You Can Travel on a Budget – Here’s How

Do you enjoy traveling but find yourself on a tight budget? Just because you have to think carefully about your personal finance doesn’t necessarily mean that you also have to give up your summer vacation or weekend break away. By carefully planning and organizing the bulk of your trip in advance, you can make significant savings and give yourself time to put aside some spending money each month.

Planning and research are both key to traveling inexpensively, and if you intend to travel within the next year or two, you could think about opening a savings account and making a monthly contribution to it for your vacation. If you set the goal of where you want to go and when you want to go there, it will be easier to achieve; according to Schwabb MoneyWise the best way to make your goals real is by writing them down.

Avoid traveling during peak times of the year, such as school vacations, as you will have to pay more for your accommodation and plane or bus ticket. While visiting Florida during the summer may be fun, if you’re planning an inexpensive vacation, it’s better to consider going out of season, when the weather is still warm, but the majority of tourists have left and hotels and restaurants are less crowded and less expensive.

Keep an eye out for cheap deals and discounts, as most airlines have great offers and discounts from time to time. Travelocity and Orbitz even allow you to register your favorite destinations and will alert you when there are offers available. If you already travel regularly, then make the most of your frequent flyer program by using the same airline and racking up air miles.

Related: How To Save Money – My Best Money Saving Tips

Think about visiting cities that are not considered major tourist destinations. These lesser-known places have plenty to offer vacationers and the accommodation is usually cheaper than in major cities. If you’re planning to visit Louisiana, for example, skip New Orleans and try other cities in the state, such as Baton Rouge, Bossier City, Lake Charles and Shreveport. Another great thing about visiting less popular towns is that you can get to know the locals better and experience their culture in a more authentic way.

Check to see if you qualify for any discounts. If you’re a student for example, you can get an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) and qualify for discounts on many things, from museum entry to hotel stays. Seniors can join organizations such as AARP and obtain senior discounts for travel, and military families, children and the disabled often qualify for special discounts when they plan vacations.

Eating out when traveling can get expensive, so you could think about staying in an apartment or apart-hotel with a kitchen that allows you to prepare your own food. Another option is to eat at places where the locals hang out as these eateries are often cheaper than the touristy restaurants and, in many cases, the food is actually better.

Usually, transportation is the major cost of vacationing and in some cases it may be cheaper to drive to your destination, rather than get there by plane. Make sure that your car is properly serviced and that you won’t run the risk of any roadside breakdowns or expensive repairs along the way.

So don’t get dishearten by your financial situation. You can travel on a budget, you just need to think smarter about your purchasing choices and learn to become a better planner.

Author: Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO and Content Marketing. Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships. He is also a blogger and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy podcast You University – The Personal Branding Podcast.

Best Destination Wedding Locations in California

You want to make sure you have the best day possible on your wedding. After all, you only have one chance of getting it right (in most cases anyways). If something goes wrong, you don’t get to pick up the pieces and try again.

 

One important decision is the location. A destination wedding is your chance to do something different and marry the love of your life in a pristine location filled with natural beauty.

California is one of the best states for this. We’re going to introduce you to five stunning locations for your California wedding.

 

1.      Catalina Island

Catalina Island is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of Anaheim. It’s everything you would expect from a tropical island, but the catch is this tropical island is located so close to home. You have golden sandy beaches surrounded by high hills and mountains close to bursting with lush greenery.  “As a wedding photographer Catalina Island is my favorite place to shoot.  The scenery is beautiful and Avalon is an intimate town,” explain Cameron Mackey.

If there’s ever a place to have a quiet wedding in the tranquility of one of the most magnificent beach locations in the country, this is where you want to be.

 

2.      San Diego

San Diego is one of California’s flagship cities. If you want a wedding close to the ocean with the modern comforts of a city in the background, San Diego is the ideal place to have your wedding. Choose a venue overlooking the ocean, or hold the reception among the gigantic palm trees bordering the miles of sandy beaches. 

More affordable than Los Angeles and San Francisco, San Diego is an up and coming destination wedding location.

 

3.      Temecula

Temecula is in the heart of California’s wine country. The famous vineyards of the state are located all around the city. There are lots of ideal wedding venues overlooking miles of fresh grapes growing on the vine. You can even add a unique touch to your wedding by sourcing your wine locally.

 

4.      Palm Springs

Palm Springs is a well-known holiday location. And it’s also a popular wedding location. Located in California’s blazing hot desert, you can cool off in natural hot springs and take advantage of world class wedding venues complete with spas for the girls and award-winning golf courses for the guys.

 

5.      Napa

Napa, in the Napa Valley, is renowned for its surrounding nature. Go to this beautiful city and you can reap the benefits of fresh wine in the surrounding area and the beavers working on the river. It’s a quaint little location that’s perfect for a wedding to remember.

There are a number of resorts you can choose from, or you can have your wedding in the city itself.

Where Will You Hold Your Wedding?

 

We’ve chosen these locations because they represent a diverse array of locations in California. Whether you love the beach, the wine country, or the natural beauty of the state, you’re guaranteed to find something for you.

They each come in at different price points, so be prepared to do your research before settling on any one location.

How To Save Money On A Last Second Road Trip

How To Save Money On A Last Second Road TripI love going on road trips. I actually used to hate them as a child because I would get car sick, but I thankfully now know how to manage that better.

Road trips are so much fun and you can really see and experience where you are traveling to when traveling by car. I also enjoy having my car with me on a trip, as it makes things a lot easier.

Related article: Tips For A Long Distance Road Trip

With all of that being said though, road trips are not free. They still cost money because you need to pay for gas, car maintenance, accommodations, food, activities, and more. Road trips can still be a great way to save money though, as flying can many times be way too expensive.

Below are my tips to save money on a last second road trip.

See if you have any rewards or points to use.

I love using rewards points for when I travel. If you have any such as through credit cards, member cards, or frequent shopper cards, then you should use them! It’s like free money!

Pack meals for when you’re on the road.

Before you leave for your home destination, it’s always a good idea to head to Target, Walmart or your local grocery store and stock up on some things. Buying fast food along the way, going out to eat on the road, or buying snacks at the gas station are usually much more expensive than packing your own meals.

This includes bringing your own drinks as well!

Camp if you can.

If you enjoy camping and you already have all of the necessary equipment, then camping along your road trip can save you a decent amount of money and it can be fun as well. Campsites usually run anywhere from $5 to $25 if you have just a tent.

Plan your stops.

If you do have to stop at a hotel for a night or two, it is always a good idea to look up the prices ahead of time. Sometimes hotels charge higher prices out of the blue. For example, for our next road trip we were thinking of staying at a hotel in Vegas that we know is often only $50 a night. However, the night we were going to stop there, it is actually $500!

Have fun along the way.

Road trips are fun because you never really know what you are going to come across if you’ve never done the trip before.

Remember to have fun, enjoy the attractions, and maybe stop at a few things that weren’t originally on your list.

Do you enjoy road trips? How do you try to save money when on a road trip?