Summertime really makes us dream of a great vacation and trips. Let’s face it, the warm weather really gets us stoked to spend time outside. How can you prepare to really take advantage of your vacation time and enjoy a little R&R?
Plan beforehand to avoid unpleasant surprises
Make sure that your trip does not leave a gaping hole in your personal finances. Carefully plan your budget before choosing your destination. If you are dreaming of Europe, for example, remember that each plane ticket will cost at least $1000 per person. If you have a limited budget, you may want to consider camping, couchsurfing or home exchanges if you are looking to go across the pond.
If you’re travelling by car, don’t forget to add all the expenses that are associated with your route, including gas, toll booths, ferries, and snacks you buy while on the road. To save big, bring a lunch that you can eat at a rest area. Pack enough beverages and snacks for the both the trip to and from your vacation destination.
Save more, enjoy more
Several tourism sites allow you to purchase tickets online for various activities. This way, you’ll not only save money but also avoid line-ups before your visit—a great way to lower the stress (and impatience!) levels. Before you leave, visit a discount store to buy beach toys at a fraction of the cost.
If you’re leaving the country, here are some additional tips for you to save money:
- If you have enough time, book a flight from the United States; they are often cheaper. Remember, however, to check the differences in currency or purchase in Canadian dollars.
- According to a report published by Expedia in 2015, after having analyzed over 5 billion airfare searches, the best time to get your tickets at the lowest possible price is on Tuesdays at 3:00 p.m., 50 to 100 days before your flight. Make sure you check out the hidden fees many online resellers tack on to the final price, such as airport taxes, checked luggage, etc.
- Ask your mobile network provider what its fees are for making calls outside of Canada. And don’t forget the data roaming fees. They can sap your wallet dry!
- Keep an eye on the exchange rates several weeks before your departure so that you can take advantage of the best time to obtain local currencies. Sometimes, the best rates are offered via your financial institution and not in airports.
- Find out what the exchange rate is on your credit card.
- Ask your credit card company if it offers coverage during travel. If not, sign up for it.
- Don’t forget to factor in travel vaccines into your budget.
Keep your home well-protected
Enjoy a worry-free vacation! Let your neighbors or loved ones know when you’re leaving so that they can pick up your mail, put your trash/recycling out, or keep an eye on the comings and goings at your house. To feign that someone is at home, ask your neighbor to park a car in your driveway or clear out any accumulated snow.
The day of your departure, take out the trash to avoid unpleasant odors when you come back and turn off your water supply—it is the best way to avoid flooding and water damage. Let your alarm system provider know that you’ll be away and unplug any electrical appliances that don’t need to work. Above all, don’t leave the front door lights on: it’s a telltale sign you’re not at home! Instead, buy a timer to be used with a lamp in your living room or kitchen.
- Good travel plans will help you respect your budget.
- Shop around so that you don’t break the bank.
- Don’t forget to think about your home’s safety.