Stretch Your Vacation Dollars

Summer vacations are perfect for hitting the road for adventure or staying close to home to simply recharge. The slower pace and rest a vacation offers are priceless, but you can still practice financial vigilance. Here’s how to get the most for your money as you travel this summer.

Consider Off-Season Tropical Destinations

During the winter months, tropical hot spots command top dollar. But you can find bargains south of the equator during the summer months. Land a package deal to a Caribbean or South American destination and enjoy less crowded beaches and hotels in paradise.

Dollars Go Further in Europe

For the first time in over a decade, the U.S. dollar is approaching a 1:1 ratio with the euro. American travelers can expect their vacation budgets to go further in all 19 countries operating on the euro currency. Airfare to Europe is also less expensive this summer. If you plan to visit several countries, consider purchasing a 30-day Eurail pass and travel by train between countries for one reasonable price.

Think Outside the Hotel Room

Check out websites that coordinate home sharing in hundreds of countries around the world, typically at prices far below standard hotel rates. Also consider family-run pensions (short-stay boarding houses in Europe) or bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) for cheaper and more intimate lodging. If you like making your own meals (also a moneysaver), look into short-term vacation home and apartment rentals.

Be Flexible

If you aren’t particular about where you travel or specifically when, you can often find last-minute package deals online to specific cities or attractions that include airfare, hotel, a rental car or some meals. Compare offers and determine which provides the best value. Also, when you’re booking airfare, be flexible with your travel dates to improve your odds of landing a better price. Consider a midweek departure and return to avoid higher weekend rates. Keep an eye out for airline promotions early each week, when their sales start.

Traveling costs money, but vacation memories are irreplaceable. If you need help planning your trip, ask a travel agent to provide information and tips for saving money on specific locales. Also, ask your financial advisor to help you budget and work toward your short- and long-term financial goals, including traveling, buying a home, saving for college and retiring.

Michael W. K. Yee, CFP
1585 Kapiolani Blvd., Ste. 1100, Honolulu
808-952-1222 ext. 1240|
Michael W K Yee, CFP®, CFS®, CRPC®, is a Financial Advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practitioner™ with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Honolulu, HI. He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 30 years. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC.
© 2015 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. File #1205686


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