Women & Co Offers 10 Budget-Friendly Summer Travel Tips
Summer, summer, summertime…is around the corner and if you haven’t already, it’s time to begin planning those summer vacations. Not sure about you, but I’ll be going the frugal route this year and Linda Descano, President and CEO of Women & Co, a personal finance site for women, has provided me with 10 budget-friendly summer travel tips to share with readers.
Budget for Your Summer Vacation
1. When it comes to budgeting for summer vacation, begin a vacation fund now. Ask yourself what you can give up for a week away and start saving! (Weekly manicure? Premium cable package? In my case – satellite radio.)
2. Set a budget to give yourself a plan to figure out how much money you want to spend and help you make better choices about what you purchase while traveling. One Women & Co community member said without a budget, it was way too easy for her to purchase big ticket items simply because she was “on vacation” – and in the end, it added up to a lot of money.
3. When figuring your vacation budget, factor in local transportation costs, which you can find in the transportation sections of most guidebooks. Will you be renting a car, taking cabs, or is there a less inexpensive mode of public transportation that might be equally convenient? (Note: in my community of Punta Gorda, Florida, we have a FREE bicycle loaner program, first one in the state.)
4. If you have a pet and are planning on leaving them at home, don’t forget to factor in kennel costs or pet-sitter fees – and if you’re taking him with you, make sure that you look into additional fees that you might incur with your airline or hotel.
Stick to the Plan
5. Be realistic about how much you can accomplish. It won’t be much of a vacation if you’re exhausted from trying to pack too much in each day. Stick to planning one major activity each day to reduce entertainment expenses.
6. Take 20 percent of your vacation budget and add it to your vacation fund to help you account for unexpected costs that may sneak up on you.
7. Bring copies of all your travel documents and keep them in your hotel safe.
Maximize Your Resources
8. Before you book, check your card’s specific benefits – you could earn points you can redeem for discounts at merchants to help you prepare for your trip. The Citi Thank You Premier card, for example, has no foreign transaction fees and provides access to one free domestic companion ticket each year. And, you can cash in your ThankYou points for all sorts of purchases while you’re on the road, from cameras and electronics to books and CDs. If driving, you can accelerate your points accumulation by using your ThankYou card to purchase gas.
Think Like a Local
9. Avoid tourist traps. Do a little research before traveling, whether it’s by soliciting friends for suggestions, checking out online reviews or using social media, and come up with a list of local restaurants worth trying, instead of relying on the handful of restaurants featured in every guidebook.
10. Learn local customs – some can save you money. For example, if you’re traveling to Europe, keep in mind that they’re not as big on tipping as we are in the U.S. Our friends at Fab&Fru recommend leaving an extra 10 percent – in cash – for good service when traveling to Europe – since tipping is not required or expected in most countries.
Do you have any budget-friendly travel tips to share?
About Women & Co
Women & Co is a personal finance website for women with a simple mission – they want to ignite financial conversations among women. Today, women are increasingly taking on the role of financial decision maker, yet , they seem reluctant to talk about important financial matters. They aim to provide women personal finance advice that is really relevant to their lives, to open up a dialogue and get women talking about money.