It’s time to wrap up our Spring Break travel series. We hope you had as much fun as we did and enjoyed a fun, inexpensive Spring Break! In case you were traveling and missed some of the articles, be sure to check out the entire series below.
Shortly after a good friend of mine found out she was pregnant with her third baby, I was getting ready to head out on a long road trip with my husband. “Enjoy it now, because you can’t travel like that once you have kids.” I didn’t argue, but I knew that was wrong. You choose not to travel with kids. In fact, Madison just returned from an inexpensive ski vacation and road trip with her three kids, so it can be done. And with that, it hit me how both money and travel come with so many false ideas and misconceptions. Financial travel myths are more common than you think. People believe these false theories without taking a second to explore them. It turns out, you do have enough money to travel, there are other ways to save without booking in advance, and traveling with kids won’t cost as much as you think it might. Here are six common travel myths related to money.
Travel and Money Myths
- Myth: I don’t have enough money to travel.
Truth: This is the number one reason why people say they don’t travel; they don’t have the money to do so. You may not have enough money for a five-star tropical luxury resort or whatever your ideal getaway may be, but if you’re flexible and willing to think outside the box, you can afford to travel. The first step is planning a trip and then starting to save for it. You can find ways to make extra money and spend a little less here and there to make your travel dreams a reality. There’s dozens of ways you can save on your vacation. When I travel, I always look for ways to save on hotels, try to find free activities along the way, and always stick to my travel budget. The easiest way to combat being low on funds is to not be stuck on one particular place. Figure out mainly what you are looking for out of the trip and go from there. Chances are, there’s an affordable option that has something similar to what you’re looking for.
- Myth: The only way to save is to book in advance.
Truth: Yes, it is true with most things that proper planning allows us to find good deals and make a detailed agenda of low cost things to do. But sometimes, the opportunity arises for a last minute trip, and you shouldn’t pass it up just because it’s spontaneous. Many times, there’s fantastic deals for last minute travel. There’s several free travel apps that are perfect for just this occasion. Groupon has a feature called Groupon Now that has deals going around you right now and ends within a few hours, and Happy Hours finds restaurant and bar deals happening this very second in your given location. A lot of times when hotels can’t fill a room, they turn to deal sites, like Hotels.com, to advertise low prices to get guests there.
- Myth: Traveling with small kids costs a fortune.
Truth: Of course kids love overpriced amusement and water parks and expensive souvenirs, but what they love more is having fun and spending time with their parents. Most kids are happy anywhere they are getting the chance to run around, play, and be a kid. Find free activities kids will love like playgrounds, visiting free museums and attractions, playing on the beach, and whatever else the area has to offer. Even if you’ve never done it, take the kids camping. Camping is super affordable, and they’ll love the chance to roast marshmallows for smores, fish, explore nature, and all of the other cheap, fun things campgrounds offer. As far as souvenirs, skip them entirely, or if they’re old enough to understand, give them a small budget instead of them asking for every single item they pass.
- Myth: A plane, hotel room, restaurants, and tourist attractions make up the outline for a vacation.
Truth: This could not be further from the truth. Depending on where you’re headed, you can save by taking a road trip or opting for a train ride instead. If you work the road trip in as part of the vacation, it ends up being a lot of fun and a great experience. Hotels are great, but there are several alternatives to hotels that can save you a lot of money. Forget pricey admissions, and check out the free attractions. Do what the locals do instead of heading out to overpriced tourist traps.
- Myth: I’m in college or unemployed so there’s no way I can travel.
Truth: The irony of the situation is while you’re in college or unemployed, you have all of this sudden extra time but no money to do anything, right? Wrong. Well, you may not have a lot of money, but you can still travel. Many of my friends in college took their extra money from student loans to head out to a tropical paradise for Spring Break. But this is a horrible way to handle student loan debt, and it clearly dug them deeper into debt. There’s many options where you can travel for free or even get paid to travel. Volunteer with Peace Corps or other organizations to get some of your student loan debt cleared while traveling or teach English in other countries for housing and a living expense while getting the chance to see the world. There’s dozens of organizations that allow you to trade working for accommodations and food, or you can house sit for free accommodations.
- Myth: Travel insurance is a waste of money.
Truth: This could be true or false depending on a few things. Before you ponder if you really need travel insurance, you should see what is already covered on your insurance plans you already have as well as your credit cards you are using to book your trip. You might be surprised to learn that there’s certain things that aren’t covered depending on the place you are traveling to.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about travel relating to finances? What is something you were surprised to learn about travel related to money?
Spring Break Travel Series
- 11 Hidden Hotel Fees and How to Avoid Them
- 13 Tips to Get the Cheapest Rental Car
- Which Credit Cards Should You Pack for Vacation?
- How to Make a Travel Budget
- Tips for Buying Souvenirs and How to Find Them For Free
- How to Earn Points and Free Nights with Hotel Rewards
- 11 Free Things To Do in Chicago
- More Hotel Rewards Programs
- 9 Tips to Save Money on Vacation
- 11 Inexpensive Road Trip Tips
Travel insurance is never a waste! Peace of mind is priceless. I’ve not had to make any claims yet but I wouldn’t go without it. We’re going travelling for six months from May and while insurance wasn’t cheap (about $1k) I wouldn’t go without.
Saving on travel seems to be best achieved either by booking far in advance and having a solid plan, or being extremely flexible and able to go with the flow to pick up last minute deals.