Traveling on a budget

With the economy in crisis, travel is probably the last thing on anyone’s mind. However, studies have shown that up to weeks after travel, the people studied had less stress, better anxiety levels and a lower rate of depression! So let me help you plan that weekend getaway without turning it into another stress factor!

“You don’t have to be rich to travel well.”

-Eugene Fodor

Use a Travel Agent

I cannot stress this enough, USE A TRAVEL AGENT! They are experts in their field with hands on training that gives them the edge when it comes to making your trip fantastic! They save you hours of research trying to get everything booked and scheduled. Just tell them what you want, and they will make it happen. Plus, if anything like flights or hotels get cancelled, they will handle all of the logistics of getting everything back on track, so you don’t have to stress on your vacay.

Travel agents are usually free to use because they make their commission off of their partnerships with the booking companies they set you up with. This allows them to market their services to you free of charge. Even better, the relationships with these agencies allow them to give you bonus amenities when you book through them vs booking yourself. (beverage packages, room upgrades, etc.)

On top of all the money savings and goodies, they are educated on experience. Meaning they have insider knowledge on the place you are trying to visit. They can tell you the best times to travel and give you suggestions about where to eat and what tourist attractions are the must see stop to make your trip magical.

Create a savings for trips

Budgeting for a trip doesn’t have to be hard and it definitely doesn’t have to break the bank. Having a budget is essential for any travel and should always include an emergency fund in the total.

The first thing I do when I am budgeting for a trip is to figure out how much I am going to spend for the trip I want. Below I have a chart laying out the average daily cost per person for a budget trip, feel free to adjust these to your personal travel style.

United States of America Travel Costs

If you are set on planning the trip yourself You should definitely be creating a budget for the trip. This way you can figure out how much you need to put aside each month in order to reach your goal. Having a savings account specifically for your vacation fund is also helpful because you can set it to automatically pull out every month and saving you from having to worry about keeping up with it. I am a very write it down kind of planner so I love finding a free template online to write my budget out and hang it up where I can see it.

Use social media

There are so many groups on Facebook that can give you excellent travel tips and advice. When looking for a group take into consideration the number of members and posts generated in a day so you can be sure you are joining an active group and will be able to get your questions answered quickly. Joining a large group also allows you to get multiple peoples tips and advice. These groups are a great way to connect with locals that can give you firsthand knowledge about the food and entertainment scene in the area you are wanting to travel.

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