexpected costs and the need to accommodate for things like last-minute flights.
2. Travel During the “Bad” Months
Flights are always more expensive in the best seasons respective to your destination. The summer months are also more expensive in general, which is unfortunate given that that’s the time of year that most families take advantage of a family vacation. Still, if you want to make a dream vacation happen, you’ve got to think strategically. A great solution is to travel out of season. If you can get past a less enthusiastic sun, you might find that you’re still living it up in paradise, but at prices lower than normal! It’s also possible the trip of your dreams sees weather to be an irrelevant factor. Are you a super Beatles fan? Go to London during the rainiest season. Those iconic spots will still be there!
3. Pack the Right Way
Yes, there is a right and a wrong way to pack for a trip. There is a delicate dance that exists between packing everything you need and everything you want to bring. It’s also easy to overthink and end up with like ten bathing suits for one weekend adventure in Palm Springs. A good starting list of packing essentials is a pair of jeans, a sweatshirt, and a jacket. Also, don’t forget your underpants.
4. Make the Most of Public Transportation
When you’re traveling somewhere new, make public transportation a fun way to get around and save money. It can actually be part of the experience to travel this way. Think of New York City subways or Hampstead’s ghost stations. Being a part of the crowd is part of the enjoyment of going somewhere new. If you end up hating it, then just ask yourself: if you were a society member in No Blade of Grass, how would you get by? There you go, things don’t look so bad now! Live like a local and travel like a pro.
5. Earn While You Explore
Find a side hustle that allows you to become a digital nomad for a bit. If you spend a few hours working online, you’ll still have the rest of the day to explore and see the sights of your destination. The extra money you make can go towards unexpected costs or even the dinner bill at a fancy restaurant. Earn and explore simultaneously.
Traveling on a budget is all about planning ahead. You aren’t going to be able to keep track of expenses if you just pay on the spot. Even if you’ve set aside some savings for travel, all of that hard work can be lost in an instant, especially in a new place. Be mindful of the places you choose to eat at, look out for cheap street parking, and never settle on the first good hotel rate you find. It’s always best to compare your options before making any major decisions. All of this adulting is hard work, but it pays off when you realize you’re actually spending your vacation enjoying yourself instead of stressing about finances. Now, let’s get planning!