Saving for the next big vacation.

Lillian’s shares her thoughts of how best to financially prepare for the next big vacation

Frugal vs Cheapskate: 5 Tips on how to save for the big vacation

Just to clear things up, frugal does not equal cheapskate. While frugal revolves around getting the most value on every cent spent, cheapskate can be downright self-sabotage. For instance, if you are always looking for shared hostel facility without really caring on the state of the beddings or if you still think bottled water is overrated, you could be bordering on cheapskate. Most travelers however confess to falling victim to the latter; sometimes with disastrous effects such as catching a preventable disease, losing vital hours of valuable sight seeing, missing flights and compromising on their own security. These are more tips from Lillian Gaitho of Jovago.com on how to save your Shillings, Dollars and Pounds, without losing your dignity or missing on the destination offerings.

Decide on destination

We all have a bucket list that magically keeps growing as opposed to shrinking up! So, let’s say you have planned for Diani, Zanzibar, Anse Source d’Argent on the famous Seychelles island of La Digue or Bazaruto; all top beach destinations in Africa and any wanderlust’s dream. You cannot be at all the places at the same time and the economies may not allow you to set foot in each. Run a few tests to help you decide which of the destinations will give you most value for money. Remember to check across the different components of your budget. For instance, you might pick the cheapest location in terms of air fare, only to find out that accommodation and daily expenditure is almost double as compared to others. Also, if you are not fussy about stay-in and putting up, destinations with familial relations and friends may prove cheaper in the long run. Think extra bedrooms and free diner!

Grab offers and lock dates

Scan sites for ‘cheapest airfares’ ahead of your desired travel dates as opposed to last minute bookings. You will be surprised how inconsistent the guys who decide the pricing can be! Most notable is the ability for flight fares to take a favorable dip on Tuesdays and steadily rise to the (expensive) occasion on Friday nights. As Lincoln Abraham put it, important principles may, and must, be inflexible. Make affordable comfort a principle of your travels. Once you find your cheapest flight, within your travel dates; book it up and move on to other pre-trip arrangements once your ticket has been purchased.

Book necessities at the destination

One sure way to save quite a fraction on your budget is by booking services such as safari guides, sightseeing tours, catering service, potter service and even taxis on location. Not only will you have a higher chance at bargaining for discounts, but the face to face encounters with suppliers will allow you a firsthand feel of the service. You might be shocked that it’s not what it appears and sounds on phone and mail!

Reviews: a traveler’s most reliable guide

Guidebooks do have their rightful place in any traveler’s carry-on; but nothing gives you more insight than real-time review from a traveler’s experience. Check sites that allow for reviews as well as response by operators and hotel owners. Apart from getting useful tit-bits on the destination, you’ll pick quite a bit from the responses left by service providers in question.

A thing or two on your destination

On top of offline maps, currency exchange rate and weather situation; find out if there is any festivals or cause for festivity in your destination. Long weekends, national holidays and festivals will definitely attract a hike in hotel accommodation, social amenities and general suppliers in the area as demand goes high. Unless you are travelling with a desire to be part of such occasions, save your trip for less ceremony and save on unnecessary bills.

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