Many people have a nervous breakdown thinking about packing, yet alone investing time and energy to thoroughly plan a trip. Well, failing to plan can only mean that you are planning to fail. There are a lot of things that could go wrong, and a ton of opportunities you are missing by throwing in the towel. It is a big wide world, where agencies fight for traveler’s attention. So, make an effort to pinpoint money-saving deals, free stays, and special offers. To take a dip in the crystal clear water you first have to dive into travel facts and figures.
Setting the Stage
The first thing to muse on is where you would like to go. This decision is not based only on your whims, but also travel budget. So, access how much you can afford to spend, and do not go overboard with it. That way, you would be losing control and possibly getting close to the financial fiasco. It is important to research the costs that are tied to your style of travel: Sketch out the desired set of activities and see whether they are grounded in reality.
Next, you need to include the length of your vacation in the big picture. This aspect follows the same logic as the choice of destination. Just this time, take a look at your calendar and try to make the most of the holidays. Some of them fall on work days, and can be converted in long weekends. Ensure that you do not miss any important detail like travel insurance, as most health plans do not cover overseas adventures gone wrong.
This stage of planning is much easier if you have already started saving money in advance. This habit is a great tool that helps you reclaim the power to fulfill your dreams. Therefore, write down your expenditures and see if some of them can be eliminated. We all spend money on things we do not really need. Thus, a sound travel budget could be the result of making slight changes in your lifestyle – cooking at home, riding a bicycle to work and canceling cable TV.
At Your Service
When you take your time researching, it is possible to compare prices and negotiate good deals. If you have opted for a certain hotel brand a number of times, then you should be able to profit on loyalty programs. Furthermore, many airline companies provide cheap tickets for those who book two or three months in advance. A travel credit card is another great way to redeem points and miles for discount stays and flights. Even a luxury accommodation can be found at lower rates, and there is a bunch of last-minute deals you might have missed.
Also, the market is teeming with travel applications, services and agencies. Some are better than the others: For example, some agencies let travelers pay on their own pace, and break the payments into smaller bits, plus providing fixed exchange rate holidays. Other services help you pick a few-days getaway, or other aide in securing an apartment abroad. Websites like Airbnb or Wimdu are backed by an army of happy clients, and if you are traveling on a shoestring budget, then it would be also wise to check out hospitality websites like Couchsurfing.
We spend our days working 9-5 and constantly craving for some time away. Now, you might have a lot on your plate, but there is no need to add a disaster vacation to the mix. Those who book early may bring down the cost and overcome availability problems, killing two birds with one stone. So, consult the calendar and your bank account, make an estimate about expenditures, and set a schedule. Soaking in the sun and sipping a cocktail while lying in a deckchair of the overwater bungalow could become more than just a distant thought.
Sonya is a passionate business consultant from Melbourne, Australia. She has a wide range of interests, including online writing, technology trends and marketing in general. However, she likes to share her own experiences in the fields of money saving, considering it’s her main focus. You can find her on Twitter – @wattsmsonya