Maximize Your Vacation Budget

A family on a beach vacation

In the past two years, I started a new job, my wife started a new business, we had two beautiful little girls and moved across the country. Needless to say my wife and I needed some alone time.

When we decided it was time for a vacation, we didn’t really know where we wanted to go, but we knew what we wanted: a great experience on a budget.

  1. Create a budget for your trip and stick to it.
  2. Sign up for a travel rewards credit card. Use this card to pay for as much as you can throughout the year, i.e. monthly cell phone, utilities, gas, routine expenses, etc. The key is to be responsible and don’t let the credit card balances get out of control. Using this card will build up rewards to pay for your air travel.
  3. Plan in advance to take advantage of deals on travel and lodging.
    1. Use a travel site like Kayak and Expedia. Set alerts for your destination and be flexible on days of the week you can travel. This will save you thousands if you are willing to travel on non-peak days.
    2. Be willing to visit your vacation destination during off-peak times.
  4. Do your research on currency exchange in advance:
    1. In some countries it makes sense to convert U.S. dollars.
    2. In some countries it makes sense spend U.S. currency.
    3. But in MOST cases, you can use credit cards to take advantage of your bank’s negotiated currency conversion rates.
  5. Resorts will often give you vouchers for free or reduced-cost golf, fishing, snorkeling, boat/jet ski rentals, etc. just for attending a short hour timeshare presentations.

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