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  • Five Tips to Go on Vacation Without Becoming Broke

    by:
    Alan McQuarrie

    I recently spoke to a friend returning from one of those premium resort vacations.  You know the ones.  Their advertising shows ripped and tanned couples enjoying breathtaking ocean vistas.  I gulped when my friend mentioned the cost for that week in the sun.  Her vacation cost what I pay in a year of car payments.  And that did not even include the airfare.  Costing out a vacation at one premium, all inclusive site, one week’s vacation with airfare will cost over $7,000 US after all discounts. That is a high price for anyone but for those struggling to pay off debts that is a significant number for a vacation. 

    For a fraction of the cost of a premium, all inclusive resort vacation, you can have all of the amenities at a fraction of the cost.

    There is a better way to take a break without becoming broke.  Creating a budget that factors in your vacation needs is a great way to save.Travel site, Cheapflights.ca, compiles an annual report on the most searched travel destinations (https://www.cheapflights.ca/news/2016-compass-report-canada/).  Based on average roundtrip airfare, some of the most affordable flights were to U.S. cities.  

    New York City topped the list; but if you are looking for an escape in the sun, Tampa, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Phoenix were also named in the list for affordable airfares. 

    While the flight will get you there, the fun is in planning what comes next.  With the right plan you can cut your costs and factor that savings from your vacation budget towards becoming free from debt. You might consider staying at a premium hotel close to theme parks, beaches or scenic areas.  Car rental in U.S. cities is usually simple and affordable.  And you can plan some amazing meals by researching local restaurants online.  For a fraction of the cost of a premium, all inclusive resort vacation, you can have all of the amenities at a fraction of the cost. 

    Look for off season flights and rates or mid week specials for extra savings.

    There is another benefit you will enjoy with a pre-planned vacation.  It is the difference between being a tourist or a traveller.  Tourists are passive, looking for pampered, prepackaged experiences.  Recreational travellers are looking for the unknown, undiscovered gems that crop up unexpectedly; that amazing bookstore...that little inner city museum...those artisans and shops that you can’t find anywhere else.  A beach is a beach is a beach.  But a beautiful board walk in that downtown district is something you won’t find at the premium resort.  And what if the weather turns bad?  A tropical resort is not so great during a tropical storm.  But the low cost traveller can change plans when the storms blow in, with indoor sites and attractions within easy reach.

    Go easy on your wallet, consider these tips:          

    1. Avoid premium vacation packages that are beyond your means.  Going into debt for a vacation is a bad idea. Taking an expensive vacation when working through debt problems is even worse. 
    2. Find ways to pamper yourself at a much lower cost.  Plan ahead and take advantage of low cost flights to high value locations.
    3. Be a traveller and not a tourist.
    4. Look for off season flights and rates or mid week specials for extra savings.
    5. Shop for package deals through your airline.  You may find hotel or car rental deals when you purchase your flight online.    

    Don’t be fooled by the advertising.  Having a white gloved butler serve you a drink at a resort will cost you much more than you think.  You can get the same service and far more value if you plan your own vacation.  

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