A vacation offers much-needed relaxation and fun, but if you’re not careful, your travel budget can spiral out of control. Thankfully, you can find ways to save in your vacation budget by being smart about flight and hotel discounts, meal costs and more. These easy tips can help you plan an affordable vacation.
When to fly
Whether you’re flying international or domestic, you can score a deal by flying Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday instead of Friday or Sunday
Source: The New York Times, 2018.
When to book
Save 15-25% by booking on Tuesday, after airlines release sale prices and competitors match. Just remember, other variables often derail that rule of thumb, so it’s a good idea to comparison shop. How far in advance you should book usually depends on when you’re traveling and where.
Source: SkyScanner, 2018.
How to book
Average amount customers saved bundling airfare and hotel rooms through sites like Travelocity.
Source: USA Today, 2017.
Signing up for a loyalty program and booking directly with the hotel could save you 10–20% versus an online travel agency.
Once you’re there
Seek out free attractions
Parks, national landmarks and beaches can be free (or cheap) activities for you and your family. Your hotel’s pool is also free.
Use the 1-2 rule for meals
For every fine dining experience, plan to have two economical meals.
Plan your next trip
Using a credit card travel rewards program can help your budget, too. Travel rewards cards allow you to earn points you can redeem toward things like flights, hotel rooms or rental cars on your next vacation—though specifics vary by card.
3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor
- Can I afford to take a trip and still keep my savings and investments on track?
- What’s a reasonable annual travel budget for me?
- Can Merrill Lynch’s and Bank of America’s mobile apps help me track expenses on vacation?
This article was adapted from Better Money Habits®. Visit BetterMoneyHabits.com for more practical financial information.