What do you think of when you hear the words international travel? For most of us, we see a never-ending line of dollar signs. But taking an international vacation doesn’t have to be expensive or leave you with a pile of debt. A little bit of planning on your part could pave the way for a stress-free, debt-free vacation the whole family enjoys.
Want to know more? Here are 5 money-saving tips for debt-free international travel.
1. Save Up
There are two types of travelers: the type who plan their vacation months in advance and the type who spontaneously go off on an adventure. No matter which type you are, the number-one rule for a debt-free vacation is to save over time.
Start by calculating how much you spend on international travel per year. Once you have your average cost, break the amount into monthly milestones and commit to saving that much from every paycheck.
If international travel usually costs your family $6,000 per year, save $500 per month. Building up a slow and steady cash reserve will make your trip more affordable (and more enjoyable!).
2. Use Budget Airlines
There’s an ever-growing number of budget airlines popping up around the globe. Through their no-frills approach to flying, these airlines are able to offer tickets 20-30% lower than legacy airlines. (1) If you’re okay with skimping on luxuries in exchange for a little more spending money once you reach your destination, give budget airlines a try.
Want to stick with a legacy airline? Use a price-tracking app such as Hopper or Google Flights. These apps track prices for larger airlines and notify you once they’ve found the cheapest deal.
3. Travel Off-Season
The two most expensive times to fly are summer and the holidays. To save on costs and beat the crowds, book your trip during the off-season. This season varies by location, but it’s typically from August to October and February to April.
Double up on savings by being flexible with your travel days too. Airlines and hotels are usually cheaper during the week than they are on the weekends. So if you fly out on a Monday, stay at a hotel during weeknights, and fly back on a Friday, you could save even more between airfare and lodging.
4. Use Credit Card Rewards Points
Log on to your credit card account and see how many rewards points you have. Is it enough to cover all or part of your travels? If your trip is 6+ months away, consider doing some “travel hacking.” Open a travel rewards credit card and use the sign-up bonus to cover your flight or hotel. But we recommend only doing this if you pay your credit card balance in full every month. Rewards points are good, but not if they lead to more debt.
5. Research Ahead Of Time
Research the area you’ll be traveling to ahead of time so you’re not blindsided by high costs. You don’t have to plan out every second of every day, but you should have a realistic expectation of how much you’ll spend on vacation.
Jot down the price of popular activities and the average price of meals. If you find that some of these things are out of your budget, look for ways to trim down the costs. This could include planning to cook more meals in your hotel room, looking for free activities, or finding ways to save more money before you leave.
How We Help
The word vacation doesn't have to be synonymous with debt. At Haydel, Biel & Associates (HBA Wealth), we believe your financial plan should help you save for the future while allowing you to live out your passions in the present. If you’re looking for a team of trusted professionals to help you grow, protect, and manage your wealth, contact us at (626) 529-8347 or email Ricky directly at email@example.com.
About Haydel, Biel & Associates
Haydel, Biel & Associates is an independent financial advisory firm serving individuals and families near Pasadena, California. The firm was founded in 2004 by Chris Haydel and Ricky Biel with a desire to provide unbiased, client-centered, community-based financial advice. Together, they have built a practice that has grown into a family of caring, smart professionals committed to blending proven investment methodologies with creative financial technologies that make it easier than ever to accomplish your goals. They strive to keep things simple and fun to give their clients peace of mind and alleviate financial stress. HBA Wealth takes care of their clients’ needs first and foremost and goes the extra mile to make their clients’ finances grow. To meet and see how the HBA Wealth team may be able to help, contact them today at (626) 529-8347 or email Ricky directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.