Cochin Herald

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Summer Holidays: Planning a cost-effective vacation

Traveling is undoubtedly one of the most fulfilling ways to relax and unwind during the summer holidays. Something about exploring a new place and meeting new people makes the entire experience extremely fulfilling. However, traveling can also be one expensive affair. Whether it is the high-cost air tickets or the overpriced hotels, traveling, especially abroad has become one of the most challenging things to do on a tight budget.

More often than not, we end up cancelling the exorbitant travel plans, instead of thinking of ways to make it more economical. However, there are some simple tips that can help you to plan international vacations while keeping the ‘value for money’ factor in mind. Here is your guide on how to plan and enjoy a pocket friendly vacation abroad!

Off-season visits

Traveling off-season has to be one of the simplest moves that will slash the cost of your international trip. Whether it is Hawaii in spring or London during Christmas, every location has a peak season when everything instantly gets expensive. Simple research will help you understand the peak timing of your destination and ensure that you save big bucks.

Another simple trick is to look for destinations with a higher value of your currency and is in general cheaper. For example, traveling to countries like Thailand, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Paraguay, etc. will allow you to live lavishly while spending lesser as compared to a trip to the US, Canada, Europe etc.

Plan ahead

The key to making wise financial decisions on any front has always been planning in advance and travel is no different. While choosing any destination, do a complete research on the visa costs, ticket prices, boarding arrangements etc., well in advance. Checking for special offers and discounts on ticket booking websites will also allow you to save more. While there is no right or wrong time, planning at least 3-4 months in advance gives you enough time and opportunity to get the best deals on every front.

Alternative stays

Hotels are no longer the only alternative for a comfortable stay. Thanks to the popularity of economic hospitality services like Airbnb, VRBO etc. and various mobile apps, affordable and comfortable stay options are no longer immensely expensive, and are aplenty. If you are traveling alone, choosing to live in a hostel or homestay will be an easy way to save money and also allow you to get a better understanding of the local culture. Plus the kitchen means you can cook for yourself rather than eating every meal in a restaurant.

Check for discounts

While planning a pocket-friendly holiday it is important to remember that the words ‘Free’ and ‘Discount’ are like bread and water. While making your travel itinerary, look for famous monuments which can be explored free-of-cost. There are various attractive deals on a tour package that includes major attraction and also covers the travel costs of reaching this destination. Opting for these tours will also help you to uncover the place in a much more economical way.

Explore less expensive places

Generally, the tourists get attracted to the places which are quite expensive. So, while planning for budget tours we should not think about popular places because those places will always be more expensive. Generally, more popular places will have high budget holiday packages. If you are planning for the most popular place, then you should find a town near that destination where you can stay. Some countries which can be visited budget holiday packages are Mexico, Canada, Slovenia, Hungary, Peru, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Dominican Republic etc.

Round trip tickets

One way tickets are usually costlier than round-trip tickets; that’s why one should to fly in and out of the same airport. Both departure and return tickets should be booked at one go. Usually, car agencies also charge extra from overall budget tour package if you leave the car at the different airport, so it should be planned to start and end the journey from the same airport.

Cost of flights also vary according to different times of the day, so while making choice for your flight, you should confirm prices of different flights as well. There are some services like Priceline which offers you more than 50% discount if you travel on some certain days, so once you should go through all these while planning for budget tour holidays.

Local meals

If you dine in the same hotel that you are staying then it would be more costly, so you should search for local meals and common food of that area. If you are bound to save money on your trip then embrace local food of that place. You should also take some light snacks for you. Check out the local cuisine in the area before travelling to ensure that it won’t be a problem. While tripping, always give priority to bigger meals in the morning.

Less use of cards

In a foreign trip, you should make less use of cards, as they generally charge some foreign exchange fees from you. Make use of cash. If you want to exchange the currency, then use ATM’s for that. If you go for currency exchange at airports, then you have to pay a big amount as a fee. Local bank ATM’s are the best option for this.

So while planning your budget holiday package, you should make an estimate of the maximum amount of money that you can afford to spend for your holidays.  After that, you can make plans accordingly. Above mentioned ways can help you in the best possible manner to make your holiday quite enjoyable.


Cochin Herald

All stories by: Cochin Herald