By Pete Schilling
Everyone needs a break now and then. It’s hard to forget about finances, family issues and problems at work without the occasional escape from the daily grind. From saving a bundle by comparing vehicle insurance quotes online to reducing trip expenses by traveling in the off-season, consider these cost-cutting tips to fund future trips.
Choose an Approach
Work travel plans into the household budget by reducing daily expenses, opting for a less expensive vacation or combining the two strategies.
Daily Savings for Funding a Vacation
Tracking all daily expenditures is the best way to kick-start a travel savings plan. Cut out unnecessary expenses and start comparison-shopping to lower costs wherever possible.
Buying pasta, grains, nuts and other items in bulk is a great way to save on groceries with proper planning. Tracking local gas prices online and planning fuel purchases around other errands helps reduce transportation costs.
Enroll in shopping points programs that allow users to earn points for making online or in-store purchases. Points can be redeemed for gift cards from restaurants, gas stations and other retailers. Use gift cards to defray the cost of gas, meals on the road or camping and travel gear.
Visit credit card comparison sites to see side-by-side breakdowns of savings, checking and credit card rates for financial institutions around the country. Switch to banks offering free checking, higher-interest savings and lower-interest credit cards with few or no fees. Opt for a credit card offering airline miles to maximize travel savings. Compare vehicle insurance quotes online to find lower vehicle premiums. Sometimes it’s even possible to get more coverage at the same or better rates.
Consider traveling during the off-season. Ski resorts and college towns are cheaper and less crowded during the summer, but still offer plenty to do. Accommodations and airfare in cooler-climate cities are often much less expensive from late fall through early spring.
Big-city destinations are usually much more reasonable when staying in an apartment instead of a hotel. Nightly rates are affordable, and having access to a kitchenette can mean drastic savings on food and beverage costs. This is also an excellent way to experience a city the way locals do.
Find out about any coupons or special offers for restaurants and attractions at the travel destination. Discounts may be available for local attractions, restaurants, outlet stores and other retailers through the chamber of commerce or local tourist organizations.
Read travel forums for the destination city or town to find out where the locals eat and shop. Uncover hidden gems and pay less by visiting spots not usually known to tourists.
Making Room in the Budget for Travel
Between reducing routine expenses and finding the best travel deals, taking a vacation on a tight budget can be surprisingly manageable. From comparing vehicle insurance quotes online to finding alternative accommodations, that well-deserved trip doesn’t have to break the bank.
Pete Schilling is a writer for AutoInsuranceCenter.com who specializes in personal finance and insurance topics.