By Xavier Laguna
Everyone has been in the position where they have been stressed at work or school, and are looking for a way to let their mind take a break. Some people like to destress by taking a walk or going hiking, playing with their pets, or even enjoying a cup of warm tea and watching some TV.
The point is: We all need a break. Or a vacation. Or just to go…somewhere else. But traveling can be expensive. And it doesn’t need to break the bank. As such, you can actually make a plan and set a “break budget” to help navigate it.
Now, the question is: how can you make sure you stretch every dollar as far as you can? Here are five tips.
Chart a course
Start by setting a proper destination. This may be obvious, but finding the best place (and place to stay) that will fit your needs. Things to consider are whether you will be going alone, or with friends and family, or perhaps even your partner. This will could help bring your individual costs down. Also, make sure you have access to a kitchen if you decide to cook while you are away — another way to save money!
How about a “staycation?”
Another way to make your getaway more affordable is by booking a weekend or day “staycation” in your town. Hotels often have day spas and pools that you can access for relatively cheap, and will allow you to have access to their amenities for the day. Plus, you save on travel costs.
How to get there
Now that you have an idea of where you want to go, decide if you want to drive or if you want to fly. Each has its own benefits to consider. The best way to find a flight is by doing some searching online — there are tons of sites to choose from. But be aware that flights aren’t cheap, and often have a lot of associated fees.
Driving, too, can be costly. Gas prices are high, for one, and the wear and tear on your car can be another thing to keep in mind.
When looking for a hotel, consider using your credit card points to book. There are hotel credit cards that allow you to use points to book hotels, which may save you some money. Some even offer EXTRA points when you sign up! Just make sure you pay off all credit card charges by the end of the month so you do not affect your credit score, rack up interest, or fall into the credit trap!
Think with your stomach
Buying food will be one of your greatest unknown expenses when it comes to traveling. You must consider how many times you’d like to eat out, and if you’d like to cook (or if it’ll be an option) depending on your destination. This will allow you to make sure you do not go over your daily budget, and cooking can be fun, after all!
And speaking of food, consider bringing your own snacks to the airport or in the car — we all know how easy it is to end up paying a lot for snacks at the airport, or to swerve into a drive-thru when your stomach starts to rumble.
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