Do you hear the ocean waves calling your name? Or are you looking forward to a pleasant stay at home? Either way, one thing is certain: finances play a major role in our summer plans. Here are three financial tips to help you keep your vacation plans – and your wallet – in check this travel season!
1. Don’t forget financial planning: Emergencies aren’t just a flat tire or lost luggage. Make sure you avoid a financial SOS by planning for all the vacation expenses you can think of. Meals, hotels, gas, excursions, souvenirs and all the other extras add up quickly.
2. Stick to your budget: you have looked at all the expenses that are likely to occur; now stick to your guns. It’s so easy to go overboard and “indulge” when you deviate from your usual routine. To stay on track, consider choosing attractions that offer discounts on certain days or off-peak hours or even offer free entry. If your budget is tight right now, search for adventures closer to home and start saving for that dream trip in the future.
3. Be flexible, if possible: There are significant savings to be had if you’re willing to be flexible and do a little research. Do you have to travel in high season? Alternatively, traveling during off-peak hours can result in significant savings. When booking a cruise, you can usually save money by making your reservation six months to a year in advance. Find out where your hotel is; can you choose one within walking distance of popular attractions instead? Is public transport available? Hotel alternatives are also becoming increasingly common. Check out all the new accommodation options available, like Airbnb and Home Away, and see where you could cut costs. Or maybe choose a destination based on where you have family or friends who would let you stay.
Above all, take advantage of this well-deserved free time. Whether you decide to hit the road or just stay home and take a nap, make the most of your time. At home or away, memories will be made, so soak it all up!
Emily Mays is Vice President/Administrative Director/Chief Marketing Officer at Community Spirit Bank in Red Bay, working in finance for 17 years. She is an enthusiastic social media marketer, financial literacy advocate and grassroots supporter. She lives in Russellville and has a daughter, Lola, 13.