You may have become more accustomed to minding your pocketbook when it comes to spending for non-essential items, but that doesn’t mean you should have to skip your regular summer getaway. If you expect to hit the road, careful planning can make a difference. Here are five tips to help you keep costs in check without sacrificing fun during your summer break:
1. Check all of your options for pricing
The Internet affords you the opportunity to compare prices and look for the best deals on airline tickets, hotels and rental cars. In some circumstances, a package that includes a combination of hotel and tickets to events or theme parks may save you money. When it comes to lodging, you may want to contact the hotel directly to see if they can make a better offer than what is available online or through a travel agent. Check out user ratings and comments about hotels to help determine if your money will be well spent. Don’t be afraid to ask for any available discount. A hotel or amusement park may allow you to use coupon discounts even if you don’t have one in hand.
2. Look for combination ticket offers
If you are visiting a location with many sights to see, such as museums and art galleries, consider saving cash with a “pass” that buys you entrance into a number of sites. This option is usually an easy one to choose if you plan to visit nearly all of the attractions included, but even if you only plan on seeing a few, you might save enough to cover a tank of gas or indulge in an extra ice cream cone.
3. Travel light to avoid baggage fees
There are plenty of advantages to keeping it simple when it comes to packing. The biggest may be that you have less weight to lug around. The other benefit is that you can avoid baggage fees by packing all that you need in a carry-on bag, or at least reducing the number of bags you need to check.
4. Reduce food costs by eating out less
Food expenses can quickly drain your wallet when you are on the road. Just as making your own meals when you are home tends to be more cost-efficient, the same can be true when you travel. Try to eat at least one meal a day “in house” by buying a few items from the store and making your own breakfast or lunch. Many hotel rooms include refrigerators, so even refreshments like soda and beer can be purchased and enjoyed in your room before going out. If traveling with children, try to take advantage of restaurant deals where kids eat free.
5. Be spontaneous
If you aren’t picky about where you travel or specifically when, you can often find attractive offers on last-minute deals online. These typically are package deals to specific cities or attractions that include airfare, hotel and other amenities like a rental car or some meals. Compare offers and determine which provides the best value.
Traveling comes with expenses, but vacations memories are priceless. If you need suggestions or help planning your trip, consider working with a travel agent who can provide information and tips for saving money on specific locales. Also consider working with a financial advisor who can help you budget and work toward both your short- and long-term financial goals including traveling, buying a home and retiring.
Constance C. Proll, CFP® is a Financial Advisor CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practitioner ™ with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Southington, CT. She specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 30 years. To contact him/her, please call 860-621-8305 or visit her on the web atwww.ameripriseadvisors.com/constance.c.proll. Her office is located at 1006 South Main Street, Plantsville, CT, 06479.
Advisor is licensed/registered to do business with U.S. residents only in the states of CT, NY, MA, FL, NV, PA.
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