Vacation planning tips to help you maximize your travel time and money.
If you’ve got the travel bug, chances are you’re already considering ways to save for your next adventure. With multiple responsibilities, it can be hard to ensure all the pieces of your financial picture are working together to help you meet your goals.
A financial security advisor can assess your individual situation and help you create a savings strategy as part of your financial security plan. Knowing you’re well positioned to save for the future means you can focus on planning your dream getaway.
Consider these strategies to help you make the most of your travel time and budget. With the right preparation, your money may just take you further than you thought.
Compare airfare options
Theories about the best time to book flights are debatable, but the Airlines Reporting Corporation found that about six weeks before departure, prices are generally below average. Regardless of when you book, make sure you use multiple flight comparison sites like Skyscanner or Kayak to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Don’t forget to check airline websites directly as they sometimes have exclusive promotions when you book direct. Flights with longer connections will often cut costs, but you’ll have to assess whether the time spent is worth the money saved.
Consider a rental property
Sites like Airbnb, Homestay and Vacation Rentals by Owner often provide superior value to hotel accommodations. Staying in a more residential area can provide a unique travel experience, allowing you to discover hidden local hotspots. In addition to considerable savings on the nightly rate, the ability to cook and pack your own meals can help you minimize your dining budget.
Book attractions early
When visiting a new country, it can be overwhelming to decide which attractions to prioritize. Deciding upon arrival can be spontaneous and fun, but consider the precious time you’ll waste narrowing down the options while away. Before leaving, it’s a good idea to book your “must visit” destinations. Many travellers don’t consider the savings they’ll realize if they book popular attractions in advance, especially if the destination offers a combined admission pass for multiple museums or historical sites, for example. These passes often also allow you to avoid lengthy lines.
Map your route
Once you’ve decided on your top attractions, you may want to plot all your destinations on a map to determine how to cover the most ground per day. Tripomatic is a great app that will help you map your itinerary and visualize the best routes to take. Doing this will not only eliminate wasted time, but also can cut down on transportation costs if you hit destinations in close proximity on the same day.
Plan meals out in advance
While you’re planning your itinerary, take some time to browse nearby restaurants. Looking at various menus online will allow you to assess the average cost of dining, and ensure you don’t wander into high-cost tourist trap restaurants. While it may not be realistic to make reservations for every day, exploring your options will allow you to set money aside for special nights out. Familiarizing yourself with local chain restaurants and grocery stores is also a good idea if you want to stop for a quick, affordable bite, or stock your room with breakfast items and snacks.
Following these tips can certainly save you money on your next vacation, but the most valuable return on your planning effort is making the most of your time away. After all, the more you’re able to fit into one trip the better you’re likely to feel about your travel investment.
The information provided is based on current laws, regulations and other rules applicable to Canadian residents. It is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the date of publication. Rules and their interpretation may change, affecting the accuracy of the information. The information provided is general in nature, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for advice in any specific situation. For specific situations, advice should be obtained from the appropriate legal, accounting, tax or other professional advisors.