If you love to travel, you have probably seen how high some vacation prices are these days. Even with a champagne budget, you might only find cheap beer travel options. Keep reading as we share some tips to travel well without breaking the bank.
Putting extra effort into stretching your travel dollars can help you either travel more or save some money.
Here Are Five Ways I Stretch My Travel Dollars For More Luxury Travel Each Year.
-Try To Plan Ahead- AKA Book Early
I recently took a trip with friends. We were all flying to the same place on the exact dates. I snagged a great deal booking in advance. One friend in the group, who likes to procrastinate, wasn’t as lucky. He ended up paying more for his flight than I did. The big kicker here is I booked first class, whereas he booked coach.
Booking early will often give you more opportunities to find good flight deals. Many hotels also have early booking offers of 30-40% off the listed room rate. You get the same room and flight but at better prices in these instances.
-Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates
For those with limited vacation days, this might be harder to do than the other strategies, but still, it’s worth mentioning. Shifting your trip a day or two might bring substantial savings. The price of international flights can vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars daily. If you can save $2,000 on flights, that pays for an extra vacation day. Similarly, hotel rates may be different each night of your stay. Avoiding a holiday could help you slash your hotel costs. Or perhaps you go for the nicer room?
-Maximize Your Points And Airline Miles
I’m a big fan of maximizing the points and miles I receive from everyday spending. They can be used to help cover the cost of your next vacation. Please take a few minutes and look at your credit cards and see what spending categories they offer rewards for.
-Mix The Levels Of Your Hotel Stays
Save the ultra-luxury hotel stays for when you are going to use the property. Mix in more modest hotels when planning to be gone all day doing activities or sightseeing.
–Be Flexible With Airlines
When you have status with an airline, it is always tempting to try flying with them. That loyalty may cost you. Don’t get me wrong, I love the perks that come with airline status, but at some point, they cost you a bundle.
Hypothetically, if airline A is $500 more than airline B for a flight, is it worth it? What about buying a first-class ticket on airline B for less than the coach fare on airline A? When the prices are close, don’t forget about costs like checked luggage or access to the lounge.
To quickly check flights across airlines, use Google Flight. You can even set alerts when prices change on the flight you are considering.
-Take Advantage of Credit Card Benefits
The American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts is one of my favorite credit card benefits. It lets you get extra perks at properties, guaranteed late check-out, and often a room upgrade. You can access a first-class two-for-one flight voucher each year if you have the Delta Reserve American Express. While these vouchers can sometimes be challenging to use, the savings can be huge when you can use them.
Pay for your expenses with the right credit card to help you get to your next luxury trip faster. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve gives you three points for spending on travel and dining. These points can be used like cash at a value of 1.25 cents each. That means every dollar you spend on travel can give you 3.75 cents towards your next vacation.
It should go without saying, but please spend responsibly. Pay your credit card statement balance each month to avoid incurring interest charges.
I hope you can use these tips to travel better or more often. As the Fun Financial Planner, I love helping my clients plan for amazing life experiences now while staying on track for financial freedom in their desired time frame.
Where are you dreaming of traveling next?
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