From the moment I saw my first lilting commercial about the joys of a Viking River Cruise, I have been dreaming of sitting on a small-ship balcony watching the rolling European landscape go by. And finally, that day is here! What did it take to get here? Well, 62 years and a new husband for me, but that is
another story. There are a few things that you can start doing today that will help you reach your dream trip now that travel is back:
1. Add “travel” to your budget – Every good household has a budget mapped out, usually for a mortgage, groceries, etc. If you have the travel bug, add a line item for vacation spending and open a travel savings account. Pay into this account regularly the same way you would pay any other bill. While this is an expense that might have to be scrubbed during tight times, it is very satisfying to see the result of consistent deposits to an account designated specifically for fun.
2. Search for bargains – Whatever your travel choice, always look for deals. Off-season travel is terrific, and for this fall trip, I am saving almost 40% by not traveling during peak time. Additionally, since the pandemic forced the postponement of our original trip twice, I was able to get an additional 25% credit voucher that I used to extend the cruise length!
3. Utilize a rewards credit card – If you are disciplined and can pay off your credit card each month, use a travel/cash rewards card for everyday purchases. The rewards you earn for normal spending can be applied to future travel or adventures – the only part of your credit card statement that you WANT to see increase!
4. Choose your adventure – For big-ticket Viking River Cruise-type vacations, planning is critical. In addition to saving, make sure that you ask questions like “one big trip or four little trips?” or “Europe or Costa Rica?” and ensure all participants agree. After you have written the check and boarded the plane, it is not the time to find out your spouse really wanted to go to Six Flags!