Do you dream of travel?
Do you lay awake at night wondering how you can afford to live a life of travel? Are you addicted to the Travel Channel travel shows? Let’s move your dream of travel to a reality. What are your top dream vacations?
Travelling your own country and abroad is a dream most people harbor – and everybody loves travelling. People will travel for numerous reasons, including work and for the fun of exploring new places and experiences. The one thing you should do to ensure that your travel vacation is memorable and stress-free is to have a travel plan.
Planning Your Dream Vacations
Planning your trip can be intrinsically stressful. In addition, some people believe that travelling is expensive. You have to pay for tickets to your destination by air, rail or bus, spend on accommodation and food and you would probably like to include a tour of some sort as well.
Fortunately, travel shouldn’t be expensive, instead, you can have a dream vacation within and even outside the country without spending too much – on a reasonably low budget in fact! You can travel on the cheap, whether you are young, middle-aged or a retiree, as long as you invest in research.
You will also need some ingenuity to pull off the travel vacation of your dream especially if it is a world trip. Fortunately, to get you started on achieving your dream, here are a few tips you can follow.
Plan for your travel at least 90 days before your intended date of departure; this is even before you start saving for the trip. Create a detailed itinerary of places you would like to visit as well as the number of days you’d like to stay at each destination – and an estimated budget.
In general, most transportation providers like airlines and bus services have attractive early bird discounts for people who book tickets 90 days prior to departure. In a few countries, you can even get discounts for advance bookings on railway networks. Such discounts can even be as much as 50 percent, while a few airlines will offer you 70 percent early bird discounts.
If you are considering hiring a car you should shop around and not just accept the first quote that you see online. Most car rental companies want to see the credit card that you have booked the car rental on when you collect the car, they can refuse your car rental if you cannot show the original card. We highly recommend that you read the conditions of the rental carefully. When you collect the car, take photos with your mobile phone (the photos are time and date stamped) of all the dents and scratches the car may have as proof that they existed before your rental.
Save, But You Don’t Need to be Rich to Travel
One of the best ways to save for travelling is by making travel a priority for you. Look at it this way, there will always be something you can spend your money on, but never enough for travel.
While you cannot anticipate every little detail about your trip, having a skeleton of the travel plans in place will allow you to plan accordingly – and figure out a few ways to save. Keep a close eye on your travel fund and work at constantly increasing it with regular additions from your paychecks. This discipline will also help you while on the road.
If you intend on travelling long-term, you’ll realize that you need to make a few changes to your lifestyle, including reducing the different ways of self-pampering or indulging. Second, keep a close watch on your spending and see what spending habits you need to cut out or reduce. Third, you can sell off a few possessions you no longer use through a yard sale, instead of hoarding them.
For us a travel budget is important and we use a travel budget app called TrailWallet. We can load our country travel currencies in, set a daily budget, and add our expenditure daily. It certainly keeps us on track.
Optimize Your Flying Experience
One of the best ways to get fair flying rates is by signing up for airline newsletters and liking their Facebook pages for great early alerts on money-saving sales. As mentioned earlier, check out your chosen airline and see if they have any special early bird specials. Fortunately, this is easy not only on commercial flights but even when looking for a quote on private jet charter flights to Houston by Stratos Jet Charters, for instance.
If you plan to travel to a foreign country, you can save lots of money by choosing off-line or indirect carriers. Indirect carriers operate flights only between your country and hub. While you’ll need to change flights to get to your destination, you’ll likely pay 10 percent lower than direct carriers.
Plus, if the transit time is over eight hours, you are offered free meals and accommodation during transit under a stopover paid by carrier system. If you’re lucky, you can use this time for short sight-seeing breaks of the city.
On the other hand, offline carriers don’t have a direct service in your country of origin. They fly you to a city where you can board their flights to your preferred destination. Offline carriers offer passengers discounts of as much as 30 per cent.
Save on Accommodation
Accommodation and hotel providers have fantastic discounts for clients who book in advance. The Internet and apps available in smartphones are great ways of browsing different hotel deals.
For the best deals, you need to invest some of your time comparing the prices offered by the same hotel in different websites. In addition, lookout for sites of hotels with special offers not available if booking from another source. Some of the things you should consider include free breakfast for guests. For example, Hotels Combined search over 200 accommodation sites to bring you the best price e.g. London
Another option is to stay with locals free while couch-surfing. You can also leverage on the sharing economy to find cheap accommodation, rideshare options, tour guides and home-cooked meals.
Take Mass Transportation
Another huge travel expense people usually incur is taking cabs, which can wreak havoc on your budget. Instead, choose mass transit systems like shuttles, trains, and local buses, whenever possible. However, you need to lose your fear of getting lost in a strange city by taking a few simple steps.
When travelling, always carry with you a business card of wherever you are staying. In addition, carry the address in a local language that also includes some of the closest landmarks.
Fortunately, mass transit is also one of the best ways of fully exploring your destination. You have a chance of getting a glimpse of the real lives of natives of the places you are exploring. Plus, most public transit systems have passes that can help reduce the amount of money spent on local travel.
Do Not Skimp on Travel Insurance
We say ‘if you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel’. Even the shortest of trips you should consider travel insurance.
The best time to purchase travel insurance is when you start to pay deposits on flights, accommodation, cruises or tours. You are then covered from that date if you have to cancel e.g. because of health reasons. Please read your insurance policy guidelines carefully. When you are travelling ensure that you know the 24-hour emergency number to use and that you have your policy number and details in a safe location so that you can access it quickly.
If you are located in Australia or New Zealand click here for the latest quotes.
If you are located outside of Australia or New Zealand click here for the latest quotes
You can travel without spending too much money – even on a budget! Unfortunately, many travelers falsely believe that travelling during the off-peak season can save them money. This can be disastrous for your finances and holiday – the peak and off-peak seasons are usually dependent on weather conditions.
Moreover, most attractions are closed in off-peak season, depriving you of the joy of travelling. However, you can still travel during peak season without spending too much using the tips above.
What is stopping your dream of travel a reality?
If you still dreaming of travel why not pin it for later.
Thanks for stopping by and welcome to To Travel Too – Australia’s top Baby Boomer lifestyle and travel blog, with an international worldwide audience in mind, run by the married couple, freelance writers and full-time travellers Jane and Duncan Dempster-Smith. Come with us as we explore the world. Our two mantras that we live by are ‘chase time not money’ and ‘age is no barrier when it comes to travel’.