Can you believe it is almost time for school to be back in session? I know, neither can I. With this happening, that means winter travel plans are being made across the country. Are you going to travel this year? If so, where are you going and how do you plan to get there? In my family, we do most of our travel via the van. If you are hitting the road (or plane) this year, here are a few tips that will help you manage your travel expenses.
Tips to Plan Your Vacation and Manage Travel Expenses
There is no way you can go on a trip with your family and not have it planned out. At least not in my house you can’t! Plan ahead as much as you can. Book your hotel, plan for stops along the way (for rest, refueling and sightseeing.)
Avoid those hidden fees along the way. Stay away from the mini bar in the hotel. Warn the kids they are NOT to touch the snacks, sodas or water that has been strategically placed to tempt you. Another hidden cost is the hotel internet, which is usually not free. This can cost you $15 or more per day. I take a hotspot with me- that solves that problem. Be sure the credit or debit or prepaid card you are carrying does not have any hidden fees either.
Use a travel agent to make life a little easier in the long run! As a general statement bookings of travel agents are financially insured. That is the agent must provide the customer with a ride from point A to point B even in the event that the company that was supposed to make the flights could not make them. If an airline is in financial difficulties such as Alitalia, you will be covered mostly if anything could go wrong! Great assistance is also key! A professional travel agent who is interested in giving good service to their clients, will be with them every step of the way and assist in ways that you may not have thought of. For example the nearby facilities of the destination or any problems with the fights. Things may include:. Flight cancellations or delays! Did you change seats on the flight without their request? With all these things, a travel agent can help, intervene and even call the airline on your behalf, etc. – as long as the ticket is purchased through them. Potentially this could be an advantage to a large order through an agent if the actual agent usually is not able to help. Also they usually have a customer service that operates 24 hours a day and you can always be sure that someone is there to help you. There are also cases where an agent can offer a lower price than that of the airline website for the exact same ticket. So be sure that you are looking at the best options and choosing a great travel agent. You need great service, and there’s one particular company that does it the best!
Food and Drink:
Whenever possible, pack snacks and drinks for both on the road and once you get to the hotel. We always pack a cooler so we have plenty to eat and drink while we are driving. Once we get to the hotel, we stock up the mini fridge as well. Who wants to pay $5 for a bottle of water when we can have one of our own for about 5 cents! I’d much rather bring my own beverages so we have more money for things like baseball games and outings, not overpriced hotel conveniences!
Whether we are traveling for pleasure or business, I keep track of my receipts. I write the reason for each purchase and then I will file them appropriately when we get home. If you use a prepaid card like Visa clear, you can apply for a card account so you can track your expenses whenever you need to. If you set a budget for the trip, as I hope you do, stick to it when you travel. It is super easy to wander off the budget path if you are not careful. When we carry our Prepaid card, we don’t carry cash, because it’s super convenient to use our prepaid card for many of our purchases.
How will you track YOUR family’s vacation spending this year?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Visa Clear Prepaid and Prepaid Visa® RushCard.