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Travelling on a Budget

Taking a well earned vacation is one of life’s great joys. For most of us though that means careful planning and saving so that we don’t over spend while stepping off the beaten path. With my own vacation just a year off, my saving and planning is in full swing. These are the tips I’ll be using to get the most out of my vacation dollars.

Travel off season. To minimize risks associated with weather pick dates just before, or just after what your destination considers “high season.”

Plan well in advance, or leave it for the last minute. It seems like contradictory advice, but you’ll be able to score better flight deals if you plan 10 months or more in advance, or catch some last minute flight specials in the week or two before you want to travel. The last minute travel specials will be easier to score the closer you are to off season dates.

Set a Budget and then stick to it. Using a A Travel FX card from SellOffVacations means you can lock in great exchange rates at time of load and track your spending. The only fees you pay are the initial charge for the card and exchange rate at the time of conversion (live rates) which protect you from fluctuations while spending abroad. Plus, starting at the end of February take advantage of their load and match deal when you book a SellOffVacations trip over a certain value. Watch their website for details.

In addition to having a card loaded with local currency keep a set amount of cash on hand for tips, and shopping trips to local markets that only accept cash. Bringing local currency will save you from having to pay high exchange rates at your destination. And in case you forget to bring cash, you can use the Travel FX Card to withdraw local currency at an international ATM.

Pack lightly – If you are heading south like I am, chances are that you will be spending most of your time on the beach so only bring the necessities. A swimsuit, a sarong, some sandals and a couple of light, wrinkle free outfits and undies that can be hand washed and hung to dry leave more room in your bags for souvenirs and save you baggage fees at the airport.

Pack a lunch – When possible shop local markets for fresh produce, breads and cheeses and make your own lunches instead of eating in restaurants.

I’d love to know what other tips you think I need to know before embarking on my first beach vacation.

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