Your friends keep posting photos from their latest vacations, and yet, for your family, travel seems financially out of reach. Don’t let a tight budget keep you homebound this year. The right bank accounts can help you save money for a trip, and good planning can help you choose the best places to travel on a budget. At Dieterich Bank, we offer the following tips for traveling on a budget. Vacation is within your reach this year!
Make Room in Your Budget
Payday comes and, before you know it, your much anticipated paycheck has disappeared from your bank account once again. Between housing, groceries, savings, and entertainment, it may seem like there is no room in your budget for anything else. If you want to put aside money for taking a trip this year, try these financial tricks.
- Open a savings account dedicated to vacation travel. By putting money into a vacation account, you will avoid the guilt of accessing your normal savings while also committing to putting money aside for a future vacation.
- Maximize the interest you earn on your existing accounts. Current interest rates on checking and savings accounts are high. If you are stuck in a low interest rate account, it is time to upgrade. Take advantage of the four percent interest rate currently offered on our Extreme Green Checking and help offset your bills with the extra income.
- Think twice about the little luxury expenses that are eating up your monthly budget. Impulse shopping, dining out, and unnecessary entertainment expenses add up over the course of a month. Channel this money into your dedicated vacation savings account and watch your travel funds grow. You won’t miss that extra latte or movie theater trip when you are making memories on vacation.
- Declutter your home and host a yard sale. The items you no longer use around the house could turn into a couple hundred dollars for your next vacation. Not only will you add some cash to your travel savings account, your home will feel more spacious and welcoming after the purge.
Arrive for Less
Traveling on a budget requires a bit more planning than clicking on the latest cruise offer. If you want to know how to travel on a budget, try implementing these tips to save money on your next vacation.
- If you have a bucket list of travel destinations, start tracking airline and hotel prices throughout the year. If you have an idea of how much these trips typically cost, you will be able to identify promotions and sales when they come along.
- In order to catch the best prices, you need some flexibility in your travel dates. Traveling during the work week and on the shoulder season is a great way to save money while still experiencing your destination in good weather.
- Fare comparison websites can quickly show you the price differences between various airlines and travel dates. Unless you are cashing in airline miles this trip, keep an eye on sites like Kayak, Skyscanner, and Google Flights to find the best price for your trip.
- The days of free luggage are over. Determine whether your airline of choice charges more for carry ons or checked baggage and pack appropriately. Pack light to save money on multiple bags and overweight suitcases.
- Consider alternative travel options. If you are vacationing in the United States, you can choose from a plane, bus, train, or rental car to take you to most destinations. If traveling abroad, you also have transportation choices once you land. Take a look at all the prices instead of setting your mind on a particular mode of transportation.
- Lodging options are now plentiful in most destinations. Be sure to compare prices between hotels, vacation rentals, hostels, and even campgrounds. Compromising on where you sleep can open up your budget for bigger and more exciting adventures during the day.
Spend Less at Your Destination
Vacation budgets are easily broken on the trip itself. Impulse dining, excursion, and souvenir spending can ruin your plans for a budget-friendly vacation. Make sure your trip planning involves your entire stay, and plan your vacation with these tips in mind.
- Enjoy some meals at “home.” Not every meal needs to be out at a restaurant while on vacation. A quick trip to the local grocery store can set you up with lunch or breakfast for a few days. Saving money on a couple meals a day will make room in your budget for dining out on the town.
- Avoid restaurants marketing to tourists. Restaurants catering to tourists will often charge higher prices than local dining establishments, and the menus won’t be a true reflection of local cuisine. Save money by grabbing lunch from a street food vendor or dining at a local eatery that wasn’t advertising at your hotel.
- Look for free and inexpensive local transportation. It may be faster to call a taxi than wait for the next free trolley to stop, but those transportation dollars can quickly add up and cause you to miss out on attractions and dining that would have added to your vacation memories.
- Find free activities and attractions. Many parks, museums and seasonal events are free and can help fill your travel itinerary for less.
- City discount cards and student, senior, and military discounts can add up quickly. Identify the attractions that you most wish to see and check for discounts that apply to you and your family.
Best Places to Travel in July on a Budget
Summer is known as the travel season. School is out; the days are hot, and adventure calls. If you are looking to explore the United States on a budget this July, here are three of the best places to travel on a budget in the U.S.
Finger Lakes, New York
Looking to cool off this summer? The Finger Lakes region boasts 11 glacial lakes and over 30 waterfalls that help cut through the July heat. Enjoy free activities like visiting The Women’s Rights Museum, hiking and waterfall watching at the Keuka Outlet Trail, and summer events at Cornell University. There are also over 100 wineries in the region as well as Syracuse’s 2.4 million square foot, air-conditioned, mall Destiny USA.
If you love to explore, consider a trip to Moab this summer. Once you arrive, free adventures abound in nearby Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. Hike Corona Arch trail or search for dinosaur footprints off Potash Road. If your budget allows, plan to rent a Jeep for memorable rock crawling adventures. Temperatures will be hot in July so plan to make the most of your mornings before retiring to your hotel pool to cool off before dinner.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Take in the unique city culture of New Orleans. July is the city’s off-season so you can save big on travel and lodging. The weather will be hot and humid, but you can avoid the crowds and high prices by planning your visit during the summer. You will learn a lot about the city through free experiences such as the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum, the Historic New Orleans Collection, and the Garden District Foot Tour.
Best Places for Budget Travel in December
While many people think of summer as the best time to travel, various destinations offer unique experiences for December travelers. Destinations all over the country offer holiday festivities at the end of the year that will create lasting memories for you and your family. Here are three suggestions for the best places to travel in December on a budget.
Las Vegas, Nevada
There’s more than just slot machines waiting for you in Las Vegas. December is one of the slowest tourism months for this desert city, so budget-friendly deals are plentiful. Even with kids, Las Vegas has attractions that will fill your itinerary and keep you on budget such as M&M's World, the Fountains and Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at Bellagio, and Hoover Dam. These attractions paired with world class dining and live shows are sure to leave a lasting impression.
Flights prices to this famous Texas city tend to drop in the month of December, sometimes reaching rates as low as $100. A vibrant city, Austin offers all of the attractions you expect from a big city paired with a unique culture and arts scene. December attractions in Austin include concerts at Waterloo Records, the 37th Street Lights, and a special German-Texas Christmas Market.
Known as the Gateway to the Grand Canyon, Williams is located one hour from the well known National Park. Situated along historic Route 66, your first stop should be the visitors museum to get the lay of the land and plan your adventures. While in Williams you can also visit Wild West Junction or explore local hiking trails.
Travel is Within Your Reach
At Dieterich Bank, we know how hard it can be to juggle work, family and fun. It’s no wonder that planning and affording vacation travel can seem daunting. We believe that with the right savings, budgeting, and planning, you can take the trip that you’ve been waiting for.
Take advantage of the exceptional interest rates earned through our high-interest checking account to help build your travel fund. Start saving for your trip by opening an Extreme Green checking account. Dieterich Bank has the best checking and savings accounts in South Central Illinois. Start planning your next big trip today!