Few people make it through this life without wanting to travel someplace foreign and far from home. Unfortunately, only a small number of them make it happen.
In most instances, the single greatest obstacle is cost. The average overseas trip runs around $3000 USD. The passport application process alone will cost around $200. Most folks – especially those in the United States – are reluctant to spend so much money on travel. Continue Reading
Everyone deserves a chance to unwind and de-stress, and a vacation can provide an opportunity to do so. Yet, traveling to different corners of the globe is not cheap, which is why you may need to save up throughout the year to fund a much-needed break.
If you want to travel overseas in the near future, read this helpful guide to saving for your next getaway.
Create a Vacation Budget
Never run out of money by setting a vacation budget. You will need to factor in the cost of:
Food and drink
A vacation budget will ensure you do not need to count every penny at your destination and can enjoy your getaway.
Open a Savings Account
Once you have a vacation budget to work towards, you should open a credit union savings account that offers a competitive rate, 24-hour access, a dependable app, and automatic transfers between accounts. It will encourage you to set money aside for a trip each month, and it can make paying for a vacation feel much easier.
Cut Your Grocery Bill
You do not need to sacrifice freshness, quality, and good health when attempting to trim your grocery bill. You could make superb savings throughout the year by buying in-season produce and switching to cheaper ingredients.
Also, you could slash the cost of your grocery bill at the checkout by using coupon codes for various products. You can then add the money saved into your vacation fund.
Find Ways to Save Money
Cutting your grocery bill can increase your bank balance, but other clever tactics can improve your finances. For example, you should:
Use comparison services when buying online
Skip the daily chain coffee
Buy products from daily deal websites, such as Groupon
Slash the cost of a trip by traveling to your desired destination during an off-peak season. It could help you stay at the same hotels and embrace the same excursions for a fraction of the costs during peak seasons.
Skip the expensive chain restaurants when on vacation and sample the local cuisine. For example, street vendors are not only much cheaper than commercial venues, but they will allow you to experience a nation’s many fantastic dishes. For example, if you are in Bangkok, you can enjoy fried rice or Baan Yai Phad Thai for as little as $1. So, step outside your comfort zone to save money during a getaway and enjoy many new and exciting flavors.
If you follow the above top tips, you could save a substantial amount of money to pay off your next vacation. Plus, you must look for ways to reduce your expenses once you arrive at a destination, such as taking public transport over a taxi, trying street vendor dishes, and swapping commercial attractions for hidden gems.
Everyone has a bucket list destination they want to visit. For example, you may have always wanted to experience the buzz of New York’s Times Square, watch the sun go down on a Caribbean island, or explore historic Rome.
Yet, if you do not organize your finances, you might never step foot in your desired destination.
If money is preventing you from jetting off, check out these four top tips for funding your dream vacation. Continue Reading
Milan from Travel By Home Exchange and her family of six have saved over $14,000 vacationing by home exchange over the last 5 years. I found this really interesting and asked her to guest post on what a home exchange was and how it works. You can follow Milan on twitter at @HomeExchangeMom for tips on how to find house swaps.
The Home Exchange Family
Traveling by Home Exchange
There are many ways to travel, hotel, cruise, safari, RV, and hostels to name a few. One method of travel you may not have heard of is house swapping. A house swap is where you and your family stay at someone else’s home, while that family stays at your home. Exchanging homes is a great way to save money while traveling, or extend your travel experiences by using your travel budget on other things like airfare or activities.
Benefits of Traveling By Home Exchange
No Accommodation Expenses – Obviously this is the largest benefit. Trading homes means you have no hotel or hostel expenses, which can save you thousands a week.
Larger Accommodations – If you are used to staying in hotels or hostels, having an entire house or apartment can seem almost decadent. I can tell you from our experiences we almost hate to travel any other way now. Traveling with a family and having your own bedrooms for adults and children can really impact your vacation, in a good way.
Cooking Your Own Meals – When you are staying in someone’s home you have access to a full kitchen so you can shop for your own groceries and avoid eating out. While it’s nice to sample the local cuisine, it can get expensive so having the ability to buy local produce and prepare your own meals can extend your travel budget, and even help your digestion.
Disadvantages to House Swaps
Privacy – Always one of the biggest fears of exchanging homes, you do have to come to grips with the fact that virtual strangers are staying in your home and have access to your private areas. You can take measures to store your valuables, but they will be using your daily items like sleeping in your bed and using your shower. Frankly I don’t think this is any worse than staying in a hotel where thousands of strangers have slept in the bed. It’s just a mental block you need to get over in order to enjoy your vacation.
Taking Care of The Home You are Visiting – Almost as nerve wracking, is making sure you don’t harm the home you are staying in, especially if you have children. When you stay in a hotel you can disassociate the experience because the room doesn’t belong to a ‘real person,’ but when you are staying at someone’s home you are always on guard to make sure you are careful. While most of us are careful no matter where we are, spilling a drink on a hotel room rug is a different experience from spilling it on a family heirloom rug that means something to someone.
If you are open to the experience, weighing the pros and cons of exchanging homes can open up a whole new world of travel. One of the best parts of house swaps is being able to really live like locals by having a connection to the community through your exchange partners. You’ll be living right in the community with access and information about restaurants and activities that residents love.