We all love travel hacks! Most of us love to travel. However, we don’t all love the price of traveling. Depending on where you go, it could cost a few thousand dollars to have a nice vacation with your spouse and/or family. How can we ‘hack’ traveling? What if there were some ways to limit the expenses of traveling? Why should we, as believers, focus on reducing our expenses? “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has” (Proverbs 21:20, NIV84). The wise does not spend everything they have recklessly. They are being prudent, thoughtful, and wise with expenses! Shouldn’t we do the same in our spending?
Because we need to be good stewards of God’s money and resources that He has put into our care, we believe that when you vacation it ought not be careless, but prudent and intentional so you stay within your vacation budget and possibly even have some money left over when you get home! So, we compiled a list of simple things you can do to help cut costs while traveling. Here are 10 travel hacks that will save you some money:
10 Travel Hacks That Will Save You Money
1. Travel to an affordable destination.
When processing travel hacks, this may seem like a ‘duh’ statement. There are many places that we would consider to be ‘cash cows,’ such as Disney World. There’s no way around it. It’s expensive. You’ll spend hundreds of dollars to get into one park for one day, and still have to eat inside the park, park your car, etc… Do that for 4-5 days in a row, and you’re spending THOUSANDS of dollars.
Instead, consider traveling to a place with ‘free’ attractions and low entry fees, such as National Parks! Hiking doesn’t cost anything, and will also allow you to see some things you don’t get to see in the every-day grind!
2. Book/Travel in the “off-season.”
Non-peak travel times = non peak prices. According to NerdWallet, flights booked for the holiday season averaged 41% more expensive than flights booked roughly six months out, during the standard season.
3. Plan & book arrangements ahead of time.
Flights/Travel – A NerdWallet study found that flights are 24% more expensive when booked 2 weeks in advance versus 6 months in advance.
Excursions – If you go into your vacation with a plan on what to do, you will be less tempted to spend top-dollar on those last minute excursions.
4. Skip the hotel… Get an AirBnB.
Many times, you can find really nice accommodations for a cheaper rate than a hotel. You can often find an AirBnB with a kitchen, which would allow you to prepare some of your own meals, greatly cutting the cost of food while on your vacation.
5. Shop at the market, not the restaurant.
Many people use vacation as an excuse to eat every meal at a restaurant. The issue is, that could mean at least $60/day for each person just to eat. That adds up really fast! You could get groceries, make your meals at your AirBnB/Hotel, and pick just a night or 2 to eat out.
6. Avoid a rental car.
If you are traveling to a city with reliable public transportation, look into using public transit. For example, if you are vacationing to New York City, get a 7-day transit pass. You will spend a fraction of what you would on a rental car. However, there are some places where a rental car is necessary, such as a trip to the beach or the mountains. If you don’t plan on driving a lot, you could also use Uber or another ride-share app. If you don’t plan on driving around too much, this alternative may be cheaper than spending the money on a rental car.
7. Redeem your credit card points.
Many credit cards offer incentives for traveling, or even give you cash back on every purchase. Utilize these points on vacations! Sometimes, you can even get a free flight from your credit points depending on how many you have accrued.
8. Split costs!
Consider traveling with another person/couple to split costs on housing & transportation.
9. Consider a Stay-Cation!
I (Drew) love staycations! I usually build into the time off some projects around the house along with some day-trips! Day trips are awesome and you can take picnic lunches and dinners with you to cut the cost. Utilize local parks, events and museums! Make the day full! From beginning to end, make it seem “different” than normal days for you.
10. Consider Camping!
Now, I know that camping is not for everyone, but there are different levels of it! (i.e. RV camping, cabin camping in National Parks, tents, etc…) While camping is more affordable, you can also TURN OFF the digital distractions and get to see what God created!
Bonus Travel Hacks:
- Use Discounted Travel Booking Sites…
- SkyAuction.com (airfare)
- CruiseCheap.com (cruises)
- Priceline.com (multiple things…rooms, cars, vacations)
- Use Coupons!
- Rest stops usually have “coupon books” for that area. Pick one up and see what they have to offer in discounts!
- I (Drew) subscribe yearly to the Entertainment Book (www.Entertainment.com) for about $25 a year. With their app, you can get major discounts and coupons for:
- Food (local and when you travel)
- Travel (hotels, car rental, flights, cruises and even group travel!)
- Things to do
Vacations are a great way to unplug, recharge, and reconnect with your family. In fact, as Stewards, it is good and encouraged to go on vacation! That time could be used to be a good steward of your time, health, and relationships. However, we must continue to be good stewards when we think about how to afford vacations. (check out episode 034: “Is Taking a vacation wise stewardship?”) We hope you learned some travel hacks that you can implement!
Part of stewardship is to prepare your finances ahead of time!
- Vacations should NEVER put you in debt!
- You should never take out a loan, cash advance or borrow from a family member for a vacation!
- Pay cash where-ever and whenever you can!
So make sure you take advantage of these travel hacks as you strive to be a good steward of not only your time and relationships, but also your finances. As you use your money wisely for your vacation time, you will exemplify what Proverbs 21:20 says (you will not be one that devours all of what you have).
- Take advantage of our free personal stewardship reviews so you can take your next steps to being a better steward.
- Send us your questions, comments and thoughts.
- Subscribe on your favorite podcast provider so you never miss an episode.
- Leave a 5-Star Rating & Review wherever you listen to podcasts!
Material presented is property of The Stewardology Podcast, a ministry of Life Financial Group and Life Institute. You may not copy, reproduce, modify, create derivative works, or exploit any content without the expressed written permission of The Stewardology Podcast. For more information, contact us at Contact@StewardologyPodcast.com or (800) 688-5800.
The topics discussed in this podcast are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations. Investing and investment strategies involve risk including the potential loss of principal. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.
Securities and advisory services offered through GWM, Inc Member FINRA/SIPC