I’m bougie. That’s right, I said it. Bourgeoisie. Even before being “Bad & Boujee” (that spelling irks my soul) was a thing, I’ve always been proud to love the simple luxuries of life. It’s not being stuck up, arrogant, eccentric or bragging. I refuse to go on vacation unless I get the best experience possible. Some people are okay with staying in a motel. But I refuse to lay my head anywhere less than the quality of my own home. Sometimes, that means spending a little more. If we’re on this Earth for a mere 100 years, why not experience some of the luxuries and wonders the world has to offer?
I do believe that a great deal of stress and money can be saved with good preparation and planning before you even step foot on a plane. Whether it’s a honeymoon, girl’s trip, baecation or just a fancy getaway, hopefully I can helps you ease the process of traveling abroad and connect with your inner bougie!
Show me the money, honey!
One of the main reasons many people never get the chance to vacation abroad, or even in their own country, is poor saving habits. Consider a vacation an investment. It’s like planning small retirements, take a small chunk of what you earn, and when the time comes, use it to treat yo self. Here’s some easy ways to save for vacations so you’re never too broke to travel and you’re not scrambling for money right before a trip.
1. What’s in your wallet? I personally have two savings accounts: one I never touch, and one for disposable income that I can withdraw from for large purchases. Separating your savings will help you be more intentional about what you do with your money, which keeps you from “accidentally” spending it. I recommend opening an account with Capital One 360. It’s easy, you can create an account online. I love Capital One because you can create a savings account that withdraws and deposits savings on a schedule. You can’t miss what you don’t see right? You can also create a Capital One checking account that is directly linked to the savings you acquire, so when you’re out and about, you can easily transfer money from your savings to your checking instantaneously on the app. And to top it off, Capital One has no international fees! So when you vacation, you don’t have to worry about crazy charges to make transactions with your card, or worry about the embarrassment of your card being declined out of fraud suspect.
FOR THE FREQUENT TRAVELERS
If you really love vacations (or plan on traveling a lot in the future) and have decent credit, consider getting a credit card that has good travel rewards so you can accumulate points when you use it. There a number of cards that have great travel benefits, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
2. Do your research. Figure out where you want to go and the best times to go to that place. For our Dubai vacation, I did a lot of research! I researched what there was to do, how much things cost, how to get around, the best airline to take, the best and cheapest time of year to travel. Consider what the place you want to go to has to offer, what you’ll want to do and how much it’ll cost you. Upon getting married, I knew that a winter wedding and vacation would save me some money (for tropical/warm locations). Most of the time I can find a great deal on a vacation around this time, airports are not as busy, and the weather in hot climates are more comfortable.
3. Scheme on the low. Once you’ve decided on a place, calculate an estimate what your total for the trip will be (flights/hotel/spending money, etc) so you know how much to save and there are no surprises. I always preview my trip itinerary through Expedia as they have good package deals. I can visually see the breakdown of about how much I will be spending. Round up your trip total and see how it’ll fit your budget!
BOOKING WITH A TRAVEL SITE
There are many different travel booking sites, but like I’ve stated before, I always book my vacations through Expedia. It’s a one stop shop for your complete itinerary including hotels, flights, rental cars, and things to do. The Expedia app will organize your itinerary so you have all of your vacation details stored chronologically. The app also gives real time check-in reminders and updates like gate changes, so you’re always on schedule and know where to go. Expedia has excellent trip protection coverage as well, which I recommend you always get for big trips. If anything happens before your trip, you can be reimbursed. And if you’re a frequent traveler, your account will accumulate points that can be used towards VIP deals like free breakfast, upgraded rooms and even money off your entire purchase!
4. Divide and conquer. The easiest way to save for anything is to do it over time. Basically put your vacation on a payment plan. It’s less intimidating to break up the cost. Determine how long it will take you to execute. I try to start saving at least two to three months beforehand. So for a February trip, I start researching and scheming in October, I save in November and start making the big purchases (flight/hotel) in December so I have all of January to put together an itinerary and set aside money for the trip itself. This time may fluctuate depending on how fast you can save. I personally have multiple streams of income and can hustle quickly, so it’s easy for me to save within a month’s time. However my husband has a corporate job with fixed income. Usually, I pay for the flight and hotel and he sets aside spending money for the trip itself. If you plan on going on the trip with other individuals, make sure you communicate with them about splitting costs!
MAKE MONEY WHILE YOU SPEND MONEY!
Sign up for Ebates. I’ve been an Ebates user for years, it’s the easiest way to get money back on online purchases. You can get up to 10% cash back on Expedia, and anywhere from 4-12% cash back on similar sites like Travelocity, Booking.com, Orbitz and Priceline. Start getting cash back here!
5. Do what YOU can afford. You ain’t gotta lie, Craig. Be realistic with yourself! Don’t start planning a vacation you KNOW you wont be able to afford. This is a recipe for disappointment. It’s ok to look up prices and see if it’s doable for the timeframe you’re working with. But if it’s not, close the tab and try something else. It’s okay to take your time, you have the whole world to explore!
Here are a few more money and time saving tips to help you along the way:
- Prebook your adventures ahead of time to plan out your week and have the maximum amount of time to explore and do everything you want! Prices may be more expensive when purchasing the day of or booking at a hotel travel desk.
- To save even more money on things to do on your vacation, try Groupon! You can find a ton of deals for restaurants, tours, tickets and more.
- Make sure you have all the travel documents necessary to leave the country if you plan to do so. You’ll need a passport, one that is good for at least 6 months. Check your expiration dates! You wont need a visa unless you’re planning on making your trip longer than 30 days. Be sure to get a passport MONTHS before your vacation. They can sometimes take several weeks to a month to process.
That’s all I have, for now! I will definitely keep you guys updated with more tips as I come across them, but I think I covered all the important things here. If you would like to learn more about Dubai, please check out my video!
Feel free to leave any questions or tips and suggestions below, help your sisters out! And as always, I love you guys, see you in the next post!