Need a Getaway? 6 Ways to Afford a Trip in No Time

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Still haven’t taken a vacation this year? You’re not alone. Unfortunately, the pandemic has meant reduced travel for many due to safety concerns. It has also squeezed a lot of savings accounts dry. So affording a trip may not have been on your radar until now. 

No need to fear. You can find ways to make your next trip work without breaking the bank. Here are six simple ways you can turn your next vacation into a reality:

1. Travel With a Budget

Even if you feel like it might be a necessity, travel is almost always a luxury. That being said, it can be tantalizingly easy to overspend while on a trip. Enjoying a fancy dinner or taking an exotic excursion will certainly help make the trip memorable. But it could leave you in a tough financial situation upon returning home. 

Before you step on an airplane or fuel the car up for a road trip, have a travel budget in place. Set a fixed dollar amount that you can afford to blow on this trip. You don’t need to plan out the specifics as long as you give yourself a limit and stick to it. 

When going on a trip, try to stick to using a debit card instead of a credit card. It’s much more tempting to max out a credit card without immediate repercussions than it is to drain a checking account. 

2. Book Cheap Accommodations

Plane tickets and hotel reservations will often take up the majority of your travel budget. The more you can save here, the more you can splurge on other vacation expenses like fun meals and activities. 

Landing cheap flights often depends on when you book them. It’s always better to book them in advance. Sometimes purchasing tickets too far ahead of time can cost you extra, though. Ticket prices are an economic juggling act. Worry more about being timely with your booking rather than getting the exact day when prices are lowest. 

When it comes to booking hotel rooms, the earlier you can commit to a date, the better rate you’ll get. Hotel prices are based on availability, so rooms will cost more when hotels are more fully booked. Keep in mind, too, that a hotel isn’t your only choice for lodging. You can also look into third-party options like Airbnb, which may be able to offer competitive rates and more space. 

3. Embrace Remote Work

A great way to afford your next trip is to squeeze in some work on the road. If the past year taught us anything, it’s that remote work is often as effective as working from an office. Commit to taking some assignments on the go. That way, you’ll be able to supplement your spending with income and maybe even afford an extension on your trip.

Don’t take so much work with you that it ends up turning your vacation into a business trip. The point of a trip is to relax and have fun. Make sure that remains your top priority. Squeeze in work in the morning or after your daily excursions as a way to limit yourself.

If your occupation doesn’t allow for remote work, pick up some overtime to boost your vacation savings. Trade jobs and manual labor, after all, can’t really be performed on a computer. So grab those extra hours when you can. 

4. Cash in on Travel Points

If you have a credit card with rewards for your favorite airline or hotel chain, now’s the time to cash in. Using points will be the biggest way you are able to afford a trip without digging into your savings. Points often expire after remaining idle for a period, so be sure to use them in a timely manner. You don’t want to miss out on significant savings because you didn’t claim your points in time.

If you don’t have any travel rewards to fall back on, now is as good a time as ever to get started. You’ll get most of your points when you first sign up anyway, as bulk points are frequently offered as an incentive. 

5. Streamline Your Savings

If you’re looking for a get-rich-quick scheme to take a trip ASAP, then you’ve come to the wrong place. There really isn’t a way to have vacation money fall into your lap. However, you can streamline your savings in anticipation of an upcoming trip, but it will require some sacrifices.

Start by cutting out some of your monthly expenses. Stop going out to eat as often, wash your car by hand, and try alternate uses of transportation. Any expense you’re able to knock off of your budget can be diverted into a savings account for travel.

You can also augment your income to create more savings. Pick up a part-time or contracted job on the side for some extra cash. You can try ridesharing, freelance writing, or even start up your own business. 

6. Stay Local

When all else fails, look at local options for a vacation. You might not realize how many opportunities there are in the state or even the city you live in. You’ll save a fortune on transportation, making this trip much more affordable. 

Look for places that are close enough to be a day trip but far enough to feel like a getaway. Even an hour-long drive might take you somewhere completely different with new restaurants to try and sights to see. 

Exploring your own town can make for a fun evening as well. How well do you really know the place where you live? We often take for granted the venues and events that are closest to us. You can always throw in a night in a hotel for the full vacation experience. 

So if you’re already dreaming of sunny beaches and mist-swept mountains, hop to it! Adventure awaits. Start kicking your savings into gear and you could find yourself on a plane headed to paradise before you know it.