For the majority of us, travel is the single most expensive thing we embark on. We spend months saving up for one trip away, and we blow at least one month’s worth of wages for the duration of our stay. Add that to the money you lose from taking time off work, and you’re looking at a significant chunk of cash. All for one week in different surroundings.
Of course, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Nothing leaves you as refreshed as a complete break from your everyday life. But, given that these trips are supposed to chill you out, something’s going very wrong. The credit card bill you face on your return leaves you more stressed out than ever.
You’re by no means alone . This is a reality which many vacationers face. But, we think it’s time to put an end to post-vacation financial stress. Luckily, all you need to do is find a way of halving the amount you spend when you’re away. Then, you can remain in that vacay head space for a whole lot longer. This could even see you able to afford more than on trip away. It’s a win-win situation. But, how exactly can you make it happen?
For the most part, saving here involves considering where most of your money goes when you’re away. Once you know that, you can take the necessary steps to save in each area. To help you get started, we’re going to look at the main spending areas, and what you can do to reduce each.
Your travel method
Before we even reach our destinations, the majority of us spend more than a small fortune on travel. Okay, you don’t exactly ride first class. But, by the time you’ve paid for flights there and back, you’re still looking at an empty bank account. Add to that the price you pay to reserve your seats and check your luggage, and you’re sure to spend a fair amount. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. In reality, cutting things like seat reservations and checked bags could save you a lot. Let’s be honest; you won’t be in that seat long enough to justify spending money to reserve it. A little research will also reveal that most airlines have generous hand luggage allowances. With that in mind, is the cost of checked bags really necessary? Sadly, there’s no way to avoid the cost of flights themselves. Unless, of course, you don’t get a plane. Often, you’ll find that taking a boat is a much cheaper option. If you get seasick, you might even want to consider your own transport method. Something like these Rockwood trailers would provide everything you need. It may take a while longer to reach your destinations this way, but you can bet it’ll work out a lot cheaper over time. If you don’t often go away overseas, then, this could be the ideal solution to save you money.
Second to travel, most of us spend the most on our accommodation choices. While it’s fair to say that hotels are worth the money you pay, that doesn’t make this bill any easier. What’s more, they’re by no means your only option here. Investing in a trailer as mentioned above could see you with ready-made accommodation at all times. That’s a double-whammy of saving. If you don’t fancy bedding down in the back of a trailer, you could always opt for a hostel instead. These get a bad reputation, but they provide everything you need. You’re only going here to sleep, after all. Why get precious about that? Now, you also have the option of an Airbnb. By using these, it’s possible to find sizeable accommodation for far less than you would pay in a pristine hotel. While you do have to kiss goodbye to room service this way, many would argue that’s a price worth paying.
Food and drink
If you’re anything like most travelers, food and drink come way up on the spending list. Isn’t this what a vacation is all about? When you go away, you like to spend your days eating out and drinking in the sun. But, if your vacation expenses are anything to go by, something needs to give. You know what we’re going to say first, don’t you? It’s possible to save an insane amount here just from making your food. Both a trailer and Airbnb should come complete with kitchens of some kind. By the end of your time away, you could have saved hundreds of dollars from making use of these alone. You could even alternate between eating in and out to satisfy your vacation cravings. Luckily, not having access to a kitchen doesn’t mean you’re doomed here. Remember, too, that restaurants and bars in tourist areas often raise their prices no end. Your next best bet for saving money, then, is to search lesser-known backstreets and regions. It may seem like a small thing, but finding cheap alternatives could almost halve the amount you spend here.
It wouldn’t be a vacation if you didn’t bring back a few souvenirs, would it? You want these for both yourself and your friends. All the better for remembering your trip, right? Or not. In reality, these are extortionately priced items which usually end up in the bin. So, ask yourself, do you need that plastic toy to remind you of New York? Would your friends appreciate that terrible London mug? Probably not. Instead, consider cheaper souvenirs which are sure to last. Buy postcards which cost little but show friends where you’ve been. Buy a disposable camera which is cheap, and creates lasting memories you’ll never throw away. You could even spend nothing on this, and pick up shells from the beach, or rocks from iconic areas. Throughout all your trips, stepping away from shop-bought souvenirs could save you big money. It may even save you enough to get away one extra time in a few years.