Traveling on a budget? Tips & tricks to stretch your vacation dollars.
Save on Summer Adventures with These 8 Travel Hacks
Making plans for a summer getaway? On average, Americans spend just under $2,000 on summer vacations. For international trips, the average price climbs to $6,000.
But don’t let potential costs stand in the way of your adventures. From the best booking times to alternative means of transportation, there are many ways to keep costs down while maximizing your experience. Here are eight hacks — or clever and economical solutions — for summer travel savings:
- Be strategic about flight booking times. Depending on the day and time you reserve your flights, pricing can fluctuate significantly. Your best bet? Book flights in the afternoon. According to Skyscanner, many airline tickets are cheaper when purchased in the afternoon compared to average morning fares. If you’re flying internationally, veteran travelers advise booking as far ahead as possible for the best rates. For domestic flights, the sweet spot is between three and six weeks before you plan to depart.
- Go with economical accommodations. When you stay at a five-star hotel, you pay for extra bells and whistles — and that means less money for meals, excursions and souvenirs. There are plenty of affordable hotels and motels that provide essential services and free up your travel budget for the things you want to do.
- Don’t exchange currency at the airport. It may sound more convenient, but airport exchange booths are notorious for poor rates. Get more bang for your buck when traveling internationally by exchanging money at your bank or credit union before you hit the road.
- Consider train travel. Depending on where you’re going, travel by rail can be the quickest and most scenic option — not to mention less costly. The Eurail, for example, includes stops in 28 different countries across Europe, without the hassle and price tag of air travel. As you’re putting together your itinerary, be sure to check out railway options along your travel route.
- Rent an RV. If you’re planning to visit several cities across the U.S., a recreational vehicle can be a great way to see the country on a budget. While they require a large payment upfront, you’ll save big on nightly hotel accommodations. And one of the best perks? You’ll enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
- Book multiple tours. If you’re traveling a great distance from home, maximize the value of your flight cost by booking guided tours of several different places in your destination area, or a tour package. You may want to fly into a global hub city, and book tours or excursions in the surrounding areas to experience different cultures and landmarks.
- Redeem travel rewards. By strategically signing up for certain credit cards you can earn significant travel rewards to offset costs on air travel, accommodations and even car rentals. And if you’re not tied to traveling during peak times, you’re likely to score even more dollar-saving deals.
- Take your time. Why stick to firm dates and tight itineraries if you don’t have to? Extended stays allow you to soak in the details of each destination, and avoid popular tourist times, allowing for lower-cost accommodations and fewer transportation expenses. And instead of staying in a hotel, many vacation rentals such as those on Airbnb, Vrbo and HomeAway offer generous discounts to longer-term visitors.
Experience your bucket list destination to the fullest
Retirement may afford you more time to explore new destinations, but a fixed income can hold you back. To maximize travel adventures and more, a reverse mortgage loan from Reverse Mortgage Funding, LLC (RMF) may be a smart financial option to free up your home equity to gain a new source of funds during retirement. To learn more, call RMF today at 888-277-1567 and set up a convenient in-person appointment with one of our experienced loan specialists, or to just get answers to any reverse mortgage questions you may have.
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