Financially Smart Tips for Holiday Travel This Year

The holiday season is one of the best times of year to travel and take a vacation but traveling can get expensive with the average cost of a vacation reaching close to $200-$300 dollars per day! Even with the costs of vacations rising, people are still looking for ways to get out and see the world, family, and friends while saving money at the same time. We want to help you take the vacation you’ve been wanting this holiday, without breaking the bank.

We’ve put together some of the best tips and tricks for making the most of your spending on your next holiday vacation, so here they are!

Set A Realistic Budget

Before you begin planning your next holiday vacation, the most important thing to ask yourself is what is a reasonable budget to spend on the trip? What kind of trip can you afford? No matter what your budget is, knowing what you can afford is the first step towards a financially responsible vacation. When you are setting a budget, be sure to include as many known expenses as possible such as transportation, lodging, food/drink, entertainment, and shopping. When planning out your trip, it is easy to see a good deal on something like a flight and hotel package and overlook the additional costs that come with it, so make sure to account for all parts of your budget. Your budget will also help you with planning the trip and the types of activities that you can afford to do.

Leaving extra room in your budget can also allow you to do fun spur-of-the-moment activities on your vacation without overspending. Setting a realistic and attainable budget can also help with saving for the trip. No matter what type of vacation you are planning, smart budgeting is the groundwork for planning a financially smart tip. 

Plan Your Trip Early

The travel industry knows that one of the most popular times of year for people to go on vacation is the holiday time. This means that they make special deals for holiday travel. This can come in the form of reduced flight rates, holiday all-inclusive specials, and much more! The best way to take advantage of the special deals available for holiday vacations is to start looking sooner, rather than later. This also means that it is one of the busiest times of year for travel and availability gets booked faster and faster every day that the holidays approach. The closer that we get to the holidays, the less availability transportation and lodging services will have meaning they will no longer be doing deals and may even have increased holiday rates. Planning out your trip and making reservations in advance lets you shop deals and find the right trip for you and save money doing it, without the worry of finding availability.

Make a Detailed Packing List

Now that you have your budget, and your trip planned out the next thing you should do is to start making a detailed packing list of everything you’re going to need to bring. This packing list can vary widely from trip to trip based on where you’re going, what you’re doing, and the time of year. Your packing list is going to look a lot different if you’re going on a camping trip, than if you were to be going to New York City. A good place to start is by covering all the essentials including clothing, footwear, accessories, toiletries, and other necessities. After you have covered the essentials for your trip, you can start to get into the different things you may want to bring for different activities or entertainment. One of the most common unexpected expenses on vacation is replacing forgotten items where you may not be able to find what you need, or it is more expensive. Make life easy for your future self and come up with a detailed packing list that covers all the essentials so that you can spend more time having fun and less time replacing things when you’re on vacation.

Save Gifts For Home (or Ship Them)

When traveling, we know everyone has limited space whether it is packing your car or packing luggage for an airplane. That is why it is important to make the most of your available space and either leave gifts to be opened at home after (or before) vacation, or have the gifts shipped to where you will be spending your vacation to save yourself valuable packing space. Another option that allows you to do gift exchanges on vacation while saving space packing is gift cards. No matter what your travel plans are this holiday season, make sure you think about what you’re going to do with gifts ahead of time if you haven’t already.

Let Your Financial Institutes Know You Are Traveling

Before you leave for your trip, it is always a good idea to call your financial institutions and let them know that you plan to be traveling, and where you are traveling. Around the holidays is a popular time for scammers to go after sensitive information and banks know this so it is likely your financial institution will be watching closely for potential fraud around the holidays. Financial institutions monitor accounts for suspicious charges and if you are traveling somewhere new, your bank may think your card has been compromised and put a lock on your card & account. No one wants this kind of hassle while on vacation, so let your financial institutions know that you’re going to be traveling to avoid any issues.

These are just some of our best tips that can help you to plan a financial vacation this holiday season. There are tons of ways to get creative when it comes to planning out vacations and saving money, and we encourage you to put your own spin on our tips as these are just a starting point. Whether you are taking a vacation to visit family, or touring a new country you’ve never visited before, we hope that some of these tips can help you to have a fun, memorable, and financially smart vacation this holiday season.

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