A vacation is also called a ‘get-away’ because you’re supposed to be ‘getting away’ from stress, from problems, and other worries, and all you need to do is relax. You close your eyes and think of your next destination – the white sand beach, the sumptuous buffet and you hear the sound of flowing water, music, and – the cash register. Best if your next vacation will not hurt your savings, but before you pack, let’s check – will it burn a hole in your pocket? Do you have a hard time budgeting for travel?
From airfare to tipping, get some travel budgeting tips on what to look for in your next trip and how you can save or stretch that vacation budget.
• Solo or Group Tours
- A solo tour, whether for ‘soul-searching’ or an adventure, would cost you more than double compared to travelling with a group. When you compare, group rates are attractively cheaper. Travelling by two’s or three’s can even bag you more inclusions for your tour. During your tour, you can also save up on transportation and meal costs.
• Travel expense
- Some airlines charge more than $50 just for extra leg room. If that is not a rip-off then I don’t know what is.
- Check airlines or cruises for promotional discounts. Group discounts are also offered.
- Check on other available means of transport. Backpackers save a hefty amount of money but travelling economy, by train, and skipping on all other luxuries.
- Last minute deals are worth checking. Some hotels cut-off their price to half if you would be booking days before, or a day before. Similar to flights, there are promos available when booking online.
- Booking through agents would sometimes bag you a better deal than booking directly to your hotel. When booking directly, hotels will quote you based on published rates. Agents however, are given discounts from these published rates. Even if they add mark-up fees, you’d still get to enjoy a discount.
• Daily expense including food and transportation
- A walking tour in your destination spot will not only save you taxi money, but it will also let you appreciate the locals even more. Be sure to have a handy map with you so you don’t end up lost.
- Tipping varies across countries. While it may be expected to give tips of 10 to 15% in some areas, others would require none (although for exceptional service, you might as well give a tip).
• Entrance fees
- Check on tourist destinations if the entrance fee would be all worth it. If you can cut back 2 out of 10 tourist spots that you are planning to visit, compare all 10 and you’ll see that there would be at least 2 or 3 that you can let go.
You’re sure to have more fun if you’ll be pushing through with your tour hassle-free - no need to phone anyone to send extra money across the border. While it should really cost a considerable amount, it need not cause you and your credit card any trouble.