My latest quest has been to uncover more ways for us to get traveling sooner. Finding new adventures and checking out new places has always been one of my passions. As some of you might know, having to cover the cost of travel for "little" people costs almost as much as regular size people. Over the years I have come up with some simple strategies that have helped us get there faster.
Open a separate savings account.
Set an automatic transfer of funds into a designated savings account for any amount and for as often as you like. I have a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) which is linked to my main bank account. I don’t get charged any additional fees. Every couple of weeks I have an automatic transfer of funds go right into it. Just think, if you put away $100 every 2 weeks, you’ll have $2600 by the end of the year! Most banks also have the option of TFSA investment accounts. You’ll pay for any trading transaction you might do, but you won’t be paying taxes on any potential capital gains. It might sound simple and obvious, but many people don’t bother saving or creating a plan for success.
Enroll in a loyalty program.
There are so many programs available to consumers. Some are great for travelers while others offer points towards discounts or to be redeemed for rewards. In the past I have utilized the Airmiles reward program. I also have an aeroplan loyalty card, which has been getting a little more play lately. With strategic collecting I have been able to redeem the points for anywhere between 4-6 separate flights per year. I’ll be posting some tips on collecting points very shortly on this blog, follow me on social media so you don’t miss out.
Utilize one or many of the different credit cards available.
There are so many options and promotions available it’s really important you decide which card works best for you. An important thing to note is that if you carry a balance on your credit card, meaning you don’t pay off the monthly charges in full, the value of the points you earn is relatively non-existent. Some cards offer a sign-up bonus and they will often have promotions where you’re able to earn additional points on certain purchases. Using a credit card together with a loyalty card will have you earning points at a much faster rate. I found a great website that ranks credit cards based on your reward goals. Check out Greedy Rates
Travel outside of peak season periods.
If it’s possible to be flexible with your schedule, you can save quite a few dollars by traveling during the shoulder season or the off season. Some great examples include; going to Hawaii in the fall or to Europe in May. The weather in Hawaii during the fall season is beautiful and the crowds are minimal. Europe in May is more affordable and a lot less crowded. In July and August, you’ll see prices rise and crowds will be in abundance.
This goes for both location and if at all possible your departure dates. Using websites like Expedia and Skyscanner will help you find some of the best vacation deals available. If you’re able to set your search dates for a wider time period you have a better chance of finding a good deal. For those that are very flexible, try Secretflying.com they find some of the best flight deals, including mistake fares, but you have to book these deals quick! Cutting a trip short by 1 day could save you hundreds in flight cost and if you add that together with the savings in accommodation and food, you’ll save yourself a nice little bag of dough.