Here's how to take a much needed break and go on a life-changing holiday that won't cost you an arm and a leg and make the most of your time and money!
It feels like forever ago when we could get excited about planning our next trip, and then as we planned and browsed and watched travel vloggers, the high quickly crashed once we realized how much the bill would be. Well, it doesn't have to be that way.
I've learned some foolproof steps to making holiday planning a breeze so you can go on your mind-blowing vacation and save tons of cash you would otherwise easily blow without these tips!
The Ultimate Guide to planning a mind-blowing vacation
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Allocate the Cash (so you don't stress!)
I've been fortunate enough to travel a lot over the past decade, and for every trip I took, my first step was know exactly how much cash I had to invest in this life-changing holiday.
Yes, it is an investment, the memories and experiences are always well worth the price tag!
I learned that because when I was a newbie to trip planning, I had all these crazy ideas about what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go only to be let down by the price tag of the plane ticket or the activities.
The truth is you can have an amazing experience no matter the budget:
For a couple of hundred bucks, you can have a weekend getaway that feels like a refreshing break from your routine
For a couple thousand bucks, you can travel across the globe and have an equally mind-blowing experience
Either way, travelling is healthy! So find out how much cash and time you have to play with and plan from there.
If your budget is tight right now, start an automated savings plan toward your next trip! This is one of the Money Queens' secrets we teach in our program. By slipping away a little bit of cash every week with the help of technology, you won't even feel the difference and will have a vacation fund before you even know it!
Travelling is also one of the best ways to deepen a relationship, so ask your friends and family if anyone would like to join! This can easily help you split the costs of accommodations.
Find which locations can give you the most of your buck
Once you've got your travel fund set and know how much time and money you will be investing, it's time to start scouring the globe for your destination.
Your fund can quickly dry up in cities like Paris and London but allow you to feast like royalty in places like Sri Lanka and Cambodia.
Same goes for a small weekend getaway, a trip to a big city or a resort town will be awesome but often double the price of more quaint and charming towns.
Trust me, no need to FOMO here.
As fun as a luxury villa in Costa-Rica like this one can be...
... smaller and off the radar places can sometimes be even more magical, a cabin in the woods offers a recharge like nothing else!
Shop and plan with flexibility
They say timing is everything and when it comes to travelling that certainly applies as well! Accommodation and flight rates can easily double depending on the time of year you travel.
As much as it fun to travel in the height of summer or holidays, avoiding high season travel can definitely pay off, both in crowds and your budget.
Here's an awesome tip to making the most of your trip.
Whenever we fly to a far destination, we choose a day's layovers that will give us an extra day in a new destination without needing to pay for a hotel. Typically, longer layovers are less expensive than the quickest journeys to your destination. What we do instead is to make the layover part of the journey and spend the day in a city along the day.
Like the time I had breakfast in Amsterdam on my way to Israel and then stopped for lunch in Paris on my way back. We locked our luggage at the airport for the day and took the train into town, it was more than worth it!
Even though we paid for museums and meals in those bonus cities, our plane tickets still cost less than a direct flight, we had a net savings of a few hundred dollars!
When shopping for anything travel related, from flights, to accommodations and activities, always check with flexibility. Travelling mid-week as opposed to weekends can help you make the most of your buck once again.
Before booking anything, your first stop should be Skyscanner and from a few select cities like New York, Montreal and Toronto, check out Yulair. I've had friends fly to Asia for $200, no, that is not a typo!
Other websites to check while shopping include
In our program, money queens learn how to spend in a smart and conscious way, that always includes getting the best deal for whatever you are purchasing, so use any or all of these awesome tools to find the best price for your vacation.
Call your credit card company for deals
This was one expensive lesson. Isn't it fun to rent a car when you're away and have the freedom of exploring at your own will? I've done this multiple times and explored countries in ways I would never have been able to otherwise.
From driving across France to exploring the coast of Caribbean Islands, being independent with transportation definitely has its perks in some locations.
I'll never forget the first time I planned a trip and intended to rent a car, it was all fun and games until I got the quote for the insurance. It certainly was one of the most expensive items in the whole trip!
Experience can definitely makes us wiser, here's a wise money tip for your next trip - Call your credit card companies!
Not only do you want to avoid the bank freezing your card for suspicious activity abroad, but it can certainly add a few dollars to your travel fund!
The best news I got from a credit card company was that they were going to cover the $1,000+ insurance on my rented car.
Many credit cards offer travel perks we often overlook, from miles to reduce your flight cost, lounge access while you wait and yes, thousands of dollars saved in car insurance!
So, before you book anything, call your credit card company and find out what they can offer you. In the past, I've even signed up for cards just for the purpose of saving money on a trip.
Plan around a celebration
Last but not least, how to get tons of free stuff like upgrades, champagne bottles and tickets to activities!
The first time my husband and I travelled together, we went to Dominican Republic. We had only been dating for a few months and right before checking in he whispered "put your ring on your wedding ring finger, trust me, just go with it"
To my surprise when we checked in he told the receptionist we were on our honey moon!
The thing is that people love celebrating celebrations, especially in the hospitality industry, it gives them an opportunity to go the extra step for their customer and of course get great reviews.
Long story short, we got a room upgrade, ocean view, flowers, a champagne bottle, complimentary dinner at their 5-star restaurant and a free scuba diving excursion.
Whoa is right!
Since then, we plan trips around celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, you name it.
In fact, last weekend, we had a weekend getaway for his birthday to a resort town close by, and guess what? At every opportunity, I told the hotel and restaurants we were celebrating.
We got free drinks, jams, cake, national park tickets, discount for a boat cruise, a ride on the gondola for 4 people and extra time on our boat rental!
All in all, we got about $300 worth of free stuff. Just because I let the staff know we were celebrating, speaking up can definitely pay off.
This is also a great exercise we do in our coaching program. The truth is that if you want to create serious wealth, it often involves moving from employment salary towards independent income.
And generating income independently means venturing off into business and entrepreneurship, which always involves a hit rate, knowing how to dealing with rejection and negotiating.
Except we are often really scared of rejection, so putting ourselves out there can be intimidating a big hurdle in a new entrepreneur's journey. So an exercise we do is to spend the day asking for free stuff just to get past the fear of rejection. I promise, it's not as scary once you've done it.
Using an event like a birthday to "ask" for free stuff is a great exercise to give you a confidence boost and get you past the fear of rejection. Plus, there are tons of business that offer free products on your birthday.
And of course, help you maximize your travel fund!