The best ways to afford your dream vacation are thorough planning, finding deals on flights and where to stay, and spending your money where it counts. Choose your dream destination and let your imagination run wild – then make your dream a reality with these five tips for making travel affordable.
1. All-Inclusive Resorts
More often than not, an all-inclusive resort, hotel, cruise or tour puts financial worries on hold so you can enjoy your dream vacation to the max. Every part of your trip is charged with one flat fee before embarking on your dream vacation – so once you put down that money, you don’t have to worry about any expenses for the rest of the trip. All-inclusive means no limits and no catch. It’s wise to ask lots of questions and do thorough research into the all-inclusive dream resort you’re considering, before purchase. You want to be sure that it includes exactly what you envision for your dream vacation. All-inclusive deals typically include a room, all meals and drinks, activities, entertainment, tips, taxes and airport transfers. If all-inclusive resorts are not your cup of tea, another option is using sites like Expedia to find the right vacation package deal for your tastes and budget.
2. Low-Season or Shoulder-Season
Check when high-season is, and avoid it the best you can. Low-season doesn’t necessarily mean bad weather, it just means fewer visitors and lower prices. And because many dream vacation spots, such as the Caribbean, have that same idyllic weather year round – why not take advantage of the off-season prices? If off-season months don’t line up, try to plan your vacation during shoulder-season, the travel period between peak and off-peak seasons, to avoid the crowds and outrageous prices of high-season.
3. Book Early
Booking in advance often makes all the difference, especially with the following tips in mind. Compare cheap flights and hotels with sites like Momondo, Google Flights, and AllTheRooms. Go into your Web browser’s incognito mode so that prices don’t raise based on increased interest. Once you have an idea of when and where you’ll go, set airfare alerts and let the deals come to you. When you see a price you like, buy quickly before someone else steals the deal. When planning your dream vacation it’s important to book as soon as you can before flight and accommodation prices surge.
4. Book Cheap in High-Class
Expensive accommodations are often the culprit for draining your wallet on any vacation. It’s important to search all housing options out there and decide for yourself what accommodations fit your dream vacation criteria at the lowest price. Staying at a resort or five-star hotel can fit your ideal vacation housing, but consider renting the cheapest room. Opt for a garden view instead of an ocean view to save money and still enjoy fancy amenities and the same beach front as guests in the pricier rooms. For vacation travelers on a tighter budget, it’s often cheaper to rent a private hostel room in a nice hostel, such as a boutique hostel, than to stay at a resort or hotel.
5. Transportation & Dining
The cost of cab rides and restaurant dining can add up quickly, so if you choose to budget this trip yourself, make sure you take into account costs of transportation and food. Taking the local metro is often a huge money saver compared to taxis or Uber, and it’s a good opportunity for cultural immersion as well. Many cities offer all-day and week-long packages for bus and train transportation around the city at one fixed price with unlimited rides. Pricier meals don’t mean better quality. If you’re going to splurge on a meal, make sure you do your research beforehand. Otherwise, get a local opinion on where the good, cheap eats are, and you might find the most satisfying meals can be the most affordable.