Traveling can be just as tiring as it is exciting. From flights to hotels, and transportation, to food, there are a lot of factors to consider and to pay for as you make your travel plans. As our way of saying bon voyage, we’ve outlined four crucial steps for planning a trip:
Where would you like to go? If you don’t have a location in mind, you can pick a location based on when you want to go on holiday. Conversely, if you have a destination in mind, it can be easy to find out the best, or cheapest time of year to travel to that place. Do some research to determine the cheapest destinations based on the time of year that you want to travel. It’s important to be mindful of harsher weather during certain times of the year such as monsoon season or extreme cold or heat climates in certain parts of the world.
Depending on where you want to travel, your prime booking window may vary. According to a recent study, domestic flights within the U.S. are best booked 21-105 days in advance, whereas flights to Europe and Asia should be booked 90-100 days ahead of their departure date. Regardless of your destination, booking in the prime booking window could translate into significant savings. If you’re afraid you might forget when to book, set up flight alerts to your email so you’re notified when a good deal comes your way.
Whether it’s a hotel or hostel, you’ll want to book something within your budget. How much of your vacation fund are you willing to allocate for lodging? How much time do you plan on spending in your room? Is turndown and room service important to you or are you just looking for Wi-Fi? For families, all-inclusive vacations or vacation rentals may be more reasonably priced and contain necessary amenities. If you have family where you’re going, ask for a bed! Even if you don’t plan on staying there for the entirety of your holiday, a free night or two will save you money.
No matter where you’re traveling to, you’re going to need cash on hand for your trip. You may have a credit or debit card available to you, but you’re most likely going to rely on cash to pay for food and transportation like taxis and buses. If your concerned your credit card or debit card might not work when you need it the most, withdraw money ahead of time. You can also use a cash advance or short-term loan to make sure you have money when you need it during your vacation if you can afford the associated interest and fees. Determine your daily budget and portion out cash into envelopes to help visualize your budget.
Going on a major trip or vacation can be costly, so the best way to get ready for travel is to save as much money as you can. Check out these resources for additional tips on saving and budgeting to help you prepare to travel.