Canada can’t wait to see the world. More than 420,000 Canadians left the country for a vacation in June 2021. That’s just over one percent of the population.
Many Canadians are wary about going on vacation because they don’t know how to save for a vacation. They assume it is complicated, but it can be very easy.
Where can you travel for little money, and what can you do for free? How can you draft the best travel budget? What are some ways you can make money before you go on a trip?
Answer these questions and you can become a master on how to save for a holiday in no time. Here is your comprehensive guide.
Find Cheap Places to Go
There are many places you can vacation for little money. Many countries in Asia are affordable for even the lowest-income traveler. Laos, Vietnam, and India have low expenses for hotel rooms and street food.
Eastern Europe is far cheaper than western Europe. You can keep your expenses below thirty dollars a day in Georgia and Romania, though you may encounter language barriers.
The United States, Africa, and South America tend to be on the more expensive side. Disney vacations are very expensive, regardless of which resort you go to.
You can always travel to a new location within Canada. Domestic travel is far cheaper, and it lets you see another side of Canada. Try going to another city or a new province.
Pick a Good Time to Travel
Try to avoid scheduling your vacation for the winter holiday season. It is difficult to find flights and hotel rooms, let alone cheap ones.
You can schedule a spring vacation, but try to avoid locations that are popular amongst college students. Cancun and other tropical sites get booked up quickly, and the options that are left are pricey.
Flights in the middle of the week tend to be cheaper than flights on the weekend. See if you can schedule your vacation so you leave and return on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
The best time to book your flight is 21 to 115 days in advance of your vacation. Booking earlier gives you more options for seats, but the options may be more expensive. Booking later can cost you more than one hundred dollars extra while leaving you with few choices.
Once you’ve picked when and where to travel, you can start to go into more detail. For a domestic vacation, do some research about the location you are traveling to. If you are taking your personal vehicle, figure out the roadmap you will take to get there.
Renting an RV or another vehicle is a good idea for a family vacation. But look into several different service companies. Compare their rates and look at their fine print to see what your rental terms would be.
You may need to get new clothes in order to be comfortable on your vacation. Look at the climate of your destination, then take a look at the clothes you have on hand. If you need a new jacket or pair of pants, do some research to find the cheapest ones.
For an international vacation, you should perform the same research. You should also assess if you need to make any accommodations for safety.
View the Canadian government’s travel advisories for detailed information regarding non-essential travel to specific countries.
Pursue Free and Cheap Activities
As you do your research, keep in mind free activities that you can enjoy on vacation. Some national historic sites are open for free to the public. You can tour historic homes, or you can take in industrial wonders.
Local parks are always free to the public. You cannot camp in them, but you can go for a picnic or a quick walk. Parks are great places to meet with others while not going indoors.
The national museums of Canada are not free, but tickets are inexpensive. Most national parks require fees to enter them, but you reduce your expenses by buying a Parks Canada Discovery Pass. This lets you visit several different parks throughout the country.
Canada has 13 Dark-Sky Preserves like Mont-Mégantic in Québec. These are areas where light pollution is reduced or eliminated, providing incredible views of the night sky. You can camp in the Preserves at low expense, and Preserves tend to be less crowded than the parks.
If you prefer cities to rural areas, go on self-guided tours. You can download information from the Internet and then walk from location to location.
Visit bars and restaurants to hear live music. Some bars may host game nights, especially for trivia and similar events.
Draft a Schedule
Once you’ve figured out what you want to do, write a precise schedule. Break down what you will do every morning, afternoon, and evening while you are on vacation. This will let you maintain focus, avoiding expenses on activities you decide to do spontaneously.
If you would like, you can go hour-by-hour. Create one or two-hour blocks will let you get many things done in a day, and it will keep you from spending money unnecessarily.
Make a Budget
Figure out how much money you can afford to spend on your vacation. Take a look at your bank account and other financial holdings.
Itemize everything that you can expect to spend money on. Include exact dollar amounts so you can keep track of your expenses.
You should keep some money in case you have an emergency or need to change your travel arrangements. As such, you should form a budget that leaves a few hundred dollars open for an emergency.
Think about how exactly you will pay for your different expenses. Some people find it easier to track their expenses when they pay in cash. Try to pay for as many things as possible with bills, but do have a credit card on hand.
Most people budget their lodging and food. These are good places to start, but you should take into account attraction tickets and security deposits. The more miscellaneous expenses you can account for, the more money you can save.
Create a Savings Plan
Before you book your reservations, think about a plan you will make to save money for your trip. Opening up a high-yield savings account will help you earn money on your savings. It also helps you see how much money you have saved for your trip.
Go to a financial advisor and talk about how to save for a trip. Many advisors are happy to give money-saving tips for free. Ask for a guide on how to cut down on expenses.
You can take a loan in order to go on vacation. But develop a plan to pay your loan off. Understand what the terms of your loan are, and avoid anything that seems vague or suspicious.
Keep a visual in your home that tracks how much money you have saved. You can write a handwritten list, or you can make a graphic that you fill in as you save money.
Make Extra Money
Do whatever you can to make a little more money in the weeks leading up to your vacation. Try to work overtime at your job, especially on weekends.
You can teach online classes, especially for foreign students looking to learn English. If you like pets, you can walk dogs or feed fish in someone else’s home.
If you have little time, you can sell some of your belongings. Electronics and artwork tend to be very valuable.
Cut Your Expenses at Home
Focus on your current expenses in the month before your vacation. Try to avoid going out to restaurants or spending money on entertainment.
Learn how to make a grocery shopping budget. Hone your shopping down to your must-haves, especially fresh produce and lean meats. Schedule your grocery shopping for days where there are sales on expensive items.
Keep your utility bills down by unplugging appliances that you are not using. Do not run a faucet while you are brushing your teeth or bathing.
How to Save for a Vacation
It takes little time to learn how to save for a vacation. Start by finding a cheap place to visit. Break down how you will get to your destination and where you will stay.
Prioritize free activities like visiting historic sites and going for walks. Outdoor activities like camping tend to be cheaper than visiting museums.
Write a schedule of what you want to do, then budget each activity. Start a savings plan right away, finding ways you can make money at home.
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