We all know taking vacations can be very expensive. On average, Americans spend about 10% of their income1 on taking vacations and traveling. Taking time off work to travel and see the world does not have to cost you this much, as there are very easy ways to make your trips less expensive like the ones below.
1. Book in Advance
A common reason vacations can be so expensive is because people book their trips one or two months in advance. While there are times where a traveling opportunity pops up and you have no choice other than to book on such short notice, this should not happen regularly. Booking trips as far in advance as possible can sometimes save you hundreds of dollars. Some hotels and airlines increase their rates as the date gets closer, so when planning a vacation, you should research the travel rates as early as possible. This way, you can get a better understanding of how the rates vary in relation to how far away your travel date is, and potentially find a time to book that is more cost-effective.
2. Know the Best Months to Travel
Hotels and airlines will also often increase their rates during winter and summer, as this is when people are most likely to travel. Depending on your travel destination, you will want to be strategic about when you visit if you would like to save money. For example, if you want to go skiing in Colorado, booking at the very beginning of spring may be best, as the snow will still be on the mountains, but there will be less demand for hotels and flights. In contrast, if you would like to go to the Bahamas, booking a trip at the beginning of fall will likely be less expensive. It will still be great beach weather, but many people will be back to work at this time.
3. Look for Discount Codes
Today, most people book their trips online rather than over the phone2 or through a travel agent. This is great for people who want to save money, as they have the chance to find discount codes. Before hitting “Book”, do a quick search online to see if the hotel or airline has any active discount codes. If they do, you can potentially save on your subtotal!
4. Consider Taking a Cruise
Opting for a cruise can be a great way to save thousands of dollars on a vacation. If you have never been on a cruise ship, cruise passengers have access to all-you-can-eat buffets for each meal, you usually visit at least two or three countries, and you constantly have beautiful views. Cruises are essentially a package deal for transportation, food, activities, and a hotel. So, when you see the price at checkout, that is often the total you will spend- outside of drinks or what you purchase off the cruise ship when it docks at a country.
5. Visit Non-Tourist Spots
Tourist destinations are oftentimes very crowded and very expensive. This is why it may be a good choice to visit a town near a tourist attraction instead, as this could save you money on a hotel. If you are just looking to unplug and relax for a few days, try finding a secluded Airbnb in a small town. You can sometimes find stays from $30 per night, so be sure to consider this option.
Vacations are very important to recharge, so don’t too hastily skip out on them solely with the worry of spending too much. The tips above can help you save a lot on your next vacation, and potentially create a trip that is more affordable than you might anticipate. For more tips on saving money or about wealth management, please contact us. Our financial professionals would love to work to help you feel confident with your finances.
1 “Most Americans Are Taking Vacations They Can’t Afford” Jennifer Liu Forbes, Jun 30, 2017
2 “U.S. Consumers Increasingly Rely on Smartphones to Book Travel” Barbara Peterson Travel Market Report, November 21, 2018
This article is for informational purposes only. Please be advised that this article is not intended as legal or tax advice. PPG-139592 (1/20)(Exp. 9/20)