The last year has been brutal. With COVID shutting down normal society and keeping everyone inside their homes, life has gotten very difficult for many people. There has been an unprecedented amount of stress that everyone has been going through. Thankfully, with the vaccines rolling out across the world, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel finally.
As more and more businesses slowly open up, now is a great time to plan a vacation to detox from the last year’s stress. Airlines want people to buy tickets, and hotels need occupants. You’re likely to get a great deal now rather than when the floodgates open. There are some additional smart steps you can take to bring down the cost of your holiday and make sure you don’t exceed your budget. Let’s find out what they are!
One of the first things you should do is decide what sort of vacation you want to take. Do you want to go to a nice hotel and relax? In this case, you can choose to go somewhere that’s closer to where you stay and save on travel costs. There should be plenty of options for vacations nearby if you just want to sit by a hotel pool and unwind.
If you want to explore a culture and community, then depending on your budget, you could choose to backpack through Europe or Asia. If you’re going to indulge in adventure sports, you could select spots where these options are common. Once you decide why you’re going on vacation, you’ll be able to narrow down your options more easily than before.
Pick a Season
When we say season, we mean two things. One is the weather, while the second is the tourist season. You can choose to explore hotter countries in south-east Asia during the winter months, so you don’t get too uncomfortable. You can also choose to experience a monsoon if your area doesn’t have one or avoid a country during this time.
You can check out the weather of different places easily here. You should also find out when the peak tourist seasons are for your choices. Prices are higher during the tourist season, and you might be able to plan smartly and save money if you choose the right time. Choosing to go during an off-season might also restrict what you can do, so do your research before deciding when you can go.
Even if you decide to go during peak tourist season, you might be able to save big bucks if you book your tickets early. You can save a lot of money if you book both flight and hotel tickets early, which are your two most significant expenses during any vacation. You might also get great deals in more expensive hotels and manage to stay at a 5 star at backpackers’ prices!
You should also book tickets for other things early to save money. For example, if you plan to take any cruises or city tours or even get subway tickets, you might be able to take advantage of early bird offers as well. Early bird offers can not only include a discounted price but also extra perks as well!
One of the highest unexpected costs of taking a vacation is baggage charges. Airlines allow baggage only up to a certain weight beyond which they charge a lot of money. Since bags are weighed only when you check in to your flight, you can’t fully plan for these charges till you are required to pay for them.
The easiest way around this is to travel lightly. Don’t take too many clothes as you could buy more if needed. If you are heading East, you will probably find a lot of cheap, comfortable clothes that you can buy if necessary. Check out capsule wardrobes or travel clothes to keep your bags as light as possible. And remember that you’re going to buy gifts for friends and family back home, so account for the weight of these gifts as well!
Bonus Pro Tip: Choose Trains!
If you’re going to travel and explore a continent or different parts of a country, flight tickets will likely add up to a considerable amount. Instead, you can choose to travel within a country using trains, which are typically cheaper. If you’re traveling in Europe, Eurorail is an excellent cost-effective option if you book a pass early. In Eastern countries, trains can sometimes be the only option as flights do not operate in every city.