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Saturday, January 15, 2022

How to Celebrate National Plan For Vacation Day

January 25th is National Plan for Vacation Day. With January being the best month for booking travel and travel bouncing back from its two-year slump, you might want to definitely give it a go this year. Over the last 20+ months, many of us have found ourselves dreaming of big trips and longing for when we can get back out in the world. 

January 25th is National Plan for Vacation Day. With January being the best month for booking travel and travel bouncing back, now's the time to plan.

If this perfectly encapsulates your life right now, then perhaps now is the time to start planning your next trip and figuring out how to make it happen. With the holidays behind us, travel rates have dropped, because availability - on planes and hotels - has greatly opened up. Even if you're looking to travel during the high season (i.e. summer), flight prices right now will be lower than if you purchase closer to your travel date. You just have to plan in advance. 


Traveling Internationally

If you're looking to travel internationally and want to save, look to go in August, when flights can drop up to 20%. This may be because lots of countries in Europe go on holiday. This doesn't mean you won't have anything to do. Do some research into what things will be open and how many options you have. Generally, tourist attractions are available, but you'll find shorter hours, and many dining establishments will be closed. 


Be Loyal

Do you have a lot of frequent flyer miles or hotel points? This may be the time to use them. Save on either (or both) your flight or accommodation, so you can do more at your destination or eat in more desirable restaurants. (Not that there's anything wrong with those hole-in-the-wall places that are amazing and food carts and the like. Those are some of my favorite places to eat. Here are ways to save on dining.)


Cruising

Those of you wishing to finally take a cruise will find that "wave season", the first few months of the year, is when most of the great deals will be available and when most of the rooms are booked for the year ahead. In fact, travel advisors book 75% of their cruise business during this time.


Saving

I save in a variety of ways. If you're planning right now, then make a plan to also save money for your upcoming trip. There are so many ways to stuff your savings account a little bit at a time that don't really feel like that much work. 

When planning what you want to do on your trip, don't forget to look into the cheap and free activities to fill in your days between paid attractions and dining out.

Still thinking about where you want to go next? Maybe take inspiration from one of your (or my) Destination Date Nights

Soon you'll be hearing about my recent trip to Arizona. I'm also getting ready for a trip to Las Vegas for the Travel Goods Show. If things go well, we'll be taking a summer trip, and we have a vacation to Paris planned in the fall. I'll be doing everything as safely as possible and testing as often as I need to be able to do that. 

What are your hopes for 2022 travel?

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

What Does 2022 Have In Store for Travel?

I'm getting back to travel this year, and I know a lot of you are hoping to say the same. So, what are the new trends in travel for this crazy era we're living in? What matters most to travelers right now and what are they looking forward to?

We want to make the most of the next trips we take and we want them to be meaningful, too. This might be a lot of pressure on us and our travel though.

Reevaluating your travel goals is never a bad thing. Most of us have refrained from going anywhere for almost two full years now. We want to make the most of the next trips we take and we want them to be meaningful, too. This might be a lot of pressure on us and our travel, but it doesn't have to be. We may feel like we want to make up for the travel we missed, and while that sounds awesome, it also sounds exhausting. Slow down a bit and enjoy your travel. Plan, plan, plan, so you don't try to cram everything into your days and actually relax and have fun.

What are you most looking forward to on your first trip of 2022?


Saturday, January 8, 2022

5 Money-Saving Travel Tips

Budget travel isn't always easy. Travel can be expensive and you can't always stay within a budget you want to stay in, unless you really compromise, but we all know this. Luckily, there are ways you can save that are easy and you can do all the time. Here are five of my favorite ways to save money on every single trip I take:

Budget travel isn't always easy, but luckily there are ways you can save that are simple to do all the time.

Travel in the off-season

Sure, everyone wants to travel in the summer, because the kids are out of school and the weather is nice, but this is also true other places. This means that attractions are open longer, but also there are way more tourists and long lines and higher prices. Shift your travel to the off-season, or at least shoulder season, to save up to half off hotels and airfare, plus save your time by not having to wait in giant queues everywhere you go. Do your research ahead of time to find out when peak season is and avoid that like the plague.

Eat local

I am the first one who wants to go out to eat when I travel, but not everything has to be fancy restaurants. In fact, you don't have to eat in a restaurant at all. I'm not suggesting fast food joints, because no. I pick at least one restaurant I want to eat at a day and then I fill in my meals with places that locals have suggested to me (because they don't make commission from their suggestions and tell you to go to places they truly love), food carts, and foods from the grocery and farmers' markets.

Take public transportation

Most cities have great public transportation, and since you aren't on any sort of schedule, getting places isn't a thing where you have to be there at a particular time (usually), so skip the expensive cabs, ubers and car rentals and take the bus, subway, or even just walk. Both of these options are cheap or free and are even a better way to see your destination, because you get off the main path. 

Look for promo codes and coupons

Attractions and activities can be expensive. I make sure I exhaust all options researching for promo codes and coupons for things I absolutely don't want to miss. A lot of times if you book online, you can get a better deal than gate price, even if it's just a few dollars. If you can't find any deals, hit up a nearby hotel lobby to see if they have coupons. We were able to save a lot of money at a great restaurant in Philly this way. 

Do the free stuff

You'll be surprised by how much free stuff you can see/do in a city if you look for it. Museums with free admission, parks with lots of sculptures and other artwork, building murals, free city tours. We've done all those things and more. 90% of the time it's really fun and something you wouldn't have done if you didn't actually look for it. Look online before you leave and don't forget to ask around when you arrive. 

So, while budget travel may be more work than just booking a trip blindly and then complaining about the prices of everything and then never going on vacation again, it's definitely worth it, and it makes your hard work that much more appreciated.


What are your favorite easy ways to save on travel?
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