You are all ready to set a budget and save to make your vacation dreams come true. Paris, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, any place you want to go you can. All you have to do is these three steps.
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Tip 1: Find out what it costs. Trips go on sale all the time. Find the sale price of where you want to go and use that as a base to budget. For instance, a 7 day trip to China including flight, hotel, and some food was on sale for 500 per person flying from LAX. The rate was based on two-person minimum. So, a family of four could expect to pay 2000 for the trip, an extra 150 per-person for the visas, and an extra 400 on food. So the budget would be around 3000 dollars for this trip give or take.
to name a few have a number of good deals for family trips. Use these sites as a base for your search. Always be on the lookout for reputable sources for great travel sites. Don’t forget to add a little extra in for shopping and just in case. Better to have money left over than to run up short.
*Incognito mode on your browser is for more than just hiding things from your spouse. Use it to shop these travel sites. It won’t save cookies if you are looking at the same places over and over again like your normal browser. This will provide you with the best price. Otherwise, if they track you looking for the same trip they raise the price just for you. Those bots might think they are being sneaky. Use incognito mode and outsmart them!
Tip 2: If flying, look for airfare, travel guides, and hotel included. The more inclusive the better. Cruises are great at this since food, travel costs, and your room are all a part of the package. All inclusive resorts can do this, too, if you get a good price.
*Costco.com and other membership places build packages for their users at a discount. Their site can be a good starting place for pricing out your adventure to create a budget. It can also be used as a judge for if that great sale you are eyeing is really a good deal. If it matches Costco’s everyday price then it might not be a great deal after all.
Tip 3: Look for trips where the kids are free. Vacation on a cruise can be really good about having the third and fourth person in your cabin free! So it might be $1000 for that seven-day cruise, but when the third and fourth travelers (IE your kids) are free, the price is back to $500 per person.
*Be aware of hidden fees. Port fees, gratuity, and visas can all raise the price on an otherwise reasonable vacation. Plan ahead and factor them into the price ahead of time. Also factor in any shore excursions you might want to take as a family. Twenty percent is a good number for these expenses. If it goes over this then something might be wrong. See our article about avoiding scams here.
Tip 4: Save. Pick a number that won’t sink your budget, but will get you to your vacation spot within a year. For instance, most week-long trips go for anywhere from $250 to $500 person, minimum two people. The trick is finding the right sale for where you are going. That means a family of four should pay about $2000 to $2500 for any week-long trip. That should include all meals, travel expenses, excursions, transportation, tours, and lodging. If you cut that number into monthly savings payments to yourself, you need to save $200 a month for a year to meet your goal.
*When saving for excursions it is nice to list all the days in port in the order of importance. Start with your absolute musts all the way down to the ones you could explore on your own. As you save up your money, order each excursion from top to bottom. Then mark them off your list. If you don’t get enough saved up for all the cities explore those on your own.
After a year of watching the sales on your trip, you will be in a great position to judge when to buy and when to travel for the best deal. Best of all, you know that you will be meeting a life-long goal, and it took only a year to make it happen!