Everybody loves to travel, but few love the price tag that comes with it. The cost of flights, hotels, and currency exchanges can end up grounding a lot of these flights of fancy, as the average Canadian spends $1,007 on international travel—the third highest in the world according to the UNWTO Tourism Highlights report. If you want to make the most of your summer vacation without going broke, you’ll need to follow these savvy tips to keep your travel bill low.
Know what you can afford
It sounds so simple, but would-be travellers skip this step frequently. With their minds set on elaborate travel plans, they’re focused on budget-busting trips they can’t afford, so they assume all travel is out of their reach.
Just because a three-month backpacking trip across Asia may not be within your capabilities doesn’t mean you have to stay home this year. You can plan a smaller vacation that fits your finances, but first, you need to know what you can afford.
If it’s been a while since you’ve thought about your finances beyond paying for the necessities, you’ll want to look up how to spring clean your finances — even if it’s the summer. This activity helps you organize your finances in a way that makes it easy to know your financial abilities at any given time. Spring cleaning means you’ll have to review your accounts, reflect on your debts, and create a budget.Once you know where your money is going, you’ll know how much you have to spend on a vacation.
Save a little extra
While a budget helps you determine the state of your finances as they are now, that’s not the only thing it can do. It can help you identify what you need to change to improve your finances, too. When you track your expenses using your budget, you’ll be able to pinpoint how you’re spending your money unwisely. If you’re willing to eliminate bad spending habits, you can free up extra cash to fund your vacation.
What you end up sacrificing is different for everyone. For some, it’s cutting out the flavoured latte they pick up before work every day. For others, it may be the fine for going over their data limits every month. Refer to your budget to see what habits are putting your ability to save in jeopardy, and cut them out.
Prepare for the unexpected
Nobody wants to dwell on all the ways their vacation can go wrong, but it’s an important thought exercise that can protect your budget. An emergency can happen, and if you haven’t thought about it in advance, you may struggle to recover from it.
You should take the time to think about solutions to common vacation SNAFUs before you leave, so you have a plan of action should it happen while you’re abroad. Basic travel insurance through your credit card or the Blue Cross will help you in case of trip cancellations, medical emergencies, and lost luggage.
You should also think about your finances once you come home from your trip. Though you may have come under budget during your holiday, your savings will be at their lowest upon your return. They may not be prepared should you return home to a mailbox of unexpected bills or an urgent household repair. Before you take off, research where to you can find the best payday loan Canada has to offer for when you need help. It’s as simple as typing “paydayloans” into your Google query bar. These personal cash advances can help you bridge the gap between your savings and your homegrown emergency.
You should feel refreshed and accomplished after your summer holiday — not stressed out because of bills. Don’t let your finances stop you from enjoying your vacation to its fullest. Use these tips to plan your trip properly, and you’ll protect your wallet from your passport.