Planning your dream vacation? It will take some work. You’ll need to choose your destination, arrange travel there, and determine where and how long you’ll stay. And before all of that, you’ll need to save money.
This is easier said than done. That’s true even when you have a pretty decent salary and can meet all mandatory expenses easily.
A lot of people are not that lucky. They are generally left with little in their account after meeting expenses and setting aside emergency savings. Besides, the desire for instant gratification tempts many people to spend that remaining cash on unplanned purchases. Putting it away for a nebulous future vacation takes effort.
However, many individuals do plan future travels, even those with limited resources. They also execute those plans perfectly. How do they do it? In a word: technology.
Using technology to save and plan for their next travel destination has become second nature for many people, especially Millennials. From amassing a vacation fund to scouting the best deals, there’s bound to be an app or website that will ease your way. If you have the absolute resolve to take that dream vacation, technology can help make it happen.
1. Use Apps to Save Money
Savers have been setting money aside regularly for centuries. Today, smart people do it the cool way by using money-saving apps. They work by skimming money from your checking account into a savings account automatically. You will barely feel the difference.
Apps like Chime will round up your spending every time you use your debit card and stash the change into a savings account. For instance, if you buy essentials worth $22.35, the app will round that figure up to $23. Then, it puts the difference into an account that you can use for your dream trip.
While those bits of change can accumulate quicker than you might think, you can speed things along with automatic savings. Designate a certain amount or percentage of your paycheck for savings, and it will be squirreled away each pay period. It’s an incredibly simple way to save money, and the fiscal bits add up impressively fast. The best part is it happens in the background — completely out of your sight.
2. Use Apps to Track Your Spending
This is no sci-fi. Some budget apps can track what you are spending on and how much you are splurging. Mint, for example, will send you an alert if you overspend in one of your pre-established spending categories. You will remain in control of your wallet at all times, as the app ensures you don’t over-indulge.
Budget apps are handy both for saving for a vacation and also when you are on that dream trip. Often when you spend overseas, you are unsure of how much you are actually shelling out. Hidden money-eaters include expenses like conversion rates, taxes, and other charges.
Apps such as Trail Wallet can be used to set a vacation budget. You can enter all your purchases in local currency and monitor your daily expenses to stay within budget. It can also save you from those commonly experienced post-trip panics because you spent too generously while in vacation mode.
3. Use Smart Plugs and Power Strips to Save on Electricity
Most of us do not realize that some home appliances and gadgets can inflate the power bill significantly. If you can manage these devices better, you can save a tidy sum every month. This amount can be added to your travel fund.
Smart plugs are designed to control unconnected home appliances by switching them off and on remotely. You can do this using your phone or through a voice assistant. Smart plugs from Amazon, Ikea, and others are equipped with unique features and compatibility factors. Check out which ones will work best for your gadgets and devices and make a smart choice.
An advanced power strip is, likewise, a simple and smart way of saving money. Many devices, such as your smart TV, cable box, PCs, laptops, consume energy even when they are off. A smart power strip can take care of the problem, making your home more energy-efficient. Smart power strips are super easy to install, and you’ll be surprised at how much you can save in a year’s time.
4. Book the Cheapest Tickets Using Flight Comparison Apps
From saving for your vacation, now let’s shift the focus to saving on your vacation. Your flight tickets obviously form one of the largest chunks of your travel expenses. The best way to start saving is to find airlines that allow you to travel very inexpensively.
Use apps to compare fares of various airlines to the same destination. Sites like Skyscanner and Momondo will provide well-compiled lists of flight comparisons. You can even find out how much you can save if you exercise a specific travel option.
Travelers have long thought that the earlier you book your tickets, the less you’ll have to pay. Early booking is advantageous to a point, but it turns out it’s possible to book too early. Hitting the flight-booking sweet spot — between 20 and 115 days out — can save you as much as $220.
5. Use Hotel-Booking Apps to Find Money-Saving Deals
Once you arrive at your destination, you will obviously need a decent place to lay your head. Using hotel-booking apps is a smart way to find money-saving deals around the world within minutes. These apps can be used for finding great deals on advanced room bookings. They can also track your reward programs and use them to help you maximize savings.
On the flip side, helping hotels fill their unbooked rooms is another way to save big. Using apps like HotelTonight and LateRooms can land you some great last-minute deals.
If a vacation is high on your list of priorities, these technologies can help you save — and spend — smartly. Useful tech is all around you. All you have to do is identify the best apps and find ways to apply them to your daily routine. Before long, you will have saved up a vacation kitty that will make your dream trip a reality.