Staying Financially Responsible While Traveling
When people travel they usually do so because it’s a vacation and a chance to get away from responsibilities. The last thing anyone wants to worry about when on vacation is keeping a budget or staying on a plan. However, this is exactly what needs to be done to keep a vacation pleasurable.
Too often a family or individual goes out, has a bunch of great plans on how the vacation will go including spending, and then scrambles in the last few days to pay for the basics. More often than not, the extra spending then ends up the same credit card the flight and hotel were on, adding to the related debt.
Have a Plan, Stick to the Plan
Being financial smart on a vacation or travel doesn’t happen by accident. Smart travelers set out a budget and stick to it. To make this possible, because even vacations come up with the unexpected, a good travel plan also has a buffer in it for what-if’s and accidents. Doing so avoids panic later on when some unplanned expense rears it’s ugly head and threatens to upset the affected trip.
A plan doesn’t have to be exotic. It can just cover the basics: travel, lodging, food, and free spending. With money set aside for each expense, there’s no worry about how to pay for the cost category when it occurs. Once the plan is defined, the traveler just needs to stick with it and avoid aberrations.
Get Bargains Up Front
A very good way to make financial resources available for other expenses on a trip is to focus on bargaining and obtaining lower costs up front. This includes flight, car rentals, and lodging. Significant savings can be had using travel consolidation websites that allow a traveler to compare costs by different companies for the same kind of amenity. The difference can be as much as 30 percent between offered prices.
Reduce trip cost as well using airline miles with credit cards. You spend money every month paying regular bills. Pay these with an airline credit card instead and pay the credit card off each month to keep the balance $0. Doing so racks up credit points quickly which can then be used for free airline tickets. The domestic airlines tend to award tickets the fastest using this method.
Save While on the Trip
Additionally, if traveling in the U.S., there’s no reason why coupons can’t be brought along to reduce spending on the trip. Many coupons are good regardless of which state the spending occurs. This can save a considerable amount on restaurant food, entertainment, and unplanned rental cars. Many such coupons are available over the Internet just using the zip code of the destination location rather than one’s home location.
Traveling doesn’t have to be the creation of your next big debt. With some good planning and sticking to a budget, a tourist can enjoy his vacation and not break the bank. All he has to do is make sure he reduces costs up front and sticks within his budget while on the trip.