For Your Summer Vacation, a Little Planning Can Take You a Long Way
Posted on April 03, 2019
Topic Categories: Consumer Help
By Joshua Lange — Branch Manager
The weather is getting a little warmer, the school year is heading down the homestretch…so believe it or not, summer is on the way. If you’re like most people, you’re looking forward to taking some time off and getting away for a while. Surveys show that more than 70 percent of Americans take vacation time during the summer months.
If you want to optimize your rest and relaxation, some planning is in order. The first consideration is usually the budget: according to the Ohio Credit Union League, 70 percent of respondents cited cost as a major influence on where they intended to go on vacation. Other factors included travel distance, scheduling, and amenities or activities at the destination.
Planning ahead is essential to ensure you get the most for your money. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you look toward the summer months:
For cost-effective vacations, timing is everything. If you have flexibility, you can save money by booking accommodations a few weeks before peak-season starts or during non-holiday weeks. If you’re booking airfare, do so at least a month in advance, if not earlier. Airlines price their flights differently depending on the day of the week, so use an airfare tracker site or app to keep up with changes.
Some vacation destinations raise prices for tourists, so some hot spots may be higher priced than smaller, locally-owned places. Many travel websites offer rotating deals and discounts to nearby attractions. Do your research before deciding where to stay, what to eat, and what activities to do, and you’ll likely save during your trip.
Even if you’re not a frequent traveler, airlines, booking services, or even your credit union’s credit cards may offer rewards points that can be redeemed for airfare or other vacation expenses. Some cards offer additional coverage and benefits for travelers.
Prepare for traveling.
Start taking care of the details now, so you’re not in a rush when it’s time to depart. For example, consider travel insurance. Make sure you’re covered with bill payments and even pet boarding. Complete a travel notification form to let your credit union and credit card company know you’re on the road so you won’t get alerts (or a frozen account) because of out-of-town charges.
Set aside a little at a time.
Make room for vacation savings in your annual or monthly budget. Use your local credit union to open a savings account specifically for vacations; credit unions like Cinfed are also a great resource to consult if you’re looking for ways to save and budget for vacation.
If you’re thinking about a summer trip, advance planning can give you more options and better pricing – helping you go farther with your dollars. In addition, the faster you take care of the planning, the sooner you can concentrate on what really matters – relaxation and new experiences.