Did you know that 62% of Americans are planning on spending more on travel in 2023 than in years prior?1 It’s no wonder that more Americans have the travel bug this year considering The-Pandemic-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named that made travel to dream or favorite destinations difficult if not impossible. Many of our Verde Capital team members love to explore everything from national parks to tropical beaches to far flung getaways to iconic destinations. Here are some of our favorite tips on traveling in style and on a budget.
Save for Your Trip
Whether you like to travel spontaneously or after careful planning and deliberation, it’s a good idea to set aside funds for your adventures. Consider opening a Verde Flourish Savings Account, which as of the writing of this blog, is earning 4.4% interest and is FDIC insured.2 You can dip into this account to pay for travel expenses and accommodations as needed. Talk to your Verde Advisor for more information on opening an account or planning for extensive travel.
Credit Card Points & Frequent Flyer Perks
Traveling in luxury can seem out of reach for many people, but savvy shoppers have been leveraging credit card points to score amazing deals on first class suites on long distance flights. If you’re on Instagram or follow travel bloggers, you may be familiar with The Points Guy. If not, check out his website for some cool ideas and insights on how to leverage those credit card points for travel perks, including converting them to frequent flyer miles or hotel points with your favorite providers.
You may also be able to leverage unused frequent flyer miles with your preferred airline to upgrade your seat to a different service/comfort level. You’ll probably have to read the fine print, and may have to pay a small service fee, but traveling in style and comfort may be worth it to you depending on the length of your flight. Short flights under two to three hours may not be worth leveraging your miles, points, or the extra cost to fly in more comfortable seats. Many of our team members will chose to spend their money on accommodations or memorable experiences at their destination rather than spring for more expensive seats.
If you’re contemplating traveling to a far off locale (I can hear the beaches of Bali calling my name!), take a look at your budget and consider flying first class. Some international airlines have amazing and luxurious first class accommodations (heck, some look so comfy you may just want to fly around on the plane for a couple of extra hours just to soak up all the amenities!). You can expect gourmet meals, free beverages, a sitting area and bed in your “suite”, complimentary pajamas and toiletries, and some even offer private showers!
Accommodations and Hotel Loyalty Programs
The world is your oyster, and so are the hotels, short term rentals, and all-inclusive resorts you may stay at during your travels. If you’re looking for budget friendly options, consider hotels with free amenities like: a pool, fitness center, business center, and complimentary breakfast. If you plan on spending most of your time away from the hotel and exploring the local area, it may be a good idea to go with a mid-scale hotel, rather than one with amenities you may not use that could increase the cost/night of your stay.
When searching for short term rentals (or “Airbnbs” or “VRBOs”), make sure to follow this short but helpful guide before you book.
- Read through the house rules or the guest book for check-in and check-out requirements. You don’t want to book a place that requires you to essentially clean the entire space before you checkout and still charge a high cleaning fee.
- Read past reviews from other guests to get a feel for the host and the space you’ll be staying in. Note, I personally recommend picking rentals with high scores in cleanliness as it’s usually a good indicator of the quality of the unit or home as a whole.
- Check to see if there’s a discount for booking early, or for X number of nights.
- If you travel with kids or pets, check to see if there’s extra fees to rent pack ‘n plays, high chairs, or to have your pets stay (most places have a daily fee for each pet).
If you’re researching all-inclusive resorts, there are some different tips recommended for selecting and booking your stay.
- Read the fine print – does the resort actually offer free drinks and meals, or is there a per diem cap? This may make a difference to whether you book or not, so balance this based on your personal preferences and budget.
- Is your resort family friendly or for adults/couples only. Again, even if you’re traveling without kids it may not matter to you if the resort is family friendly if it offers the amenities and benefits you really want, in the location you want, at the price you want. However, if it does matter, make sure that the resort you’re traveling to doesn’t require TWO people per reservation if you’re traveling solo or meeting up with friends.
- Sometimes you can save money if you book your flight through the all-inclusive resort… and sometimes you may end up paying more, so do your research.
- Do you want a private dinner on the beach, a poolside cabana every day, or a full day at the spa? Ask the resort for pricing on these services, and see if there are discounts for selecting these perks early.
You may travel quite a bit with work, or for fun, and may have a hotel brand you prefer to stay in. If you’ve accumulated hotel points through past stays, you may be able to use those to upgrade your room or get discounted services during your stay. Check out your loyalty programs terms and offers, and see if you can convert any credit card points over to your program to earn more deals and discounts!
Excursions and Experiences
Regardless of your budget, make sure to research some dining and entertainment options in your destination of choice. Many of our team members leverage Google Maps for restaurant recommendations around their hotel or short term rental. Being the foodies we are, we tend to look for local, highly rated, unique dining experiences. Now, this doesn’t always mean fine dining, sometimes it means a great burger joint or brewery with a tasty menu. If you’re not a fan of Google Maps, check out local news organizations for lists of their top rated restaurants.
If you’re using a short term rental website to book your accommodations, check to see if they have an Excursions option (like Airbnb), where you can book local adventures and tours, sometimes at a discount. You can also research great local deals on GroupOn too (just read the fine print!).
Last but not least, check out the local municipality or chamber of commerce’s website – many times these are gold mines of information about the local area that can help you plan a phenomenal stay.
Regardless of where you may be traveling too, whether it’s a road trip or a flight away, we hope you have a wonderful adventure that inspires you to explore more areas of the world that interest you!
- “Stats: 62% of Planning to Spend More on Travel in 2023.” by Matt Turner, March 9, 2023; posted on www.TravelAgentCentral.com. Link.
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