Cash 1 Blog
Money-Saving Travel Tips
Mark Twain once wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
We at CASH 1 agree with him. Travel is not just a tool for relaxation, but an opportunity to see the wider world, discover new cultures, to learn not just about other people, but yourself as well. Travel is good for the soul, whether it’s a long stay at an exotic destination halfway around the world, or rent a car and take a short road trip to a nearby campground.
So it is in this spirit that we’ve decided to do a series about money-saving travel tips and how to actually save money for a trip. But this won’t be like the tips articles we’ve done before. We want to feature a new method for saving money with each article, so you can get all the information you need in order to save money for what may arguably the most important hobby or passion a person can have: seeing and experiencing as much of this world as possible.
When was the last time you had a real vacation? Not an obligatory holiday trip to see family or an emergency trip to see sick relatives, but a real journey of discovery to some place you’ve always wanted to visit. If it’s been awhile (you know what we mean by ‘awhile’, right? If you’re trying to figure out when the last time you took a real vacation was and the answer has you shaking your head, then it’s definitely been ‘awhile’), you should consider all the benefits travel has to offer in terms of emotional, mental and physical health. We can’t get into them all, but we can sum it up with this observation: when you travel, you’re not buying a thing; you’re investing in an experience, even if that experience is sitting on a beach for a week.
Pick the Middle of the Week for Travel Dates
Which brings us to money-saving travel tip #1, and it’s not the kind of tip you might be expecting. Are you wishing to take a long vacation but only have a week available to take off from work? Try traveling from Wednesday to Tuesday. Most people, when they take a week from work for vacation, take five business days between weekends. But what if you were to split those five days between work weeks? Think of it: if you left on a Wednesday, that work week would only be two days long, and then you would have a week of travel, and return for a three day work week. In other words, two shortened work weeks with a week of travel between them!
And the best part? Airlines offer their deepest discounts in the middle of the week. Oh, and you can save money on hotels the same way. When most people take a week off, they leave on a Sunday, and come back the following Saturday. But hotels will offer a sizeable discount if your stay includes a Saturday night. Why? Because under the standard week travel scenario, hotels often find they have a lot of empty rooms on Saturday night, because people travel from Sunday to Saturday.
Don’t take our word for it, though. Go to your favorite travel website and enter dates for a week’s stay at your favorite destination. First, enter dates that include a typical stay from Sunday to Saturday. Note the results, and then enter a week’s stay that runs from Wednesday to Tuesday. Does it cost significantly less? We’re willing to bet it does.
At this point we want to remind you that we practice responsible lending, and strongly encourage you to practice responsible borrowing. So is it irresponsible to borrow money for a vacation, even if you know you will have the ability to pay back the loan in a timely manner? That’s a question only you can answer, and we do not want to put undue pressure on you to make a decision with which you are not comfortable.
But we’ve also done enough traveling to know that sometimes a deal can pop up at the last minute for that destination you’ve been longing to visit, especially if it’s the “off-season” and the airlines and hotels are offering deep discounts for travel during those times.
Choose Off-Peak Travel Months
There’s another money-saving tip, by the way. Consider traveling during the months of March, April, October or early November. Off-peak travel months often come with a lot of great discounts for airline tickets and hotel stays. They also come with potential benefits you just can’t buy. For instance, visiting London in the month of October means cooler temperatures, smaller crowds, and unique possibilities like autumn colors in Hyde Park.
Or, if you’re coming off a long winter and just HAVE to visit some place warm, consider a March vacation to a southern hemisphere destination. March in Australia means the end of summer; warm temperatures, fewer people on the beach, and the chance to explore an exotic destination.
You can’t buy memories, you can only experience them. Travel is a great way to experience memories that will stay with you for a lifetime. Twenty years from now, when you’re looking at family photos and re-living some of the great times you’ve had with your loved ones or friends, will those photos be of you on your front porch? Or an ancient archeological site? Will your kids be running through the sprinklers, or building sandcastles in the tropics?
Remember two things no one ever said:
1) “I wish I’d spent more time at work.”
2) “I’m glad I didn’t take that vacation.”
We’ve got more travel suggestions and money-saving tips coming, but in the meantime, if you find you’re a little short on the funds, come see us at CASH 1 and find out if pre-approved payday loans or no traditional credit check title loans are right for you.
Joseph Priebe takes pride in assisting audiences with his articles to help them make sound financial decisions.
With over ten years of experience writing financial content his goal at CASH 1 has always been creating engaging and easy-to-digest information for anyone searching for immediate or long-term monetary solutions.
When Joseph is not writing about personal finance, you can find him photographing the Southwest United States with his 4x5 Graflex Crown Graphic camera. He is based in Phoenix, Arizona.