Finding Cheap Travel This Summer Plays More Of A Role In Your Financial Freedom Goals Than You Think …
It’s that time of year toots.
Time for fun in the sun, lounging, and unplugging for a few days.
I know you’re working hard trying to get your plan together for world domination and major financial freedom. But, it is also important to take breaks.
To unwind and recharge those batteries.
Trust me, I’ve been pushing hard to grow my business for the last five years. Plus, having babies and raising babies.
I landed myself a case of stage III adrenal fatigue and I’m making my way back from complete bone-crushing exhaustion.
Taking some time to turn your mind off and just chill is essential to reaching your goals.
You can’t burn the candle at both ends and expect to not reach a point where the flame just totally burns out.
You have to set your goals and priorities, make a plan … and blend self-care into the mix!
I hear ya. You’re stressed about your summer travel finances, right?
Well, lucky for you (and, for me) I have scoured the interwebs and pulled together a list of money-saving tips for cheap travel this summer!
Why Is It Important To Have A Money-Saving Plan?
We both know that it’s important to have a household budget. It isn’t fun or cute. But, it is totally necessary and HELPFUL.
Yes, I said helpful.
Having a budget HELPS you to make your money work for you.
When you have a clean plan all laid out in a spreadsheet, notebook or app – it’s way easier to view your money as a tool that you can use to design your dream life.
It’s really easy to think about a budget as a punitive thing. Like, you’re being punished for not being good with money or, for not making ENOUGH money.
The truth is, you have so much control and choice when it comes to your budget.
I mean, you can totally budget $900 a month for eating dinner at restaurants instead of buying groceries. That’s your choice. And, if it feels good for you to use your money for that, rock on with your bad self.
But, keep in mind, that you are making a choice. You are choosing to trade lower credit card debt or buying a taking a trip to see hidden hot springs in exchange for takeout.
Yes, there are guidelines and recommendations that experts have designed. These concepts are meant to help you create a budget that gets you to your finish line goals faster and more efficiently.
But, you have complete control and choice whether or not you follow what the experts say.
If budgeting feels like a punishment to you – keep in mind that you get to design your budget the way that you want it to be.
That being said, if you want to make your money work for you to reach your goals of financial freedom – then, create your budget so it reflects that.
Develop Your Positive Money Mindset
Alright, before you roll your eyes and think, “What is this wooey crap!?” I want you to go with me on this …
Imagine you’re an athlete. You’re training for a big tournament, competition, or triathlon. What does your coach tell you so that you push through the pain, frustration, overwhelm and fear?
Folks, it has been scientifically proven that just thinking about accomplishing a goal can mimic the same physiological responses as actually accomplishing the goal.
Visualizing your success isn’t just thinking about what could be … it is a mental call to action. A challenge to be a better version of yourself.
So, what does all of this have to do with money?
Having a positive money mindset means that you think about money as a tool you can leverage to your benefit. You trust your ability to make money and believe that, if you just keep working on your goals, your success and financial freedom is inevitable.
Having a positive money mindset is crucial to your self-care and summer travel because it means that you can fully unplug and not worry about your finances.
If you visualize your success and keep your positive money mindset then you realize that self-care is an essential piece of the puzzle. Taking a break for some fun in the sun this summer actually HELPS you reach your goals.
You trust that it is beneficial to let go and relax so you can come back to your action plan with new energy and perspective.
Cheap Travel Doesn’t Mean It’s Going to Suck
Alright, so that’s all well and good.
You’ve got your money-saving plan and your positive money mindset. You recognize the importance of self-care for reaching your goals and you’re totally on board – ready to unplug.
But, you’re broke.
You work hard on your budget but, you just have more debt than income right now.
So, your summer travel budget is minimal.
How can you honor the importance of self-care without putting thousands of dollars on your credit card for an indulgent summer vacation?
How can cheap travel this summer even be worth it?
Sometimes, we have to completely change our minds about a situation in order to reap any benefits.
In fact, there are things that happen to us every day that could be beneficial if we just viewed them that way.
Running late for a meeting? Great! That gives you more time to rehearse your pitch.
Updates on your computer just started automatically and won’t be done for 20-minutes? Perfect! Now you can take a walk or do a quick HITT workout to keep yourself healthy.
Got a call from your kid’s school about puking and fever? Well, there’s got to be some way to spin that into a positive but, as a mom of three, I can’t think of any right now.
Anyway, the point is silver-lining thinking.
It’s the same with your cheap travel plans for the summer. Are you looking for some peace and quiet and no email for a week? Or, do you need to spend the time eating from a different restaurant every day of the trip?
Set your priorities for the time off and make plans according to what is most important to you.
How To Enjoy Cheap Travel This Summer
Here are a few tips that I will use for cheap travel this summer so that I am rejuvenated and recharged without backtracking on my financial goals.
No, I can’t afford to fly my entire family to Fiji for two weeks …. yet. But, if I stick with my goals and I continue to maintain my positive money mindset, we could be Fiji-bound within the next five years.
And THAT is seriously motivating.
Consider A Staycation
Getting out of town isn’t always necessary for rest and relaxation. Instead, think about renting a hotel room at a destination spot downtown. Check out websites like Priceline or Hotwire for deals. Filter the map by location and choose the one that has the best deal. Heck, roll the dice and name your own price! Since you don’t need to be specifically located anywhere just filter by 3+ star hotel rooms and grab one at a crazy discount.
Research All-Inclusive Options
I don’t know about you but, food and drink are the top expenses for us on vacation. Especially when we go out to dinner and hubs and I have a cocktail and each of the kids has dessert. I mean, $6 for a brownie and $9 for a gin and tonic!? Anyway, options for all-inclusive packages cut that whole piece out of the budget. You pay one price and then don’t have to worry about any variables after that. Better yet – research US all-inclusive resorts and skip the passport and flight charges. Put a couple of hundred dollars on a pre-paid Visa to take with you for emergencies and you’re all set.
Base Your Destination On The Time Of Year
Hey, guess what!? You’re not the only one who wants to travel in the summer months. Crazy, right!? Well, the hotels, oil companies, and airlines know this little secret too. So, they jack the rates up to make as much money as possible. As a business owner, I can’t blame them. As a customer, I think they suck and if I didn’t HAVE to fly places or drive my car, I wouldn’t. In any case, since you know that they know you’re totally in the know! And, you can use that against them. Choose your destination based on how much it costs for the month that you are traveling.
Ask For A Discount
Yes, it can feel a little icky. But, with so many different “rewards programs” out there, it’s impossible to know where you can get a discount unless you ask. Places like Holiday Inn and Best Western have points programs that are pretty cool. If you’re enrolled in the program, you get points with each stay and, when they accrue, you can apply your points for a free night or two. If you’re in the military or you are a AAA member it is highly likely that the hotel you’re staying at has a discount available for you. If you’re a Costco member – check their website to see if hotel discounts are included with your member benefits. Think about it this way, asking a hotel “are there any discounts that I might qualify for” is just like asking a waitress at a restaurant “what are the specials today?”
Stay Off The Grid
If you’re heading to a large city that is considered a destination – check out Google maps to see what kind of options there are for staying in the small city that is outside of town. Yes, you’ll have to pay extra in gas to travel from little town to big city but, it could be worth it if you save enough in the hotel room. And, don’t forget to check Airbnb and VRBO. Places on these sites can offer some serious discounts and give a lot of flexibility for accommodations. Maybe staying in a yurt on someone’s property is all the luxury that you need! To that end, check out the campgrounds around your destination. It might not be as glamorous as staying in a 4-star hotel. But, if it means the difference between vacation or no vacation … I choose vacation + campground every time!
Save At The Gas Pump
We can’t really control the cost of gas and, it’s hard to be creative about how much gas you use on summer vacation (um, take the moped instead of the car??) But, you can be careful to budget for gasoline and have a clear idea of how much you will need to make the trip. Use an app like GasBuddy, FuelFinder, or GasGuru to see how much money you will need to make each leg of the trip. These are also great ways to see how much gas costs in other states – if you are road tripping. Consider putting all of the gas for your trip on a rewards credit card so that you can at least recoup some of that money.
Rental Car Hacks
Think about using a site like Turo to find rental cars instead of using the usual sites. If nothing is available, use sites like Kayak or Hotwire to compare prices on rental cars. And, if you’re using the company site, like Budget or Hertz, check online for coupon codes, skip the insurance (check with your personal car insurance about coverage on rental cars), look for rentals that are not picked up at the airport (sure, it’s the most convenient but, you’re paying for that), and check with Costco or rewards programs for discounts.
Use Groupon and Brad’s Deals
When we’re in the mood to have a little getaway, we usually go to Priceline or Brad’sDeals to check the hotel deals and Groupon to check for any deals on activities. Sometimes, we decide on a little vacation strictly based on what is on sale.
RV Relocation Deals
Have you ever heard of iMoova or Jucy? These are websites where you can find offers to relocate an RV for dirt cheap. Basically, when an RV rental company needs a specific vehicle moved, it can cost them renting a transport vehicle or salary for an employee to move it and the cost of their flight back. But, websites like iMoova and Jucy have these relocation deals listed and you can be the one to relocate the RV for just the cost of gas! It’s a pretty cool deal if your travel plans are totally fluid.
Keep An Eye Out For Mistakes
Have you ever heard of an online company posting a product with an incorrect price and a whole flood of people getting a screaming deal? It happens quite a bit, actually. And, even airlines do it! That means, if you’re staying informed, you could get some amazing deals of airline tickets. Check out Secret Flying for daily updates on crazy deals for travel. Also, Skyscanner is a great website for finding cheap deals on flights.
Be Flexible About Dinner Time
A lot of restaurants have cheaper prices for the meals they serve before the peak dinnertime hours. You could eat a whole meal off of the happy hour menu! Check Yelp or TripAdvisor for restaurants you want to visit and then check the website of the restaurant to take a peek at their menu and see if the 4 pm burger is cheaper than the 7 pm one.
Kids Eat Free
Eating at restaurants is a big expense for most families. But, there are some cheap travel tips for this too! Do a quick Google search for “kids eat free CITY” and see if there are any restaurants in the city where you’re visiting where kids eat free. Sometimes, a city will have a site like Macaroni Kid or something similar where activities, deals, and programs for kids are kept track of. It’s worth a quick search to save $5 or so per kid.