I recently found myself pondering why travel is so important to me. Most people enjoy a getaway now and then, but traveling means so much more to me than just taking a trip. It’s a big priority in my life and it’s why I’m willing to sacrifice a lot of things to make it happen and to bring down the cost.
Everyone has something they love to do that fulfills them beyond their daily tasks. For some, it may be an outdoor sport like golfing, skiing or hiking. Others may enjoy a solitary indoor activity, like sewing or painting. For me, it’s travel.
Unfortunately, it can be an expensive passion. You know those families who sell all their belongings and adventure around the world full time? I’m one of the crazies who’d do that. My husband is not. He’s constantly telling me to simmer down and get my head out of the clouds. It’s actually comical how different we are!
I love the excitement of a bustling airport, the history and architecture of a city, and the beauty of a mountain or waterfall. I enjoy meeting new people, learning about their culture, and taking fun pictures along the way. Most of all, I love the memories I create with the people I travel with. That’s something that will stick with me til I’m old and grey.
I often hear people complain about not being able to afford a vacation, and I get it. It can cost a lot of money if you’re paying for each and every thing! If you’re like me and have a strong desire to travel, I’ve got a few tips to make traveling more financially attainable.
5 Ways To Bring Down The Cost Of A Vacation:
Get Yourself a Travel Credit Card.
I know some prefer to avoid credit cards, but this is one of the biggest ways to bring down the costs of a trip. Flights are by far our biggest expense wherever we go. Most airlines offer a VISA or Mastercard that will allow you to collect Airmiles or points. They will also generally give you a yearly companion fare for as low as $99 round trip. We charge everything to those specific cards and pay them off in full each month. It gives us anywhere between one and five flights free per a trip. My Mother and I just booked flights to New York City for this Summer and it cost us nothing! Imagine how much more affordable that dream trip becomes when you don’t have flights to pay for!
Take Road Trips.
If flying isn’t achievable, consider a road trip! Last year we did an 8 days of driving trip and it was one of the cheapest vacations we ever took. We saw mountains and lakes, visited local zoos, and walked through an enchanted forest. Want to lower the cost even more? Camp along the way. You’ll cut your nightly price down from $150 to around $30.
Book Condos or Hotels with Kitchens.
We don’t enjoy eating out three meals a day. It also gets very expensive for a family of five – I’m talking $100 a day or more depending on how many are in your group. By staying in a place with a kitchen, we have the ability to buy groceries and cook wherever we stay. Often these accommodations have more space for a family and possible even separate rooms. I have dreams of visiting the marketplaces in Paris and taking the food back to a little condo for lunch. And it’s so much cheaper!
Travel Off Season.
I cannot stress this enough! You will pay two or three times more to travel during peak seasons. Peak season is July and August, Christmas and New Years, and Spring Break. You’ll notice price increases on stat holidays as well. If you can manage it, it’s worth pulling your kids out of school for a few days.
Book When There’s a Deal.
I often have a destination in mind for a family trip, only to change it later because something cheaper comes along. Disney will offer 30% off Park Passes, flights to Hawaii will drop, or a weekend in Whistler is majorly discounted. When we see these deals, we book immediately. It requires a little flexibility in dates and often planning far in advance, but it pays off in the long run!
Most of us are not in a position to do whatever we want, whenever we want. There are sacrifices to be made in order to achieve certain dreams, like traveling. Some of the simple ways we save money are by rarely eating out as a family, only having one vehicle, and cutting cable or watching movies at home instead of going to the theatre. Resist the urge to upgrade your phone at every possible opportunity. Buy used instead of new. Opt for free weekend activities like the park or beach. And be tame when it comes to gifts at Christmas and on birthdays.
I hope these 5 ways to bring down the cost of a vacation will help you to travel more. I love seeing people adventuring with their families and making their travel dreams come true!
Do you have any tips you would add?