Financial Tips for Summer Travel

Kira Topeka and Tyler Fetherolf fishing on a boat

Kira Topeka and a 79” sailfish

It’s just about summer here in Virginia – the temperature keeps ticking up, schools are letting out, and the desire to travel is in full force! Whether you’re thinking of a beachside escape, a mountain retreat, or exploring a new city, making your vacation both memorable and budget-friendly is possible. Here are some tips to help you plan, save money, and travel responsibly.

Smart Budgeting for Your Summer Travel

Planning a summer getaway is always exciting, but keeping it within budget can be a challenge. Here are some practical tips to help you budget effectively for your next adventure:

  • Set a Realistic Budget: decide how much you can spend, and make sure to account for hidden or new costs (e.g. taxes, resort fees, tips). Read more on how to create a budget.
  • Research and plan: spontaneity in travel can be fun, but planning and research can ensure you find the best deals on flights, hotels, and activities. Sign up for newsletters from travel websites and follow them on social media to catch flash sales and special offers.
  • Save for travel: especially if you are looking to go on a big trip, create a travel fund, and build in automated savings.
  • Track: track your spending as you go with tools like Monarch Money or You Need a Budget
  • Adjust on the Go: If you overspend in one area, adjust your budget in another. For example, if you spend more than planned on a special dinner, try to save on lunch the next day.

Budget-Friendly Travel Tips

With the internet, apps, and social media, there are tools available to find creative solutions to customize summer travel that’s right for your situation and budget.

  • Find more inexpensive flights: compare flights with Skyscanner, Google Flights, and Kayak and use apps like Hopper to predict the best time to book flights. Flexibility can make flights cheaper, as well as looking at mid-week flights rather than weekend flights. But remember to check the details, some “basic economy” flights do not include baggage, so avoid extra fees at the airport by choosing carefully and reading the fine print.
  • Save money on accommodations: book in advance, compare options, and look at alternatives on AirBnB or Vrbo. Don’t forget to weigh your options, booking a more expensive hotel closer to the attractions may save you in transportation costs.
  • Plan your transportation: research and compare pricing for rental cars, public transportation, or a mix of taxis/Ubers.
  • Look for travel rewards: check if your credit card offers travel rewards (these can include flights, hotel stays, and car rentals). Join frequent flyer programs, and see where you can bundle flights, accommodations, and transportation for better discounts.

Practical Travel Tips for Getting the Best from Your Summer Travel

We love being a part of our local community and getting to know the communities we visit. A few tips to travel responsibly and locally:

  • Get yourself set up for success: tips to make your summer travel experience smoother
  • Eco-tourism: Look for ecotours that support environmental conservation and local communities. Activities like wildlife sanctuaries, nature reserves, and community-led tours are great options.
  • Tread lightly: pack reusable water bottles, shopping bags, and utensils to minimize single-use plastic waste.
  • For parents out there: no, you’re not crazy, traveling with little kids is hard. No tips, just know that we see you!

And while budget-conscious travel is a great way to see more of the country and even the world, I would remind you to also enjoy the journey! Last week, I was fortunate to be in Hollywood, Florida for a conference with Tyler, Meridian’s Investment Analyst, and we made the time (and room in each of our personal budgets) to book a game fishing charter – something we both had always wanted to experience. We lucked out with perfect weather and some impressive catches. Tyler reeled in a 79” sailfish – I did not help much with the fishing, but I certainly took advantage of the photo op!

Blog Disclosure

Categories : Financial Planning

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *