Vacation Budgeting: 4 Tips for Travel that Won’t Break the Bank

Vacation Budgeting: 4 Tips for Travel that Won’t Break the Bank
Topics BudgetingCreditSaving

Vacation season is heating up with the weather.

With rising costs still impacting many consumers’ finances it is crucial to put a plan in place before traveling to ensure you stay on budget and have a relaxing vacation.

Here are tips to help you plan a vacation that won’t break the bank.

Know Your Price Range

Before booking anything, take a close look at your finances to see what you can afford and put a budget in place. Staying disciplined and sticking to your budget and your plan will help avoid buyers’ remorse after the trip. Tracking your spending with your mobile banking or a budgeting app can be a good way to stick to your plan.

It is also important to think through your various options for your stay – like if a hotel or rental property is the best fit for your trip – to help set your budget. If you’re traveling with family or a large group, a rental property may provide a more affordable option, especially if you’re able to make some meals at the rental vs. dining out or ordering food for each meal.

If you’re traveling abroad, getting some local currency before you leave can also help with a smoother arrival. Many banks can provide foreign currency, often at a better exchange rate than airport kiosks or other locations once you arrive, which can help save money during your trip.

Search for Deals

There are a variety of travel websites that can help you search for the best deal for your stay, and it is always a good idea to compare prices for hotels, rentals and flights before booking. Just remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it could be a scam so ensure you’re only booking through legitimate websites.

If your trip is still far enough away that you don’t need to book your flight just yet, set price alerts for your potential flights to catch the best deal.

Another alternative that can help save on expenses is traveling at off-peak times, like during the school year, which can help with better prices for rentals, flights, excursions and more.

Cash in Rewards

If you’ve been building your credit card rewards in airline miles, hotel points or even cash back, now could be a good time to use those rewards to save on your upfront travel costs.

Using your rewards card for large expenses for the trip can also help build or replenish your rewards for the future. With interest rates still elevated, however, it is important to pay your balance in full each month or the rewards may not be worth it. You’ll also want to check the terms and conditions of your credit card to ensure there are no foreign transaction or other fees that you could incur by using it on your trip.

Choose a Staycation

If your finances are tight, planning a staycation can be a good way to unwind with family while avoiding costly travel. Look for free or low-cost activities like movie nights at local parks, free festivals, hiking, and museums to build memories without stretching your wallet too thin.

Remember, you can always save for the vacation you had in mind for the future by putting a plan in place now. Taking advantage of elevated interest rates for your savings through certificates of deposit (CDs) or money markets can be a good way to build your funds for the future.

If you need more help putting your plan and budget together, consider speaking with your local banker, who can help evaluate your current finances and put a roadmap in place for you to reach your goals.

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