Plan Ahead, and Reflect, to Save on Travel
February 28, 2023:
In our discussions with family, friends, clients, and colleagues, there is an ongoing theme that while still young in the year, many individuals and families have already found 2023 to be very busy and very costly, given inflation’s compounding effect. In fact, some have felt so much financial anxiety that hadn’t planned any time away due to the feeling short on time or money–but many have now decided they, quite simply, need a break.
With those recent talks in mind, we thought it might be helpful to share some vacation budgeting tips in case you or someone you know is amid vacation contemplation:
Plan Early, Set a Budget, and Stick to it.
Determine how much you can afford to spend, and how much you want to spend on your vacation. These numbers may be higher or lower than one another. While creating your budget, remember to reflect on what you are needing from this trip to support your overall wellbeing. Do the excursions and plans support these needs? For example, are you looking for connection, relaxation, inclusion, stimulation, or ease? Perhaps there is a less expensive or unique destination that can meet these needs without breaking the bank. Make sure to include all expenses, from transportation to activities, and include a buffer in case of emergencies.
Consider Travel During the Off-Season of Your Destination.
Off-season travel can save you a lot of money as hotel prices and airfare tend to be much lower. Additionally, you may find areas to be much less crowded. If you’re willing to swim upstream this summer, you can find inspiration for your next off-season destination spot here.
Use Travel Points and Rewards.
Make use of your credit card rewards, loyalty programs, and travel points to save money on flights, hotels, and activities. You may be surprised at what is covered when you inquire with your credit card company and speak with a rewards specialist. Some cards even offer complimentary concierge travel planning where they can set you up in partner locations to receive deeply discounted rates.
Look for Complimentary Meals or Kitchen Suites.
Eating out every meal can quickly add up, so when planning, look for hotels that include breakfast, afternoon hors d’oeuvres, or a complimentary happy hour. Some hotels also offer packages that include an on-site restaurant credit. Cutting out the cost of just one meal a day can save hundreds of dollars, making the complimentary morning buffet or opting for a room with a kitchen to prepare food and snacks rather appealing.
Be flexible with dates.
To maximize your savings, the Thrifty Traveler recommends letting flight prices determine your travel dates if you have the flexibility; another reason that planning early and being willing to try new destinations can be to your advantage.
Take a moment to check in with yourself and see what you need to feel balanced. If a change of scenery sounds like the key, there are certainly financially responsible ways to coordinate some time away. You just may need to source a bit of creativity and curiosity in your planning.
Whether an overnight, weekend away, spring break or family trip, we wish you safe travels in 2023.