If you are a couple living on a tight budget is it still possible to travel and enjoy yourself? You bet it is!
One of the keys to being able to travel on a tight budget is to do a lot of pre-planning so that you ensure that you get the most value for your money.
I’m the travel planner in our house and here are some of the things that I do when my husband and I travel but need to be very conscience of our travel budget.
The Internet has made it so much easier to do quite a bit of research when you are planning a trip and are looking for ways to save as much money as possible. As well a local travel agent can sometimes get you even better deals with hotels and transportation. What I try to do is to find the location, hotel and flights I want online and then speak to a travel agent to see if they can come up with a better price.
Consider an All-Inclusive Vacation
While an all-inclusive resort such as Club Med may sound a bit pricey upfront, you will normally save quite a bit of money overall because pretty much everything you need is included in one price. As well you typically pay for everything upfront so once you are on your vacation you can relax knowing that the only additional costs you may encounter would be if you buy souvenirs.
I chose an all-inclusive for a trip to Cuba and took along a $100 US for spending money. I came home with $95 US because as I said, everything was pre-paid. Oh, and by the way, to tip the people that clean your hotel room in Cuba you don’t leave cash.
You leave them things like shampoo, toiletries, baby clothes, and so on, because those items are quite expensive for them to buy on their own.
Consider a Bed and Breakfast
If an all-inclusive doesn’t fit into your vacation plans then consider staying at bed and breakfasts instead of hotels. Again you can find bed and breakfasts listed online and view their accommodations as well as how much they charge and what they include. A room at a bed and breakfast can be quite comfortable and very affordable.
And many times their breakfasts are delicious. Some locations include dinner as well.
If you are flexible as to what time of year you can get away for a vacation then always consider travelling during low season instead of high season. Why? Because airlines and hotels typically offer lower rates when fewer people travel, which in turn will make it much easier for you as a couple to travel on a budget.
Depending on where you are going, some of the best times to travel are in the fall, and close to, but not during the Christmas season. In the fall most people are busy at work and may not be able to get away, or they may have kids that have just returned to school and they don’t want to pull them out for a vacation.
And again just prior to Christmas is a great time to travel because most people are too busy planning for the holidays or spending money on Christmas gifts, and travel is the last thing on their minds.
Estimate Daily Costs and Create Your Travel Budget
Estimating your daily costs is important. For example, many years ago I planned a trip to the UK for 10 days. Because we planned to tour around the UK instead of staying at the same place every night, I created a daily budget which included how much we could spend on a hotel room or B&B, a car rental, and food each day.
Then I added in the cost of the flight and a buffer for small purchases. Before we left I had a very good idea of how much the trip was going to cost and how much cash we needed to set aside to be able to travel.
When you create your travel budget always remember to factor in the exchange rates if you are leaving the country.
Create a Travel Fund
Once you have done all of your research and have created your travel budget you can work hard on saving money to pay for your trip. Look at your household budget and look for ways to allocate a portion of money each month towards your travel fund.
As well, look around your home and see if there are any items that you no longer need and sell them online or at a garage sale. You can also add more money to your travel fund if you find a side hustle that allows you to offer your expert skills in exchange for money.
One of the benefits that couples find when they plan their travel based on a budget is that they can travel more often. By being flexible with your travel plans and watching online for low cost travel deals, you will still be able to enjoy your trip even if you are on a budget.