Traveling with the family is an expensive pastime and yet it seems there is nothing we can do about it. Society almost deems that we must take our entire families away on a vacation every year. If you choose an expensive option you may be only recovering from the financial hit of one holiday when it is time to take another one. This is not good enough and if it sounds like you then you have two options. One is to start traveling somewhere cheaper, look at places closer to home, and get to know your country a little better. The second option is to travel smarter. If you are willing to be a little savvier you could save enough to allow you to go on that fancy holiday every year.
Choose when to travel
If society dictates that we must travel, at least don’t let it choose when. I know that everyone wants to spend Christmas with those relatives that are far away or want to travel during the summer holidays to beautiful beaches around the world. Yet let’s be honest. Does it really matter if you meet your family three weeks after Christmas or in February? If you want to be on a beach and are going to a country that is sunny all year round, does it really matter when you go?
Someone is reading this right now and saying, that sounds great but I have to go when the schedule works and the schedule only works when my kids are on holiday. I say, screw the schedule. Take your kids out of school for a couple of days. They will not miss that much and what they do miss you can always cover during the real holidays if you need to (this is a good deal to strike with the kids so they are not too excited about getting off school work, but we never really live up to it). Taking them on holiday during school term means you will save a lot of money on travel times. Once you have accepted this idea you are ready to travel smart.
Search on flight aggregator sites but be very loose in your demands. If you have flexibility in both the time you travel and where you travel you can save a lot of money and those websites are catered to show you the best deals. You should be careful though some aggregator websites are watching your every move and if you return to check the same flight numerous times they know you are interested. They also know that if you see the price going up you are likely to book it straight away (to avoid further increases). These sites will increase the price for repeat visitors so you should delete your cookies every time you search for flights.
Loyalty rewards often seem too good to be true and they often are. Fly with this company 1,000 times and get a free biscuit on your flight is nothing something to write home about. However, some airlines and some credit card companies understand the importance of loyalty and reward well. Check out both in detail to see if you would win by signing up.
Never change your money at the airport. It is a convenience that you will pay a hefty fee for. Instead, it is best to use your card overseas as long as you have checked that there are no silly fees. Using cash usually means using an ATM which usually means paying an even sillier fee.
These are just three areas that you can start to act a little smarter in and save as a result. If you really start to focus on cutting costs you will see that you can make a dream holiday and a budget holiday, one and the same.