What is the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking about vacations?
Salted waves in the sea? A sandy beach? A palm tree casting its cool shadow over your head? A collection of colorful and vibrant bikinis and summer dresses? The sun rising high in the sky and tanning your skin in the hot afternoon?
Let’s be honest; most people cultivate a glamorous image of what holiday means. But there’s something that most holidaymakers refuse to think about for fear of ruining their vacations, and it’s their budget. Indeed, going on holiday – whether you’re a beach lover or a mountain addict – can be expensive. There’s a reason why a lot of people feel more stressed when they’re back to work, and it’s because vacations are always a costly experience. In fact, financial experts agree that the most expensive season to go on holiday is not summer, but the Christmas period, because it’s a time renowned for self-indulgence and generosity. Spending your Christmas away in an exotic location is known for causing debts if you’re not careful with your money! This is followed closely by the summer break, which can put your bank account in the red if you’ve decided to visit a distant destination – after all, if you know that it’s going to be your once in a lifetime chance to experience a new country or culture, it’s easy to understand how you might end up overusing your credit card.
So, it’s important to consider options that can still make your holiday dream come true without breaking the bank. Can you save money – or even make money – through your travel plans? It’s precisely what we want to find out in this article!
How much can you save through smart trip booking?
If you’re not an experienced traveler, you’ve probably heard before that booking your flight in advance is the cheapest option. In reality, it’s worth exploring the idea of early flight or hotel bookings, and especially whether they are truly less expensive than traditional reservations. It’s fair to say that there are peak times that can’t be avoided. It doesn’t matter how much in advance you decide to book your hotel room. If you’re spending Christmas away, it’s still going to be expensive because Christmas is never cheap. So what are the best tips to save money when you need to travel? The cheapest day to fly is Friday, contrary to the conventional wisdom that holds that the cheapest fares are on Tuesday and Wednesday. Flying midweek is more expensive than a weekend getaway, so you can enjoy a weekend away without breaking the bank. However, make sure to come back on a Monday and not the Sunday, as it’s the priciest day to fly. Monday is not only good to fly back home, but it’s also a good day to book your flight as you might be paying 5% less for the same trip. Finally, if you’re looking for cheap holiday packages, February is one of the cheapest months to depart, for instance, saving you hundreds of dollars in the long term.
Admittedly traveling by plane is not always the best solution. Train travels are popular in Europe, but they are under-appreciated in the US. Trains are becoming a cost-saving alternative to planes, especially if you’re traveling a short distance or in an area where train service is fast and frequent. In fact, for US-based trips, you might find that the train is the most competitive options. Of course, taking the train is longer than flying, but you’ve got the advance of enjoying some lovely sceneries along the way and arriving in the town center.
Visit a wonderful place with a mobile accommodation
The best way to save on flights and hotel stays – without mentioning dinners out – for a medium to long-term vacation is to go frugal and embrace your inner camper’s soul. If you enjoy camping, you can save tons of money and still have a fantastic holiday. For a start, you’ll be pleased to know that you can find dispersed campgrounds and areas on public land that are completely free to camp in. That should beat any hotel fee! However, do make sure to read about their camping duration limit, as these places tend to offer no more than 7-14 days in a row. Admittedly, free camping means no service, so you’ll have to pack in all your supplies. But if you love the sensation of freedom and tranquillity, it’s a great place to begin the day! If you have a military past, you can be granted a free annual pass to national parks, which are ideal for wilderness camping. Many experts suggest ideas on how to make the most of the food available – either the supplies you bring with you or the local resources – so that you don’t need to add extra expenses while on the road. However, if you’re not comfortable camping, you will not appreciate any of the practical solutions they offer! No worries: There are other options!
Have you thought of sharing the travel costs?
If you’ve got an Uber car, you’ve probably noticed that there’s always a way to make a little money wherever you’re going. The same argument is valid on holiday. You can pay back for your travel costs if you choose to travel by car. Indeed, there are lucrative days everywhere for Uber and Lyft drivers, such as July 4th. If you live near the beach, you’ll notice that a lot of holidaymakers want to celebrate the weekend by the sea. You can maximize your earnings if you know how to make the most of your time. if you’re holidaying in France, for instance, July 14th is a great day as it’s French Revolution Day, so you’ll find plenty of people looking for firework displays and party in town. You can make good money by rising your fares on spêcial days, but be careful, though. If it’s too expensive, nobody will want to book you. Additionally, you can also find online platforms where you can enter your travel dates in advance to share the driving costs with people traveling in the same directions. This is especially useful for long distance journeys.
Is hostel always the cheapest solution?
Where should you stay once you’ve reached your destination? It’s fair to say that many backpackers and young holidaymakers prefer hostels because it’s often the cheapest accommodation option in town. Just like with camping, not everyone would be happy to stay in a hostel, so you need to figure out what’s right for you. As a rule of the thumb, hostels tend to prefer dormitory rooms and shared bathrooms, while you can enjoy more privacy in a hotel. However, some hostels also have private bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. You should find out more on their websites and through the guests’ reviews. With a hostel comes a natural security concern, especially if you’re sharing a dorm. Can you be sure your belongings will still be there when you wake up? Most hostels have deployed effective solutions to protect their guests, though, but you might feel safer in a hotel room.
Can your holiday accommodation make money?
What if you own a holiday home? It’s fair to say that you won’t be spending much time looking for accommodation if you already got one. If you’re still in the process of looking for a property – in an investment context, for instance – you’ll need real estate experts such as PropertyGuru to help you find the perfect home away from home. The advantage of owning your holiday accommodation is that you can let the accommodation pay for itself through rentals. There are also significant tax benefits for holiday lettings, assuming the property is available for letting to the public for at least 210 days a year.
Can you rent out your home?
When you live in a beautiful area, it’s easy to understand how the best kind of holiday could be staycations in the comfort of your own home. Alternatively, you can rent out a spare room in your house – if you live in a touristy area – to finance your future vacation. Most hosts on AirBnB and similar services have found that they enjoyed the interaction with their guests. What better way to pay for your holiday than to help others organize their holiday plans? Welcoming students, if you live next to a campus area, is always a profitable strategy.
Staying for free
For young and solo travelers, there’s a form of hospitality exchange that can make your travels a lot more enjoyable. Services such as CouchSurfing can let you stay with locals and discover their culture and history. Most hosts don’t charge travelers, and you can get to meet amazing people on the way. Admittedly, this solution is best for backpackers, enthusiastic solo holidaymakers and anybody who’s comfortable getting to know people.
Just get paid to travel
Last, but not least, you could get paid to travel. Wedding photographers can get paid up to $10,000 to record the big day to memory. Influential travel bloggers are paid to stay in luxury hotels and share their experience. And many more!
In the end, going on holiday doesn’t have to break the bank. From the moment you decide to plan your trip to the booking of your accommodation, there are many solutions to pay less – or even make money – for your holidays!