How to Lower the Costs of Travel

Lowering the Costs of Travel
Lowering the Costs of Travel

Everyone loves to travel but not everyone can afford the luxury of time or the monetary costs of journeying through “unchartered” lands. With increasing competition in the travel industry, travel has become more affordable. With a few hours of desktop research, a few calls, and some good old budgeting, one can get ready for that next trip to Dubai. Continue reading

Tips for Having a Budget-Friendly Vacation

Budget-Friendly Vacation

You do not have to let cost stop you and your family from enjoying a vacation. It is possible to have a great family vacation on a budget. There are several ways that you can cut your travel expenses without cutting back on fun and adventure. Here’s how:

Rent an RV

If you and your family travel frequently, then renting an RV can potentially help you save thousands of dollars per year. Your RV is your home on wheels, so you will not have to get a hotel room. For less than the cost of comparable accommodation, you can opt for a stay at an RV resort in San Diego or other in-demand destination cities. This lets you and your loved ones enjoy the perks of a standard hotel resort without the high cost. Furthermore, an RV also comes with a kitchen, so you can cook meals instead of eating out. Traveling in your rented RV is also likely to cost less than getting plane tickets for everyone going on the trip.

Look for Free Things to Do

The entertainment is one of the main things that can make a vacation expensive. One of the keys to having a budget-friendly family vacation is to look for free things to do. Public parks and beaches are examples of places that you can go for free. Most museums are free at certain times. It is a good idea to find out about the free things to do in the area before you go to your destination.

Travel During the Off-Season

Summer is the most popular time of the year for families to travel. The children are out of school, and parents are able to get time off from work. However, this is also the most expensive time of the year to travel. If you can travel during the offseason – fall, winter, or early spring – then you will be able to save a lot of money.

Collect Things Instead of Buying Them

Everyone wants to have souvenirs from their trip. However, you do not have to spend money on souvenirs. You can collect things instead of buying them. For example, you can collect seashells at the beach. You can also collect maps from the tourist offices.

Use Coupons

Many restaurants and attractions have discounts at various times of the year. You can take advantage of these discounts by using coupons. Groupon is a place where you can find coupon deals. You can also find coupons by directly visiting a company’s website.

Select a Nearby Destination

You do not need to go far to have a good time. There are likely a lot of fun places within a short drive from you. If you choose a close destination, then you can save money on gas. You will also be able to save money on the activities that you do with your family.

Use a Gas Finder App

The amount that you pay for gas will depend on the gas station that you buy it from. Even if you are only able to save a few cents, this can add up. You can use a gas finder app to find the cheapest gas station in your area.

It is possible to travel with your family on a tight budget. You can cut your travel costs by renting an RV. You can also travel during the off-season and select a nearby destination. Looking for free things to do and collecting free items are other ways that you can save money. Additionally, you can use a gas finder app. There are many ways to pull off a budget-friendly vacation, it’s just a question of which ones to choose.

Hakkasan VIP Bar Card Review

When it comes to great night life a city that is always at the top of the list is Las Vegas.  Also known as Sin City, Vegas attracts both the rich along with the average American and tourist.  When it comes to nightlife, very few cities hold a candle for what Las Vegas can offer.  In terms of the club scene, Vegas’ Hakkasan rules them all.  Located inside the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, the nightclub always attracts top DJs and performers.  I recently traveled to Vegas and knew I had to see what Hakkasan was all about.  To make sure I had the best time possible, I bought a Hakkasan VIP Bar Card.  While promoters can sometimes get you in for free to the club, the Hakkasan VIP Bar Card review that follows will let you know if planning for your trip in advance is well worth the money.

Image result for Hakkasan VIP Bar Card Review
Photo courtesy of Vegaster

Cost

How much does the Hakkasan VIP Bar Card cost?  It depends.  Depends on what?  The performer, day of the week, etc.  The biggest performers tend to play on Friday and Saturday nights, so you can expect to pay a little bit more during those days.  For ladies, the bar card tends to cost what the bar card costs, which is $100.  For men, the overall cost tends to be either $100 or $115 (Friday’s and Saturday’s).  This cost for men also includes a $100 bar card.

How to Use the Bar Card

The Hakkasan VIP Bar Card is very easy to use.  When you order your bar card online, you will receive a barcode that you show at the door.  This will tell the bouncer what all you receive, in this case admission and a bar card.  You are then handed a physical card that you can use much like a debit or credit card.  It’s important to note that the card is only good for the event you registered for.  If you don’t use the total balance on the card by the end of the night, then you lose out on the remaining value.  If you do use the full amount of the card (which is easy to do considering beers are $10, and mixed drinks start at $17) then you can simply toss the card out.  It is also important to point out that you can not reload the card.  After you have used up the value in its entirety you will have to pay for remaining beverages out of your pocket.

Hakkasan VIP Bar Card Review Conclusion

So now for the final determination, is the Hakkasan VIP Bar Card worth it?  Simply put, yes!  Whether you are male or female the VIP bar card has great benefit.  Firstly, you are in a VIP line and thus aren’t forced to wait in the main line.  You get expedited entry.  Secondly, if you are male, your admission is discounted on what it would be if you didn’t pay for the VIP bar card.  Admission for men can sometimes be as much as $40 just to enter.  Finally, the value of the card is substantial enough for one to enjoy themselves, but not too much where you will have unfinished funds at the end of the night.  So next time you venture to Sin City, take advantage of the Hakkasan VIP bar card.

 

Saving for a Vacation: Ski Edition

ski vacation

We are currently in the heart of wintertime.  January and February are the coldest months in the United States.  While many people despise cold weather, many can agree that the snow which comes with it can be a nice compliment.  Although summertime seems to be the time when most families vacation, a ski trip during winter allows some families to break the mold.  Saving for a vacation is only half the battle.  While having the available funds to do something enjoyable is important, finding a good deal is also just as important.  I recently planned a ski vacation and will share my six tips on how I saved and budgeted for the vacation.

Saving for a Vacation Tip 1:

If you are like me and enjoy traveling with family and friends, then it is important to have a “Travel” category in your budget.  Setting aside $100 or $200 every month for travel allows the funds to add up and allows you to have a couple of enjoyable vacations every year.

Saving for a Vacation Tip 2:

Vacationing for many people means eating out every meal, which can get very expensive.  Packing snacks ahead of time and a quick trip to the grocery store when you arrive can help limit your food costs.

Saving for a Vacation Tip 3:

Plan for transportation ahead of time.  Booking a rental car before you arrive at the airport is often cheaper than waiting until you arrive at the destination to get one.  Kayak.com is a great place to search for the best rental car rates.

Saving for a Vacation Tip 4:

If flying to a destination, use Google Flights to search for the best rates.  Google Flights allows you to search many airlines at once and see the cheapest rates for the best dates.

Saving for a Vacation Tip 5:

When booking a ski vacation, book your lift tickets and ski or snowboard rentals online.  Keystone Resort in Colorado offers online reservations to early bookers for a 20% discount.  Additionally, you can rent your equipment cheaper online ahead of time as well.  By booking my equipment through Christy Sports I was able to save an additional 20% versus the walk-in rate.

Saving for a Vacation Tip 6:

Lodging tends to be one of the more expensive parts of any vacation.  Last year when I traveled to Hawaii, a night at a resort was close to $600 per night; however, a couple of friends and myself split a three bedroom Airbnb for less than $150 per night.  Exploring your lodging options can help greatly reduce the cost of any vacation.

As you can see, saving for a vacation is a two-fold strategy.  You first want to make sure you have the available funds.  This is done by creating money in your budget.  Secondly, you want to make sure you find the best deals out there.  I have found that planning for a vacation ahead of time is one of the easiest ways to save on your trip.  Meshing both of these aspects together can help create an enjoyable, budget-friendly trip for all.

Budgeting for a Summer Trip

 

summer trip

It’s June, and summer is upon us.  Not officially, but close enough.  Vacationing during the summer is commonplace.  But what is the best way to budget for that summer trip?

I have a travel category in my budget every month.  Let’s say I allot $150 a month for trips throughout the year.  That gives me a yearly total of $1800 for trips.  Depending on where I decide to go, I try and budget a trip for $900.  This means I can take 2 vacations during the year.  Again this is amount is allotted for just 1 individual.  If you have a family of four you will have to make other arrangements.

I like to go on cruises, to the beach, this summer I am heading to New York City.  Taking a little out of my budget every month allows me to properly plan for my vacation.  The alternative would be to take a huge hit during the month you do decide to travel.

I always make savings my first priority, but I do take time to enjoy the fruits of my labor.  Hard work should be rewarded.  I’ve heard many times how employees let vacation days go unused, a problem I won’t let myself ever have.  There are many ways to budget for a trip or summer vacation.  I just let you know how I get it done.

Budget Smart, Invest Wise