By Bill Camarda | American Express Credit Intel Freelance Contributor
4 Min Read | December 20, 2019 in Money
It’s a big, glorious, fascinating world. Chances are, you’d love to see as much of it as you can—but travel can be expensive. Fortunately, there are great ways to travel without breaking the bank. This article compiles tips on some of the best ways to save money while traveling, how to budget your trip, and how to travel on a budget. In other words, it’s all about squeezing more great experiences out of your hard-earned travel budget.
One way to start is by automating your savings—that is, setting up a bank account just for your travel dollars and automatically moving a small amount into it weekly or monthly.
You might identify some small expenses you could forgo for a while. The quintessential example is those expensive daily coffees, but maybe for you it’s a rarely used subscription streaming service or gym membership. Or maybe reduce your expenses for things you get no pleasure from at all: interest payments on loans you could consolidate at a lower rate, or heat and air conditioning left running when you’re not home.
To build your travel bankroll, also consider using travel credit cards that generate reward points, or cash back credit cards where the reimbursement can go straight into your travel savings.
Now, you can start thinking about the fun side: where you’ll go and when. You can use standard travel sites to get a baseline sense of what transportation and lodging cost, and then do a quick back-of-the-envelope estimate of what you might spend while you’re there. Consider meals, snacks, gifts, local transportation, admission fees, hotel taxes (sometimes surprisingly high), and tips—and add a buffer for expenses you can’t predict. Depending on your risk tolerance, perhaps consider travel insurance. Also, match tipping customs to your destination—they can vary significantly from country to country.
If that budget number is too high—and it often is—it’s time to get creative about tips to save money on vacation. There are plenty of ways to spend less, depending on your interests, flexibility, and how much pampering you demand. Here are eight ideas to help get your budget travel motor running.
You can afford to experience more of the planet than you ever thought possible—if you save and budget travel carefully and choose the travel bargains that are just right for you.
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