Source: Public Domain Pictures
Another summer comes by and you find yourself planning your holidays just a few weeks — sometimes even days — in advance. Most of the trendiest destinations barely have any accommodations left and airplane tickets are too expensive. Suddenly, you find yourself stressing out about where you could go without having to go bankrupt, and what you could have done to prevent this.
Planning is not overrated: it will save you money and energy so that when the time comes to enjoy your holidays, relaxing is all you have to think about. So, once you figure out where you want to go, the first thing you should do is start looking at the options for accommodations while the offers are high and therefore, prices are still affordable. Unlike with airplane tickets that usually tend to get cheaper a few months closer to the date of departure — apparently, we should book flights 49 days in advance to get the best value — hotels and other types of accommodations, however, will definitely be cheaper the sooner we book them.
Budget airlines and price comparison sites have certainly made it easier to grab last minute deals on flights, particularly when it comes to short-haul flights. However, if you’ve got a particular far away destination in mind, such as a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Thailand or a visit to the infamous Sin City of Las Vegas, then you could make significant savings booking flights in advance. If you can be flexible about the season in which you’d like to travel that can help keep the costs down, too. On average over 40 million tourists visit Las Vegas each year, and a significant portion of them travel during peak season, so you can imagine how astronomical flight costs can get during the summer months. Speaking of Vegas, there are always ways to save money with some great ways to enjoy the city on a budget, including a $20 hotel room upgrade tip!
Flights and accommodations are not the only elements you should consider when planning your vacation in advance. Most of the popular locations are, in fact, famous because they also offer a wide range of appealing options, including visits to landmarks, outdoor activities, festivals, enc.. It therefore makes sense to plan what you would like to do at your destination so that you don’t end up paying too much, or even worse, being left out. Tickets to the Alhambra in Granada, for instance, sell out months in advance, so if Andalusia is on your mind, then you certainly have to consider this. The same goes for other historical buildings like many museums and churches in Italy, as well as the Reichstag in Berlin, the Machu Picchu in Peru, or even the Tower of London, which costs less if you purchase your tickets online before going.
Although it is sometimes hard to know what our agendas will look like a couple of months in advance, making it harder to plan ahead, we can predict what our schedules will look like most of the time. If we don’t want to find ourselves overspending or not being able to enjoy our long-awaited holidays, then planning should be our priority. Not only will we be able to spend less, get the best deals and skip lines, but we’ll also turn our holiday goals into a reality that would otherwise quite possibly just remain a wish.
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!). Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!