Hey guys, welcome to the Life Lessons on a Sunday podcast! I’m your host Jaimeson and today we are discussing two of my favorite things … Travel and Money! More specifically, I’m going to share some great money travel tips with you that will hopefully not only save you money, but also time and energy so that you can have the best travel experience! Why don’t you go ahead and grab paper and a pen and let’s get started …
First and foremost, I want to tell you Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!!
Here is an Irish Blessing for you ….
May your pockets be heavy,
And your heart be light,
May good luck pursue you,
Each day and night.
And to continue on with that good fortune, we are continuing our Money Series. In week one we learned all about what our Relationship with Money is. Are you in love with money yet? Ha Ha. We have been writing down some spending habits and actually seeing where our money is going and making sure that it is in line with our priorities and goals.
Last week was all about making sure that you have your $1,000 Emergency Fund! If you haven’t had a chance to listen to that episode, I would highly recommend that you do … there are suggestions on how to get a $1,000 and quickly so that you can be prepared for most emergencies that will come your way and hopefully keep your stress level down, since you will have this security net.
And to make sure you are prepared for all future finance decisions, don’t forget to include Stephen with Boyd Wealth Management. With over 30 years’ experience, he can be a wonderful asset. Make sure to visit his website at BoydWM.com, that’s B-O-Y-D-W-M.com.
Okay, now remember the statement I said that I think we should have throughout this whole series … “If I had more money, I would _____________” Have you thought about it? Have you filled in that blank? Have you filled it in more than once? Ha Ha.
Well, for me, even in the very beginning and it is still true so far going through this process with you, my statement is “If I had more money, I would TRAVEL MORE!”
That is why I am so excited to share with you some money travel tips! And, to be even more fitting, this episode is on St. Patrick’s Day and my DREAM trip is to IRELAND! I have wanted to go to Ireland since I was probably 14. That’s when I realized my family is from there and started doing a little research on the country. I have fallen in LOVE! When I go (NOT IF, because I know I will go one day) – When I go, I would love to stay for a full two weeks or more, drive around the whole country and really embrace the culture. Do you have a DREAM country or city that you would like to travel to?
It’s funny, we were SO CLOSE to going one time … we had even saved a lot of money – and when I say a lot, I mean, we were going to fly first class and have the trip of a lifetime!
BUT … you guessed it … LIFE! LIFE HAPPENED!
And in a big way! Not only were we not able to go to Ireland, but my poor husband had to have not one, but two surgeries on his labrum (which is in the shoulder) and was out of work for about 15 months. You want to talk about your world being flipped upside down – shew that was a tough 15 months for us all, both emotionally and financially, especially since he provides the majority of the household income. BUT … we had all that money saved for this bigger than life trip and you know what, that money did save us! We didn’t have to move, we didn’t have to take out a loan or ask our family for money – we watched our pennies and used that savings account as a monthly mortgage payment and we survived! We spent every last penny from that savings account – even our $1,000 emergency fund, but as soon as it was gone, he was right back to work – it’s crazy how that happened. I am telling you, now that it is over and done with, it was as if it was supposed to happen that way and that we weren’t saving that money for a trip, but rather for our children’s lives to stay normal during that very difficult time.
And now that I’ve completely gotten us off track, let me bring it back …
TRAVEL – DREAM TRIP – MONEY TIPS …
Since there is so much advice and help on travel all around you, between the internet, books, magazines, friends and family, the list goes on, I’m going to make each of these tips short and sweet (kindof like me). We’ll get to the point quick, then you can decide if you want to do more research on your own.
Here we go … Let’s start with:
MONEY TRAVEL TIPS FOR TIME OF THE YEAR:
- We all know that the cheapest time to travel is in the off season. But, if you really want to go during peak season, check out the week right before or right after peak dates as you will get the lower rates, but hopefully the weather will still be nice!
- If you must or want to travel during the holidays, plan ahead. Sometimes if you book a year in advance, you can avoid the higher rates. This is not true in all cases as some places are just always booked, but it never hurts to try if you know you want to take a trip there for the holidays or if you must go because of family.
MONEY TRAVEL TIPS FOR FLYING:
- Be flexible on your dates if you can be. If you are booking your airfare before your hotel or Air BnB, then you can and should be flexible to get the best price.
- If the best deal is to fly from a further airport, but you have to park your car there – make sure you do the math to include the parking, gas, food, etc. Sometimes it’s not always cheaper from a further airport.
- Most websites that you can book flights from have a “watch dog” feature and can let you know if a flight goes down in price – just make sure you are ready to book when it does because those seats will be taken fast.
- Think about using a travel agent. They are very helpful and most of them work for you for free and get a small commission from the flight or hotel, but the amount of time and stress for you to do it all may be worth is. AND, they can also pass along deals and other discounts to you.
- Before you get to the airport, pack some snacks or a sandwich along with brining an empty water bottle. You will save no less than $15 by just brining your own snacks and filling up your water bottle at the water fountain – and if you are traveling as a family or in a group, you will save a ton.
- At the airport … avoid all shops at all cost – unless you are just arriving and can buy something you will need duty free.
- Less luggage, less money. Learn to bring less, pack more efficiently and look into “wearable luggage”. Yes, it’s a thing and some of the clothing is pretty genius.
MONEY TRAVEL TIPS FOR DRIVING:
- Don’t run out of gas – that one is pretty self explanatory and yet I feel that it must be said – waiting and paying for a tow truck or someone to give you gas can get pretty expensive, and may even cost you an extra hotel night you didn’t budget for.
- Again, bring your own snacks and drink.
- Cruise control is your friend. – the less you speed up and down or stop and start, the better gas mileage you will get.
MONEY TRAVEL TIPS FOR MONEY:
- Each country has their own currency. You will want to know what it is and what the exchange rate is. No need to exchange too far in advance as currency is always changing in value. There are many places you could exchange currencies, but I would definitely avoid any of the “booths” or at the hotel. You can do at a bank before you go, or once you land and go through customs, stop at the ATM machine and withdrawal money. Sure there may be a $5 or $7 fee, but it will be much less than the commissions from one of the “booths”.
- Always bring more cash than you think you will need … and store it in different locations in case one gets lost or stolen.
- Alert your bank and credit card company if you are traveling out of country so they don’t lock your card for fraud. And make sure you know what fees are associated with international transactions – this is also the time to negotiate those fees if your bank has them.
- Like your bank, you need to call your phone carrier and make sure you have an international plan.
- Whether you are staying countryside or overseas, you need to always use the hotel safe for valuables and take extra precautions for pick pocketers and bag grabbers. Just be aware of your surroundings and where you have your cash and cards – the last thing you want is to be in an unfamiliar place with no money to get home.
MONEY TRAVEL TIPS FOR EXTRAS:
- Food: Go to the local grocery to get items for breakfast, snacks and drink items. This will save you money as you walk around or explore. Also, find out where the locals eat – usually it’s off the beaten path, much cheaper and much more authentic to the area.
- Tipping: this could be different in every country or city that you visit, so you will want to do a little research as see what is customary. You will want to tip accordingly and not too much or too little. Plus, this will be helpful in your budgeting for your trip.
- Use Apps: With technology these days, everything is at your fingertips. There are apps for city tourism, maps, travel guides and more. These will not only be helpful for navigation, but can give you discounts.
- Shopping: Avoid the souvenir shops if you can – I know, I get sucked in sometimes too – but if you can find the local shop or two blocks over shopping center, you might be in for a treat and savings.
And my final money travel tip … Pay for the trip in cash … save, save and save some more! The last thing you want is to go and spend the best week or two of your life full of great memories and experiences to come home, back to reality, and start paying for that credit card for months or years to pay off only to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth and paying interest on a trip that you’ve already taken! Remember: CASH IS KING!
THOUGHTFUL TIDBIT: Today’s tidbit is from one of our founding fathers, who was the principal author for the Declaration of Independence and America’s Third President, Thomas Jefferson
Never spend your money before you have earned it!
What was true in the 1700’s is still true today! So much so that when we don’t live this way, we are at the mercy of someone else – that person or company then dictates where our money goes. But, if we only spend what we have earned, then we have full control.
Well, we’re over halfway through our Money series with two more episodes left! How are you feeling? Feelin’ good? Overwhelmed? Excited? Let me know – I’d love to connect and hear your money tips. Shoot me an email at foralifetime.org/hello or come find me on Facebook and Instagram at For A Lifetime.
Make sure to come back next week, we are going to keep talking about … you guessed it … MONEY!
Until Next Sunday …