We’ve all been there. Summer rolls around and you’re dying to go on vacation. Unfortunately, your finances are not really in a place to allow for fun in the sun. So, you start thinking the situation is hopeful until you realize there are a lot of fun things you can do, not to mention places you can go, even when money is tight. If you’re determined to make the most out of this summer, here are ways to go on vacation on a shoestring budget.
Identify Your Pain Points
The first thing you need to do is identify what’s causing your financial woes. If it’s credit card debt, you should consider debt consolidation. You can apply for a balance transfer card or talk to your lender about lowering the interest. If student loans debt is the culprit, you could look to a student loan refinance program. When you refinance student loans, you essentially roll your current debt into a new loan, which can offer lower interest and better repayment terms. In many cases, this leaves you more money left over each month.
Booking your travel expenses in advanced, like plane tickets and reserving the hotel room, can give you plenty of breathing room. Many who travel usually get everything set up a week before it’s actually time to leave. This isn’t necessarily an issue, but it can lead to potential problems down the road. One issue you could face is having to pay a price you don’t want. Travel tickets and the costs of hotels can skyrocket at a moment’s notice, so they can be unpredictable at times. Booking everything early sets it in stone, which means you won’t have to worry about sudden price fluctuations.
Look for Last-Minute Deals
If you’re someone who’s a bit strapped for time and can’t afford to book in advance, your best bet to save money is to look for last minute deals. A lot of travel platforms, train stations and airports offer last minute deals as a way to fill out empty seats and get more business. These deals can range from 30 percent to as much as 70 percent off. While the deals may vary, you can get your entire trip for more than half off if you play your cards right.
Traveling light simply means packing as little as you can. Unless you plan on spending a few months at your chosen destination, there’s no need to bring packed to the brim suitcases. In fact, this isn’t recommended for those on a shoestring budget. Luggage fees can needlessly add to your travel bills. All you really need to travel is a carry on and a small bag of necessities, like a few pairs of clothes, an extra pair of shoes, phone chargers, and toothbrushes.
Avoid Chain Hotels
Chain hotels are a whole line of the same company, like the Marriot, for example. While these hotels do tend to have cheaper rates than individual hotels, the overall quality of them isn’t the investment. Their amenities can lack and you might even be placed in a room that’s too small.