| Hi Taylor
- Even though everything costs too much, my family still wants to
go on some kind of vacation this summer. Do you have any tips for
traveling without breaking the bank?
Hi Kylie - I was looking at plane tickets the other day and
had to walk away from the computer to calm down. It is NOT a cheap
time to travel, but that doesn't mean you're out of options. My family
and I did a ton of traveling last year (all 50 states!), and I learned
a lot about making a dollar go as far as possible.
your spot. Shockingly, you need to know where you're going
before you go there. That's pretty obvious, but you really need
to have some time to learn about the area/plan what you'll do
in order to avoid the spending traps. Since the goal of your trip
is fun on a budget, you might start by checking out any airfare
deals that will get you to your destination at a discounted rate.
This can mean letting the price of airfare determine where you
go. A lot of people just hold their noses and buy expensive flights,
leaving themselves little spending room once the vacation starts.
If you're going to fly, set a spending limit and don't go above
it. If you can't find flights within that threshold, pull out
a map and see where you might want to go in the car!
2. Food. Doesn't matter where you end up, you're gonna have
to eat. It might seem ridiculous, but I fully support a trip planned
entirely around food. If you get a $100 flight to a place where
every meal costs $50 per person, you won't end up saving that
much money. Some areas/types of cuisine cost a lot, and some places
cost more or less, depending on the season. If you do end up driving,
the snacks you pack can save you hundreds of dollars. If you stay
in a hotel, a good continental breakfast will get you at least
one free meal (two if you time it right). Dining out is part of
the fun of vacation, but it adds up so fast and leads to a lot
of buyer's remorse when the bill arrives. Hot dogs, tacos, and
some healthy pre-packed snacks can make all the difference.
3. Google obsessively. Last-minute decisions almost always
cost more than plans made in advance. Once you know where you're
headed, learn everything you can about the area. Find out free
activities for the family, see where the cheapest gas station
is, read restaurant reviews, and make sure you know when places
are open. You don't have to map out every second of your vacation
before you leave, but you should do some serious planning each
night so the next day doesn't turn into a series of expensive
| Sometimes it
feels impossible to have fun and save money at the same time. If you
get creative enough, I promise it can be done. Have a great summer,
Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not
an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific
securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve
risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to
first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional
before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question
to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com,
or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.