Summertime has just begun and in the US it lasts for almost 3 months. Regardless of the nature and type, planning for a vacation is normally a budget-buster in the family and could be a family issue in the long run. Despite this constraint and coupled with the continued global economic crisis, an average middle class family would try as much as possible to squeeze every dime out of every asset, so as to spend and enjoy a summer vacation. In other words, a certain average family would stretch its budget to allocate a portion of their resources for travel related expenses according to their desired getaway. It could include among others, a trip to either a cooler place (e.g. Australia , South America or certain places in Africa) or to a holiday destination possibly in Hawaii, Florida, Anaheim or any place which has summer attractions such as beaches, water parks, hiking, boating, and others ).
Note that this article would delve on helpful tips to explore possible options of budget-friendly travel deals. Thus, this is not meant for those sectors in the upper class, the jetsetters, or the CEO’s in Wall Street receiving huge bonuses, who have the luxury to splurge on first or business class flights and high end summer retreat.
So, how would an average-family earner, an average-salaried professional or simply an average summer vacationer, be able to take a decent comfortable temporary respite without hurting too much their own pockets? Hey guys, don’t fret about it, things aren’t so bad even if there is a 20%+ increase in airfares this year. In fact, living in these shaky economic times could be an opportunity – it could be to our advantage, so to speak! We benefit from the fact that some or if not most of the people would have to defer vacations and stay put, eliminate travel vacations or trim down transportation costs (e.g. driving instead of flying), which means that businesses like airline companies and travel agencies would be compelled to give out promo deals as part of their marketing strategies to entice people to travel. As such, there’s practically no point of spending a “million dollars” for your dream vacation, unless you just won a lottery! Perhaps, with a thousand bucks (for local travels), one could already go to a vacation spot within the US for 3 days and 2 nights. Therefore, I invite you to sit, relax and enjoy going through this blog for some helpful, practical and proven tips.
Like other personal or business related expenditures, planning one’s budget for a proposed travel vacation or holidays is deemed important and a great first start. It could be a short or medium term planning to make sure one is not spending more than he/she is making. Managing one’s finances is a plus and may be effective so as to avoid incurring additional debt, interest charges, bad loans, and the like. In budget planning, a certain percentage increment for unexpected expenses should be taken into account, especially for contingency purposes. This is primarily due to the fact that airline ticket prices just like consumer goods are subject to fluctuations, normally based on supply and demand.
2. Shop and Book Travels with Right Timing and Speed
Timing/Speed is of the essence in booking for flights and land based travels. For instance booking for air travels in advance, as in 3 weeks or more, may be cheaper than buying your tickets 3 days before the scheduled flight. Last minute flights are more expensive. But hey, there’s no need for you to book flights months in advance since most of airline companies keep on repeating their promo deals and discounted/budgeted airfares just to fill the plane seats. As reported in a travelogue, it stated that airlines feed their booking positions into the same systems and utilize the data from said systems to make price adjustments. Likewise, being conscious for the right timing in looking for budget friendly air fares may also be helpful. As stated in one of air fares search engines, one can be lucky to obtain cheaper airfares for a certain destination if he/she does the shopping starting from the nights of Mondays to Wednesdays or even to early Thursdays. According to the site, this is normally the period where airline ticketing offices would clear out their extra seats. It is also mentioned that flying on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the cheapest as these are considered the low-traffic days.
3. Surf the Web/Search the Airlines’ Sites
Surfing the net for wallet-friendly airfares may be worthwhile. Based on expert and user review sources, exploring search travel engines such as Kayak, Expedia, Fares.com or any related sites can be a good thing to do. If you’re still in school, there are sites that offer discounted air fares for students. Additionally, it is also advisable to visit official websites of the concerned airline companies for lower prices on certain occasions like anniversaries, etc. But don’t be a compulsive shopper as some of these cheap deals could have hitches. It could be offered for one day only and may not be in line with your vacation dream getaway. An example of this was when Jet Blue for instance offered a $ 10 bucks air fare each way on select routes! This could be a good offer if you decide to treat your friend to a one day lunch or dinner at another place, not bad!
4. Utilize the Accumulated Frequent Flyer Points
If you have been travelling on a yearly basis and you’re enrolled in frequent flyer program of your favorite airline, this could be a savings on your pocket or an opportunity for you to upgrade you to first class. However, there are certain cases where mileage programs can be both an asset and a liability on your part. So, you must be smart enough to use your points to your advantage, otherwise your rewards may turn out “nothing” or you may end up paying more, especially if you’re using a credit card for your tickets. On this, read thoroughly and understand the guidelines of your airline’s rewards program so you’ll be able to ask the right questions and assert your rights at the end of the day. The rule of thumb is, it is better to pay cash when the cash price is less than the value of the miles you would be redeeming.
5. Other Salient Matters
Booking or making reservations for your hotel is relatively an essential part of your travel needs. Whether or not you’re travelling with your family, booking a standard room in a hotel with kitchen facilities are considered as money-smart moves. If you’re taking your vacation in the Big Apple and planning to stay in Manhattan, you need to do your research and book early as hotel prices in this area jacks up dramatically.
There are vacation promo deals especially for short stays in other places wherein lodging costs are already part of your air fares. In fact, there are certain cases where park rides and visits to museums are part and parcel of the deal!
In view of the foregoing, I hope I was of help to you all. Should you have others tips in mind, please feel free to post your suggestions and surely it would likewise serve as useful tip to other readers too. Have fun and bon voyage!