BOOK IT SMART
- There are some great airfare deals out there – do your research to find the best ones! Prices can vary throughout the week, so keep a watchful eye on the fares. Be flexible – departing/arriving Tuesday – Thursday can cut down the cost, and booking in advance will generally get you the most inexpensive tickets. Airlines are all about flash fares right now, so check out Twitter and sign up for e-newsletters to get their best offers.
- Travel during what we in the biz call “shoulder” season. June – August is tourist central, as are holidays, which means flights are packed, the locals are out of town, lines are long, and old people are slow. Going in the spring or fall can often mean cheaper travel and fewer screaming children.
- Duh – ask us! Check out Contiki.com for the latest deals, plus our Reservations team will do everything they can to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.
STOP SPENDING AS MUCH
- We know it sucks, but we’re trying to help you save some cash here! Here’s the worst of it – cut back on going out. Chances are you already grapple with rational decisions (with money…) when you’re hammered, like ordering another drink, purchasing an entire pizza, or getting lost in a cab, so try to save yourself some trouble.
- Release your inner accountant (what, doesn’t everyone have one?). Create a weekly or monthly budget, and analyze what you’re spending and where the wiggle room is. Work out how much you think your trip will cost including spending money – pull out your pocket protector and calculator and find out how much you need to save per week.
- Brown bag it… Bring your lunch to work or school. Not eating out can save tons, plus you’ll probably eat healthier to save those other tons too.
- Nix the little luxuries. It doesn’t have to be drastic – even switching from lattes to regular coffee can save a boatload of money. Lose the weekly mani/pedis, buy generic instead of name brands, rent a movie instead of going to the theater, bring a flask out… get creative!
- Every time you see something you want to buy – check yourself before you wreck yourself. Do you reeeeally need it, or do you just want it? Guitar Hero can wait until you get back from traveling.
- Saving is hard work! Reward yourself with something when you hit a big milestone, like your first $1,000 – otherwise you’ll get bored and increase your chances of blowing it all.
- See if you can finagle your vacation time around paid days off.
- Milk your friends and family – your birthday, Christmas, graduation, or other holidays/events are awesome excuses to ask for cash instead of presents.
- Don’t rack up credit card bills – pay them off! You can use them on your trip too.
- Sell the crap you haven’t used in over a year on eBay.
- Get a savings account going with a high percentage payback. You’ll earn more, plus they usually lock that stuff down so you can’t access it easily in your moments of weakness.
- Try not to take out a loan – suck it up and save! If for some reason you don’t heed our advice and want to get a loan, ask your parents or loaded friend and swear that you’ll pay them back monthly. If they like you they probably won’t charge interest like a bank or knock out your kneecaps like the mob.