Over the next few months, you may be seeing your family during the holidays. For some, that means going out of the country to catch up with relatives and close friends.
Just because you’re traveling to places like Mexico or any other Latin American countries doesn’t mean you have to go broke. Here are some ways you can see your loved ones on the other side of the world without busting your vacation budget.
Getting Deals on Your Flights
Traveling during the holidays can be very pricey. You can minimize costs by using apps like SkyScanner to see what flights costs are for the whole month. A change in a few days can make a huge difference in what you pay.
Speaking of flights, make sure you know what the best values are with airlines. Saving money is smart, but getting great service at a solid price is better. SouthWest and Volaris have reputations for deals, but don’t be afraid to ask your globetrotting friends for their take.
If your budget is tight, be open to mixing and matching flights between airlines. I did this recently, taking one airline to my destination and another back. Not only did I save some money, I also booked flights that fit my schedule better. Being a savvy packer will allow you to take what you need for the trip and avoid baggage fees.
I’d also recommend having enough snacks packed to handle long flights and delays that can pop up during holiday time. It’ll keep you sane and keep you from paying outrageous prices.
Rest Easy with Your Stay
Where you stay is also important to your budget. Sometimes your family may not have space for everyone, so make sure you get a deal well before you head over.
Nowadays there are numerous options for lodging including hotel, hostels, and renting a place through sites like Airbnb. Have your relative whose in the area, check things outs so you know you have a safe place to rest.
Having a kitchen may cost you a little up front, but can be a big money saver over the trip. You can eat a few meals at ‘home’ by either preparing them yourself or having leftovers from the previous day’s adventures.
Live Like a Local
If you want to explore the cuisine without imposing on your family, try visiting the local spots during the day for tasty meals at a cheaper rate. Your family and their friends can offer some of their favorite hot spots to start you off.
Want to venture out? Ask your family about the cheapest and more reliable way to get around. You may find the train or bus is a perfect option to see the area. If you plan ahead, you can usually get a discount on tickets. You can also see if there are any free local events going on during your visit.
Don’t forget about currency. Track the exchange rates to see if you can get a better deal. Getting that done before you leave will help you keep more of your money instead of exchange fees.
If your trip abroad coincides with work travel, you may be able to write off some expenses related to your business. Be aware if your family is tagging along, you won’t be able to get deductions on their flights, meals, etc.
Keep your receipts for any business related travel to make sure you’re taking all the business deductions you qualify for.
Thoughts on Travel and Family
I’d love to get your tips – how do you save money when you’re out of the country? What have been your favorite places to visit?