News & Insights from republic bank

Traveling on a Budget

Being able to travel on a tight budget is not impossible. You just need to take the right measures before and during your travels to keep spending from getting out of control. So when you’re ready to sunbathe at the beach or explore a world far outside your own, consider the following tips before diving in.

Start to Plan in Advance

The closer you get to your travel dates, the more expensive it will be to buy plane tickets, book hotels, etc. When you’re on a budget, flights and hotels are often one of the costliest parts of traveling, so planning as far ahead as you can is best. This not only means booking your tickets and accommodations months in advance, but also setting aside some funds in your regular day-to-day budget before you book so you can save up a reserve designated just for your trip.

Keep in mind that travel prices fluctuate over a cycle, so there won’t always be an exact “right” time to make your reservations. But if you plan ahead, you can keep your eye on the rise and fall of ticket and hotel room prices over a period of time.

Use Online Tools to Help You Decide When to Book

As mentioned, there’s no perfect time to book a trip. However, there are online tools that can help you determine if prices are high, typical, or low for that period of time. One incredibly helpful tool to use is Google Flights. When you select a flight date and time, the search will let you know how the current price compares to prices in the past for similar dates as well as on average.

If your travel dates are flexible, Google Flights will also ping you to let you know that if you leave two days before or extend your trip by a day or two, you could potentially save a good chunk of money. And on top of that, you can turn on price trackers on Google Flights that will alert you via email if a flight you viewed has gone up or down.

Another feature of Google Flights (as well as other similar tools) that some may not be aware of is the option to enter your desired destination as “anywhere”, allowing you to see a world map and the prices for tickets all over the globe from your chosen airport, either on specific or flexible dates.

There are plenty of tools out there like this, such as Hopper, Kayak, and Sky Scanner. The best part is these ones are all free.

Take Advantage of Reward Points

Redeeming reward points can save you a lot of money when you travel, especially on the most expensive things like flights and hotels. There are hundreds of credit cards on the market that give you reward points for making purchases—this can include airline-specific cards, hotel credit cards, and even some cash back cards allow you to use your points for travel instead of receiving cash. Plus, many reward credit cards will offer bonus miles upfront if you make a purchase and/or pay a fee within a certain period after opening the card.

Be careful with this option, however—while credit cards can be a great option for cutting costs when traveling, credit card debt can also add up quickly and get you in a sticky situation that’s hard to come back from. We wouldn’t recommend opening a credit card if you don’t think you can use it wisely. And always do your research on credit card limits, fees, and interest rates before choosing one.

Looking for more ways to save, whether it’s for travel, an emergency fund, or for your small business? We can help! Give us a call at Republic bank by calling 800-526-9127. Plus, visit our library of resources for other helpful financial tips.

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