If you’re like most travelers, you’re probably crossing your fingers that you can increase your travel budget this year and visit some amazing places. There are plenty of ways to increase the budget you have for travel expenses; from separating your funds to traveling with a group for discounted rates on lodging. Here are five ways to increase your travel budget so you can visit the spots you’ve always wanted to see.
- Separate Your Funds
Having a separate travel fund is always a good idea. A high-yield savings account will grant you a percentage of what you’ve saved each year, increasing your budget by that much more. Keeping your funds separate will also give you a much more honest look at what you can actually spend on your travel, so you don’t accidentally overspend and ruin your budget.
One sudden expense could completely wipe out your savings account, with your travel fund in it if they’re not stored separately. Keeping the two separate will help protect your travel fund, and ensure you’ll have enough to book your trip. Put money in both accounts throughout the year, and decide which is a priority. If you already have an emergency fund in place, you can probably afford to put a little extra into your travel account.
Financial advisors can help with this kind of planning and much more. If you’re not sure how to maximize your savings or investments, hiring an advisor will benefit you greatly. These experts know the ins and outs of finance and can help you plan for retirement, investing, and much more. You can compare financial advisors on Carefulcents.com for a better idea of what they do.
- Plan Early
Planning early on can help you get better deals on flights, hotels, and travel packages. Traveling to certain places during their off-season will also help you find better deals on lodging and airfare. You can get discounts of up to half-off in the offseason with certain vacation packages, so be to shop around and start planning your trip at least a few months up to a year before you’re scheduled to depart.
Hire a travel agent if you’re unsure where to get the best deals. These helpful experts will seek out affordable vacation packages within or under your budget; saving you time, money, and the stress of trying to book that perfect trip.
- Cut Your Expenses/Increase Savings
Cutting your monthly expenses will allow you to put more into your travel savings account, effectively boosting your budget each month. Cutting expenses starts with taking a detailed look at where your money comes from, how much comes in each month, and how much goes out at the end of it.
If you have subscriptions you don’t need or no longer want, get rid of them. That money can be used to bolster your travel fund. If you have unpaid debt that requires a hefty monthly payment to keep in check, you’ll want to pay it off as quickly as possible. Unpaid debts are like black clouds hanging over your head; you’ll never have true financial clarity until they go away.
Paying down debt will allow for increased travel budgets in the future. With more money available, you can finance both your savings account and your travel fund. Whether you’re headed to Austin for a Haunted Tour, or driving through Yellowstone to see the majesty of Nature’s wonders, you’ll have enough in the bank to finance your trip and then some.
- Try a Small Town Close By
If you’re looking to visit a popular area like Cancun or Miami Beach, you’re likely going to find the hotels and other lodging options to be quite expensive. In the case of Cancun, there are actually dozens of surrounding beach towns you could stay in to mitigate the costs of your lodging. You might have to drive a bit to reach Canun, but the cost of a short car trip is much more manageable than a four-star hotel in Cancun.
Small towns usually have a certain charm that you won’t find in the big city, and you may even find that you prefer the small-town vibe to the hustle and bustle of the big city. Especially with something like a beach town, the smaller towns contain a certain charm that a lot of people end up falling in love with; something you just can’t find in major beachside cities.
- Travel With a Group
Group discounts are common, especially if you’re staying in a villa on the beach. A villa usually holds up to 15 people and comes complete with staff, food options, and more. This can be much more affordable than attempting to rent hotel rooms for everyone in your group. With villas as low as $1,100 per night, you can effectively increase your travel budget by drastically reducing your lodging expenses.
Increasing your travel budget isn’t as difficult as it seems; in fact, with a little planning, reducing your monthly expenses, and opting for small towns instead of major hot spots, you can save a ton of money and increase your budget. Try some of these tips the next time you’re planning your dream trip!