Travelling on a budget doesn't necessarily mean budget travel.
I know this may sound strange but travelling on a budget doesn't necessarily mean budget travel. If money is tight for you, but you don't want to limit yourself to inexpensive locations and lower rating accomodations, there are still so many options for you. If your dream is heading to the Caribbean (as mine is), all it takes is some savvy planning. Most larger travel agencies have lay-by options these days. I only found this out recently. They all have different terms and conditions, for example, you may only be able to use the lay-by system for holidays that cost more than $900, or you may have to have the holiday paid off 9 weeks before you leave for this holiday. Regardless, you are now able to plan the holiday of your dreams and pay it off in affordable repayments over a reasonable amount of time.
Sometimes, to have an amazing holiday, you need to be open to the possibilities that are out there, rather than being set on a particular location. I happened to stumble across a website called www.nextvacay.com I decided to sign up with them, it cost me US$30 for the annual membership. What they do is scour the internet for the best possible return flight deals from your location. I have been sent deals for flights from Sydney to Ho Chi Minh for AU$350, Sydney to LA for AU$850 return, Sydney to Tokyo for AU$550 return amongst countless other amazing deals. All the deals sell out quite quickly (understandably) and are valid for a particular period to travel.
Being open to the opportunities that are placed in your lap and making the decision to jump on them is quite spontaneous and as a result, quite daunting. A possible option you could use could be to book the inexpensive flights through a travel agent, maybe even one that takes the lay-by option for paying off to take out the big sum payments.
Now, I have to be clear with you- I absolutely HATE credit cards. I have been suffocated under their debt in the past and simply refuse to put myself in that position again. However, sometimes they can be used to help you with your travel goals. There are many credit cards that will gain you points with the big airlines, not only through dollars spent but also if you spend a certain amount within the first 60 days of having one. Often these are the cards which have very high interest rates so, here is the game plan that I would suggest....
Sign up with one of those cards and try have it coincide with two things;
- The first being a holiday that you need to book flights for (most of these credit cards will also provide travel insurance when a certain amount is paid for with the card).
- The second thing that you need it to coincide with is a tax return or a bonus from work. The reason for this is to ensure that you will be able to pay off the rather large charge that you will have put on the card.
-->In doing these two things, you will gain a significant number of frequent flyer points, have travel insurance that will cover you for your upcoming trip AND have the cash to pay off the charges you have just put on the card to pay for the last two things. WINNING!!!
I have to allow the 'Mum' to come out in me and say that if you choose to do the credit card option, please only do it if you know you can pay it off.