Will 2022 be the year you finally take that much-needed vacation? COVID-19 concerns have pushed back many a trip, but there’s finally some light at the end of the tunnel. Taking some time off for a vacation is just the break your mind and body need after a tumultuous couple of years.
Unfortunately, packing your bags and setting sail is easier said than done. While the pandemic did a number on us all mentally, there were many financial strains as well. Affording a vacation immediately after getting vaccinated might simply not be in the cards.
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No need to fret just yet. There are still some tricks you can pull to afford a vacation this year without pushing your finances to the limit. All you need to do is approach your next vacation a little differently. Then you’ll be enjoying some rest and relaxation in no time. Here’s how it can be done:
Watch for Pitfalls
There are a few ways that vacations can get more expensive than necessary. If you watch out for these pitfalls, you can avoid a lot of unnecessary expenses. This will help you keep your travel plans within a tight budget.
Take your spending, for instance. You’ll feel much freer if you use a debit card with no international fees, no overdraft fees, or other hidden payments. With a debit card you can trust, you don’t have to be so vigilant about your spending while on a trip.
Be sure to read the fine print for baggage fees or other hidden costs that you might encounter during your travels. This could save you a couple of hundred dollars, which can actually end up making a major difference.
Make Some Sacrifices
One of the harsh truths is that you might need to make some sacrifices in order to afford a vacation. You don’t have to make huge sacrifices. But you might have to give up some little things temporarily in order to save up for your next trip.
Some common examples are morning coffee and fast food lunches. These options are certainly convenient, but their costs can add up quickly over time. If you opt for preparing your own coffee and meals at home, you can set aside more money for your vacation fund.
Maybe the sacrifice you need to make is to work more overtime to bulk up your travel budget. Perhaps you can have a yard sale to get rid of some pandemic junk you’ve accumulated and make some travel cash. Find something that you can do without in order to book the experience you need and deserve this year.Another idea would be to not spend money on a gym membership that you’re probably not using as much and instead get some mats, ropes, and dumbbells to exercise at home.
Redefine Your Vacation
Perhaps all you need to do is rethink what vacationing means to you. The classic vacation has a beach view and unlimited drinks, but heading to the Caribbean isn’t your only option. In fact, trying something new for your next vacation could be a comparable experience with a smaller price tag.
Start by reminding yourself that a vacation doesn’t need to be exotic. You could have just as much fun at a beach within driving distance as you could island hopping. A stateside city you haven’t visited can be filled with new sites to see and unique experiences without the hefty expenses.
Keep an Eye Out for Deals
Timing your next vacation might be crucial for being able to afford it. With travel picking up again, you can expect to see deals that can enable you to take that much-needed trip.
If you spot a deal you just can’t refuse, like 50% off plane tickets, you might need to jump on them immediately. Assuming the deal is legitimate, this might be your best chance to take a trip this year. Just be sure to think things through, continuing to budget properly and making sure everything works logistically.
Some deals are long-term and are worth considering. Many airlines and hotels offer award points to new members who sign up for a company-sponsored credit card. By signing up for the first time, you might accrue enough points for an entire trip. Then you can continue using the new card to start accumulating points for future travels.
Travel With Company
The more the merrier, right? You can slash vacation costs and improve your experience by asking friends and family to tag along for a trip. Everyone invited can pitch in financially, allowing those with shallow pockets to make the trip as well.
For example, renting out an Airbnb together and splitting the cost will usually be less expensive than renting out individual hotel rooms. You can drive to a location and split gas, share groceries for meals, or pool together funds for excursions. If you contribute your fair share, you’ll be able to have a blast with the people you’re closest to.
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If you start planning for your next vacation today, you’ll have plenty of time to take the necessary financial steps. So make those moves today. It’s high time you booked a vacation you can afford and enjoy.