Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to travel the world? Here’s some tips on how to keep your New Year’s Resolution:
One perennial favorite for international travel at a value is escorted tour packages. According to the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA), one-quarter (23 percent) of past-year travelers (33.3 million adults) say they have bought a travel package within the past three years. Not surprisingly, travelers enjoy leaving the planning up to the professionals and the pennies in their pockets. Moreover, tour operators are able to negotiate lower group rates with hotels and attractions, and travelers pay for their vacation up front—eliminating some of the “sticker shock” that can occur while on the ground in a foreign country.
An affordable vacation is only one of many steps you can take to ensure your next vacation fits your financial circumstances. Take a look below for some helpful money-saving tips, both before you travel and after you arrive.
Planning Your Vacation
Quite a few considerations go into picking the right vacation on a budget. And we know where to start:
- Travel during the low season (October–March), as prices are lower and the experience offered is still extraordinary.
- Be flexible with travel plans. Consider vacationing in a different country—an area with a favorable dollar exchange rate.
- Take advantage of promotions. Cosmos regularly offers great savings and deals, so be sure to call or ask your travel agent about the latest discounts available.
- Join the club. Loyalty clubs or frequent traveler programs offer members deals, incentives and special offers. Journeys Club, for example, not only provides its members special discounts, it also offers members unique vacations, itineraries, and departures—and there’s no membership fee.
- Take an escorted tour vacation. You’ll be privy to more sights, more insight, and more fun at a pre-set price. Transportation within each destination is usually factored into the price, saving travelers big money. Cosmos offers great options, as well as insight into the benefits of escorted tours.
- Take your whole family (extended family) on vacation. Cosmos offers a standing group discount. Groups start at eight people.
- If you’re traveling alone, consider an escorted tour vacation. You’ll be privy to group travel rates. Cosmos also offers single travelers a “guaranteed share” option, allowing them the chance to split the cost of hotel rooms with same-gender singles.
There are some simple steps in your everyday life you may want to think about well before your departure date to help get more from your vacation:
- Trade your everyday indulgences for the real thing on vacation. For instance, skip your daily Starbucks routine to save money, knowing you’ll enjoy an authentic cup of coffee at a café in Italy. Or drink less wine during dinner to save big bucks, while looking forward to a winery tour in the South of France.
- Are you a member of a museum or arts organization? Sometimes your membership rewards will translate to other city/country museums.
- If you’re planning to call home while traveling (always a good idea), either buy a calling card or contact your cell phone company beforehand to set up international calling.
- Don’t wait to get (or renew) your passport. You don’t want to have to pay “rush”-related charges.
- Take a snack and drink on the plane so you can eat without paying for airline food.
When money is a concern, try these easy-to-follow tips:
- Pay with a credit card, but keep track of your expenses. Then, pay off your card when you return from your vacation, ensuring you aren’t paying interest for your memories.
- Be wary of “freebies”—they aren’t always complimentary.
- Plan your daily budget. Determine, in advance of your trip, how much you’re willing to spend each day and stick to it.
- Before you go, get familiar with both exchange rates and tipping standards. Many countries do not abide by the same rules and there’s no good reason to over-tip.
Check back for some additional tips to keep your travel New Year’s Resolution!