Stick to the budget

All you need for an excellent debt-free holiday is some good planning

To ease the stress of a vacation on your budget, start with a clear idea of your trip’s scope – identifying expenses from the time you leave your home to the moment you return – and create a realistic spending limit. Then get creative to trim costs along the way.

Save over time

Put a portion of every salary aside to build up reserve of cash for your trip.

Saving as low as RM25-RM50 a month will help make your trip more affordable. Make sure the amount you’re setting aside will provide you with enough vacation cash too.

Consider opening a separate savings account and automating regular transfers to help you save without thinking about it.

If you’re more of an impulsive traveler, work to contribute to this travel fund regularly so you can have that weekend getaway without having to pull out your credit card.

Make a friendly budget

Think of your budget as another buddy on your trip. Just as with any travel buddy, make sure you and your budget set good expectations for each other. Make a spending plan. Account for everything – flights, lodging, entertainment, shopping. Your budget might not take you to every museum or restaurant you want. Find a compromise that makes you happy.

Shelve the trip for a few more months and save more money if you find that after working out the numbers you might overspend.

Watch hotels like a hawk

Lodging is one of the most costly parts of your vacation. Shop strategically to lower your hotel costs, including monitoring prices and booking rooms during off-peak periods. Make reservations but don’t pay immediately. That way you can continue to monitor hotel prices and change your bookings accordingly.

You can also check prices at the hotel where you’ve made your initial reservation and price-compare with hotel price aggregator sites to see if you’re getting the best deal.

Use apps to find cheap flights

Price-tracking apps and websites can do the work of price hunting for you. The more flexible your travel dates, the easier it will be for you to find a low price.

There are various apps that offer entry tickets to theme parks, museums and shows at discounted rates. The same with dining at restaurants and hotel rates. Also look out for travel promotions and fairs.

– The Star

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