Looking to travel this spring? Here are some cost-saving tips

Instead of hopping on a plane to travel, Michael Downie opts for the train.

“You have your bedroom, you get three meals a day, and you just look out the window and watch the country go by. You get to experience it all,” Downie said.

For the YouTube travel blogger, the trip is the trip itself.

With the spring break travel season underway, those looking to escape the cold, wet Canadian snow for sunny skies are likely to be met with a hefty price tag for their getaway, with inflation and increased demand driving up costs.

But Downie said there are cheaper ways to travel if you know where to look and if you’re not afraid of the unconventional.

The Vancouver resident has traveled by train to most parts of Canada and the United States via Via Rail, Amtrak and the Rocky Mountaineer.

Most recently, Downie took the train from Jasper to Vancouver, as part of a Via Rail route called The Canadian that departs from Toronto and arrives in Vancouver four days later. The 24-hour route from Jasper to Vancouver costs as little as $190 for an economy fare or as much as $4,250 for the more luxurious option.

While on the tracks, Downie said he enjoys weaving in and out of the Rocky Mountains, stopping in Kamloops and participating in wine tastings aboard the train.

Also Read :  Asean should reinvent itself in a changing world - News

“When people go somewhere warm for their vacation, and they come home and they’ve lost their luggage, it’s stressful,” Downie said. On the train, “You can just sit, rest and relax as the train sways back and forth. And you miss (the scenery) when you fly.

If you choose to fly this spring, Barry Choi said those looking for a deal should avoid the week of March break if possible.

The personal finance and travel expert suggests traveling outside peak times instead of, say, a week before or after. If that’s not an option, Choi said travelers should consider destinations that aren’t as expensive, such as Portugal instead of Spain, or countries in the Middle East instead of those in Europe.

And if you are in the country, you can reduce costs by thinking more about your accommodation, note that those in the center of the cities cost much more than staying 15 or 20 minutes outside.

“You always have to think outside the box,” Choi said. Even simple things like finding museums and attractions with free admission or loading up on groceries so you don’t eat out for every meal can save you money on your travels abroad.

Really, it’s about managing your costs as flights and hotels become more expensive, and as travel dynamics have changed post-pandemic, Choi said.

Also Read :  Global Payment Processing Solutions Market Report 2022: Payment Infrastructure Integrated with IoT and Distributed Ledger Technology Presents Opportunities - ResearchAndMarkets.com

“If you’re trying to hold that last-minute deal to a faraway destination, it’s just not going to happen,” he said. “Most of the time, if you’re looking for a last-minute flight, airlines will charge even more because they know you need it.”

It’s important to pay attention to sales and holiday packages instead, Choi said.

Choi also recommends setting up a credit card that earns you points for travel.

“If you want to fly to Italy, you should start collecting Aeroplan points now,” he said. Say you’re not sure where you want to go, then choose any program, like American Express Membership Rewards or Scene Plus. Some credit cards also come with a “generous welcome bonus” if you can meet the minimum spending requirements.

To budget for your trip, prepare a rough estimate for what you’ll spend on flights, hotels, food and entertainment, then work backwards, he said. If you are planning a trip that costs around $3,000 and want to go in 12 months, you need to save $250 per month, for example.

Saving for travel instead of impulsively booking a trip is important, but what’s more important is making sure your debts are paid off beforehand, said financial educator Jessica Moorhouse.

“If you have really expensive credit card debt, that should be your priority because it can be a big drain on your finances,” Moorhouse said. Once that’s paid off, you should also consider saving an emergency fund, which usually covers your living expenses for six months if an event occurs where you can no longer work, such as being fired from a job.

Also Read :  This Will Be Bali's Next Big Cultural Getaway As Canggu Becomes Busier Than Ever

Building on Choi’s recommendation to save gradually each month, Moorhouse suggests opening a separate bank account with higher interest rates for saving. Besides growing your money, keeping your savings in a separate account prevents you from spending them impulsively, she said.

While social media feeds are bound to be filled with travelers showing off their getaways this coming travel season, the fear of missing out shouldn’t be a reason you’re willing to risk your financial stability, Moorhouse said.

If you have this chance to go on a trip and you can’t afford it now, chances are there will be more opportunities to go in the future, she said.

“It’s a shame to go on vacation, come home and continue to pay for something that’s already happened. But if you find yourself in that situation, make a plan to pay it off by the end of the year at the latest.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 31, 2023.

Alessia Passafiume, The Canadian Press


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.