People want to make their ultimate dream vacations come true. There is one small glitch though—the struggle to find funds for the trip. While setting money aside for the house needs is one thing, saving money for an international holiday is an entirely different cup of tea. However, with careful and strategic planning, you can utilize the power of every cent to make your expenditure worthwhile.
Let’s say you are planning to have a romantic vacation in Hawaii, the paradise of the Pacific. When you think of a vacation, airfare, tours, and houses for rent in Hawaii, come to mind. This guide will teach you which one to prioritize first.
Set a deadline
(Artwork credit: Citizen Sketcher)
Just as resorting to deadlines in your daily work routine helps a lot in getting the job done on time, the same strategy will apply in budgeting your Hawaiian holiday. Set deadlines to keep track of your savings. Determine your departure date and decide how much you need to put aside every month. Faithfully sticking to your savings schedule helps ensure that you will have enough money for your trip.
Once you make a decision to travel, make sure to commit to it. Don’t make any excuses. Here are a few tips on how to ensure you have time for your holiday.
Plan your air travel
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It is best to do a bit of research and “window shopping” so that you can compare airline ticket prices. Remember that airlines and travel operators charge differently for any particular route. We also suggest you make your booking well in advance, perhaps a month or two before your planned departure date. That’s because airlines charge the highest for seats first when they are offered for sale—usually around 11 months before—then within three weeks of the date of travel. A study shows that the best time to book is on an average 54 days in advance to avail of the best price.
You can save with most airlines by traveling in the middle of the week—Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. However, be flexible on your travel time. Airline portals display monthly calendars showing the dates which have the lowest fares for any given itinerary. If you don’t mind spending more time in the air, choose a flight with a couple of layovers. You can get up to 40% discount with such options.
Book a tour package
(Artwork credit: Sketch Away)
All those hard-earned savings is all for naught if you don’t spend it wisely. For convenience, you would most probably want to avail of a tour package. For example, Bookmundi has some great Costa Rica tours you can choose from. Look for package deals that include a mix of airfare and accommodation. If you’re doing a lot of land travel, an affordable rental car might get you to places without the usual trouble of commuting. Most travel agencies can help you make itineraries that are tailor-made according to your budget, schedule, and preference.
In addition to travel agencies, check out the airline that you’ve booked in. Indeed, some airlines, especially those that serve Hawaii directly, offer great air-inclusive deals on a wide range of accommodation throughout all the islands. A few international hotel chains also have business connections with airlines. If you are a frequent flyer of a specific airline, ask for their frequent flyer program. Airlines usually have perks, which include discounted rooms in these hotels and resorts.
What about accommodations
(Artwork credit: Jim Leggitt)
Compare hotel rates. If you are able to book early, you can save up to 50% on rooms. The more you book in advance, the more are the chances that you will get budget rooms, which tend to fill up quickly in Hawaii. Look for discounts for seniors, military personnel, or members of any other organization of which you may be a part.
If you don’t have a booking, try to bargain at the front desk. It may not work in high season, but at other times, you are most likely to strike a good deal. Empty rooms do not generate any income, so hotels are usually eager to fill those up.
Here’s a tip to save money on accommodations: stay away from ocean-view rooms or accommodations that are situated right before the beach. They’re expensive! Rather, book in rooms or accommodations some distance away from the shore. You can save a bundle if you don’t mind taking a short walk to the beach.
Also, don’t forget to take note of extra charges. Some hotels charge an extra fees for parking, WiFi, gym, and other amenities’ many of them are not included in the room rate. Read the fine print carefully to avoid unpleasant surprises.
(Artwork credit: Jim Leggitt)
You can easily have a romantic and adventure-filled food trip in any corner of Hawaii with an extremely affordable prepared food packet. These are readily available at greatly reduced cost in stores and supermarkets throughout the island. Some upscale restaurants in Honolulu offer early bird and late-night discounts, which is another great way to save money in Hawaii.
Don’t forget to ask about about discount for kids; a lot of food places around Hawaii offer those. You should also take time out to explore and eat in wet markets and ethnic restaurants that line the streets of Chinatown in Honolulu. They offer affordable tasty traditional cuisine made of fresh, locally produced ingredients. Hawaii also has a burgeoning food truck scene.
(Artwork credit: Millard Sheets)
Some time back, traveling abroad required years of planning and saving. It was like a retirement plan for a lucky few. Things have changed since then, and today there are many options at our disposal to make financing a vacation easy. Thanks to the advanced technology at our fingertips, a dream vacation to Hawaii, Costa Rica (or any place in the world) is well within anybody’s reach.
(Cover artwork credit: Sketches and Jottings)