Everyone deserves a vacation, but with amazing prices caused by inflation and the demand for travel, it doesn’t always feel feasible to have one. In fact, the consumer price index for airline tickets has risen a shocking amount in the past year: A whopping 25%, with no signs of slowing down: In April alone, the cost rose 18.6%.
But don’t let rising travel costs discourage you. There are ways to budget properly for your vacations and get the trip you’ve been dreaming of. It just requires a little flexibility, some time, and a lot of planning.
Plan your trip in advance.
If you’ve ever had to book a last-minute flight, you know that prices skyrocket the closer you get to your departure date. Your best bet for getting a good deal, whether it’s on accommodation or transportation, is to book as early as possible.
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According Expedia Travel Hacks for 2022you must book a domestic flight no later than 28 days before your departure to avoid large price increases. When traveling internationally, reserve your seat at least three months in advance of your trip.
Another plus for early risers: the sooner you start planning, the sooner you can start putting money aside each month to finance your vacation.
Often our hearts are set on a particular destination when we dream of a vacation, but if you can be flexible with the location, go for it.
For example, domestic flights are often more affordable than international ones, and you can find beaches in the United States that are just as beautiful as those in the south of France. Alabama’s beaches, for example, boast incredible white sand that makes for a picturesque scene, and you’ll find plenty of amazing Airbnbs and hotel rooms for less.
On the other hand, lodging or activities may be cheaper when you decide to leave the U.S. If you’re headed to a Central American country, your dollar will go farther than Florida: you’ll find lodging, meals, and other activities for less. a lower price than in the United States.
Do your research as you decide where to vacation, and be sure to consider the costs and benefits of similar alternatives before settling on the perfect spot.
Consider the outdoors.
When most people travel, it’s to see beautiful places and relax. An ultra-affordable way to do it? Go camping.
Going outdoors doesn’t mean you have to give up modern conveniences. Rent camping equipment, such as thick sleeping mats, to make your tent even more comfortable, or check the price of renting a RV or cabin. It’s a cost-effective way to enjoy the natural splendor the world has to offer.
Determine what you are comfortable cutting with.
Ideally, vacation would mean eating out every night, trying every possible activity, and shopping at whatever stores you see. In reality, you are likely on a limited budget, so you will need to consider what you value most on this trip.
If dining isn’t the main goal of your trip, buy groceries so you can cook at your accommodation. You can also limit the number of excursions to allow yourself the ones that excite you the most. Opt for a walkable destination or somewhere with good public transportation to avoid expensive add-ons like renting a car.
There are always small cuts you can make to reduce the amount you spend over the holidays.
Travel in groups.
Arguably, some holidays are better as a party. Consider inviting friends or family to travel with you and split the costs.
An Airbnb divided into six parts is usually cheaper than the cost of a hotel room for two. According to the Hopper travel site, the the average cost of a hotel room in 2023 is $212 per nightwhile NerdWallet lists the average price of an Airbnb for 6 people at $60 per person per night. In a shared house, you will also split costs, such as food and car rental. Plus, a group ride means there’s always someone around for whatever you want to do on your trip.
Take advantage of credit card points and miles.
Be sure to book flights, hotels, and other large expenses with Credit cards that offer you money back on each purchase. He won’t pay less up front, but he’ll basically get reimbursed when he makes money off of his spending. As an added benefit, many credit cards offer additional cash back when you load certain categories of travel.
Don’t forget to use air miles to help pay for your vacation flights. Why else have you been saving them? Also, look at your corporate benefits: Many companies offer discounts on transportation and hotels.
Be on the lookout for discounts.
Groupon is a great option for booking discounted activities on your vacation site. Travel websites like Priceline and Expedia regularly offer great hotel deals. As you shop for bargains, be sure to do your research and use reputable vendors. If a deal seems to good to be true, it probably is.