Does winter weather have you dreaming of a warm beach somewhere? You don’t have to be a student to take advantage of spring break. But you also don’t have to cripple your bank account to take your family on a vacation. Here are some tips to save extra cash on your spring trip:
1. Set a budget
Don’t do any planning before you set a budget for your trip that you’re comfortable with. This will prevent you from moving on a deal that looks like a steal, but is still more than you can afford. Come up with an actual number you feel good about, and use that to guide the rest of your decisions. A budget also gives you the freedom to adjust your itinerary. For example, if you’re saving money on your hotel, you might be able to splurge on that diving expedition you’ve been eyeing, or upgrade to an ocean-view suite for a night.
Don’t forget to overestimate how much you’ll need for food and extra fees – you never know when you’ll have to pay for parking or stop for extra snacks. Keep cash on hand to avoid ATM bank fees.
2. Choose an affordable vacation destination
A little extra research can save you thousands on your vacation. If you want to relax on a beach, for example, you don’t have to shell out for a trip to Hawaii. There are plenty of affordable locations you might not have considered for your trip. According to U.S. News and World Report, Myrtle Beach, Daytona and South Padre Island are some of the top spring break destinations on a budget. You can find the rest of the list here.
3. Plan a staycation
You don’t have to pay for airfare to book a getaway. When you want to take a trip, don’t overlook your own backyard. Most people never get to try some of the best hotels and inns in their area because they’ve never needed to. Make it a point to find some new restaurants and attractions in your area, book the hotel you’ve always wanted to stay in, and find some amazing new recommendations for visitors coming to your town.
4. Cash in your miles, memberships and rewards
Do you have a credit card that helps you gain miles, hotel points or even just cash back bonuses? Check those out before booking to make sure you take advantage of your rewards. If you travel a couple times or more every year, assess your credit card rewards and see if you’re getting the best rewards for your lifestyle.
5. Avoid peak season
If you’re traveling with kids, it might be hard to avoid booking over spring break. But if your schedule is more flexible, do some research to find out when your destination is in peak season. Locations frequented by students and families over spring break might be swamped in March or April, but other vacation hotspots might hit a slow point during those months. Another benefit to shopping outside of the peak season is that you tend to get better deals, so pay attention to price changes over different dates.
About Your Richest Life
At Your Richest Life, Katie Brewer, CFP®, believes you too should have access to financial resources (like this financial checklist) and fee-only financial planning. For more information on the services offered, contact Katie today.