Getting ready for summer travel is a good way of getting through the final cold months of winter. Planning ahead and daydreaming of sunny beaches can lead to some overexcitement while you’re looking at vacation packages. If you’re not careful, this anticipation of escaping to bright adventures can lead to drained savings and maxed-out credit cards.
But with the right tips and planning, your summer travels don’t have to throw off your financial goals.
Start with a savings plan
It’s always best to plan out trips without having to depend on credit. There are a lot of credit cards out there with cash rewards for big purchases and it can be easy to get swept up in the credit bonuses. And though you almost always need a credit card to book a trip, it’s always best to have the cash on hand to quickly pay off that purchase. Paying off a big credit purchase like a vacation could compound the rewards and also help to boost your credit score.
One of the best ways to make sure you have that cash on hand is with a savings account. Setting up a savings account for your travels helps you put money aside every month dedicated to booking your flights and accommodations. But it’s not just the money getting you to your destination that you need to worry about. Plan out the money to take with you. Keeping to a cash diet can make you less dependent on your credit cards. Save ahead for booking your trip but don’t forget about the money you want to bring along. This will help ensure that you’re not racking up new debt.
Look at conversion rates
A lot of countries around the world have currency worth more than the Canadian dollar. This means that for every dollar or pound or euro you spend while abroad, you could be paying as much as $2 Canadian. But there are just as many countries whose conversion rates are a lot lower, meaning your Canadian dollar is worth a lot more.
While you’re thinking about your next trip take a look at how far a Canadian dollar can take you. The Bank of Canada has a conversion rate calculator on its website. To give some better context, Attaché on YouTube measures conversion rates and local prices with metrics like how much a pint of beer or a Big Mac will cost. By looking at conversion rates, you might start thinking differently about where you want to explore for your next adventure.
Find the best bundle deals
Websites like Expedia and Travelocity are used regularly by Canadians to bundle flights and accommodations to maximize the best travel deals possible. There is no shortage of different travel websites like these, but you can maximize deals even further.
All-inclusive deals can see you pay for your flight, hotel and all your meals with a single booking. Destinations like Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic have countless all-inclusive resorts and sometimes even offer on-site entertainment and activities as part of their packages. With all the necessities taken care of, you don’t have to worry about bringing along as much spending cash.
Consider a staycation
If travelling abroad is looking too expensive, there is an alternative. Staycations are becoming increasingly popular with people taking advantage of their time off to explore the cities they call home. This is time that can be spent discovering new neighbourhoods, experiencing street art and even finding a new favourite restaurant.
For people living in smaller communities, there’s also the option of exploring your larger counties. Are there breweries in nearby towns you haven’t experienced? Maybe festivals worth venturing into? Finding ways to make staying close to home more like a vacation could help you still find the adventure you need without spending as much money.
What are your summer travel plans? Have any advice or insights on destinations that can help others save on their vacations? Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook to share your own savvy saver travel tips.