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Sun, Sand, and Savings

Budgeting your way around the globe

Part 11 | Reading Time: 3 minutes
By Ian Bin
Vacation, everyone deserves time to treat themselves. But planning for that vacation can be stressful. Let’s keep it real – we all dream of epic getaways, but the whole budget reality check comes crashing in. That’s where our Blog swoops in to save the day. Today I will give you some tips for planning awesome adventures while keeping your bank account happy.

Check, pack, explore your ultimate vacation checklist

Before any trip, get a checklist of your goals:
A place to stay
Additional shopping
An emergency fund (just in case something goes wrong)
While for every journey these costs will be different, knowing what you need can help you plan what the entire trip will cost before going on vacation. If you struggle to keep everything together, consider using a travel agent. They can help you save money through deals and help you plan your trip. However, do be aware that there are extra fees for using them.
vacation pool
Voyage on point: the art of travel booking
Let’s kick things off with booking your travel. Did you know that the timing of when you book can seriously affect your bank balance? Yep, it’s real – booking ahead or catching last-minute deals can save you a pretty penny. Booking a hotel at the last minute can lead to savings of about 13% off the price of a hotel room, on average.1
vacation travel
And if you’re willing to roll with the punches on your travel dates, you can catch some fantastic discounts if you are ready to travel during the off-season. When booking, be sure to use any cash back or points. When using a credit card responsibly, your credit card purchases can help you fund your next vacation.
Suite selection: nailing your perfect vacation stay
While the 5-star fancy hotels might be tempting, websites like Airbnb and are legit game-changers. Some of these spots are budget-friendly, and they also give you the chance to stay more in a local area. However, that depends on the number of people you have on the trip. Generally, if you have two people, staying in a hotel is cheaper.1 However, for larger groups, that is different. The average Airbnb for six was 33% cheaper than booking three hotel rooms, but the average hotel was 29% cheaper than booking an Airbnb for two.1 Length of stay is another important factor. For the short term, Airbnb’s are more expensive than hotels, but for a multiple-week span, they can be cheaper.
Savor the local flavors: eat like a pro
Foodie alert! The ability to refrigerate and cook food — or even microwave it — can significantly save money. If you can score a hotel, motel, or Airbnb with a few kitchen appliances, then a quick trip to the local grocery or convenience store can limit your spending on dining out. In fact, you can turn grocery shopping into its own mini-adventure once you arrive; travel experts say visiting a foreign grocery store can be a fun way to explore a new culture.2 If you still want to go out, limit dining to one meal daily. Trying out local eats is like a travel ritual. But guess what – you don’t need to drop big bucks at fancy restaurants.
Have you ever ventured into the world of street food and local markets? Explore these vendor stalls for mouthwatering meals that won’t leave your wallet weeping. Try not to eat the same types of food that you eat when you’re at home,” experts say. “If you’re in Indonesia, cheese or wine will be expensive. Try to research what locals eat.2
Activity extravaganza: plan smartly and save
At the end of the trip, you remember the experiences that make your trip something extraordinary. Remember that not every activity has to be extravagant. It’s all about finding a balance and encouraging budget-friendly travel planning. Some activities may have a price tag, but plenty of affordable activities are waiting for you. Think hiking trails with amazing views and self-guided tours that let you explore at your own pace. You don’t need to spend a fortune to have fun!

Start your adventure: your wallet-friendly journey awaits!

Remember, the best thing about traveling is the trip itself; saving money sometimes means fewer options, but it’s about adjusting, relaxing, and not taking every great memory for granted. So, dream big, plan smart, and create unforgettable memories that won’t break your wallet. Safe travels, budget-friendly adventurer!


1 French, Sally, and Sam Kemmis. “Airbnb Pricing Statistics: 2023.” NerdWallet, Accessed 17 Aug. 2023.
2 Bessette, Chanelle. “Travelers, Save on Meals with These Tidbits.” NerdWallet, Accessed 17 Aug. 2023.

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