After two years of a pandemic, many of us are itching to travel again. If that includes you, then let’s take a look at some of the ways you can book a vacation without destroying your budget:
Make a Travel Plan Ahead of Time
If you want to avoid hurting your financial goals for the year, then definitely plan for your trips ahead of time. As early into the year as possible, map out what your year looks like, and what trips you plan to take. Do your best to estimate how much each trip will cost. Then, instead of just putting everything on your credit card before you go, break down your trip expenses and figure out how much to save per month. This allows you to space out your expenses, instead of taking one big money hit all at once.
Some people do like to put their trips on credit cards to earn rewards points from their spending. That’s totally doable, too. Just save up the cash ahead of time, book your trip using your credit card, and then pay it off right away. That will earn you points without accruing major interest fees.
Plan for Surprise Travel Expenses
When you’re thinking about taking a trip, remember that there will very likely be surprise expenses that pop up throughout the year. Whether your car has engine trouble or your pet needs a surgery, it’s really important that you don’t use any money you’d have for those surprises on your travels. I usually recommend 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses saved in your emergency fund.
Surprise expenses can pop up while you’re traveling, too. Maybe you need to stay an extra night somewhere, or things just ended up being more expensive than you anticipated. Build in a good buffer for your trip to account for those kinds of expenses as well.
Get Trip Insurance
In the past, I’ve said that trip insurance was an unnecessary expense. But even though life is beginning to feel more normal again, several industries are still reeling from the pandemic. It could be wise to opt for the travel insurance right now, while everything is in recovery mode. You never know what other changes could impact your trip, and the money you’re putting into planning it.
Get Familiar with All Protocols
There are still pandemic protocols in place, and some places have adjusted their protocols for good. Make sure that before you travel, you know what documentation, safety gear or additional steps will be required where you’re going. Even if you’re a spontaneous traveler, this year it’s still probably for the best to plan things out well in advance.
About Your Richest Life
At Your Richest Life, Katie Brewer, CFP®, believes you too should have access to financial resources and fee-only financial planning. For more information on the services offered, contact Katie today.