Holidays are often an expensive affair, with all the travelling, parties, gifts and everything else that we just have to do. But a budget holiday is not as impossible as it may seem, provided you’re willing to put some time and effort into planning it. There are several ways to save money on your holiday without taking the fun out of it.
We’ve put together a list of 5 tips you can follow to have an enjoyable holiday while on a limited budget.
1. Make a Budget (and stick to it)
Although it may seem trivial and tedious, this is what helps you save the most money during the holidays. Check how much money you can afford to spend and make a meticulous, detailed plan as to how to spend it. Realising exactly how much you can spend, increases your will to save money. You can strategize your budgeting by assigning priorities and simply cutting out the spends which come in last on your list.
2. Save on gifting
Holiday gift-giving can get extremely expensive, especially if you have a large family, not to mention your colleagues and friends. Some of the best ways to save money in this case without offending anyone are:
a. Keep your eyes open for offers
As soon as the festive season rolls in, stores and online retailers alike abound with sales, each competing with the other to give you the best possible deals. Take advantage of this, and buy your gifts via these offers. Sometimes the best offers come during a clearance sale or at the end of a season. There’s no harm in doing your holiday shopping early – you can even buy an expensive Diwali gift for your boss at a “90% off” sale much before Diwali!
b. DIY is the way to go!
This is by far the best possible way to save money on gifts – make one! It gives an emotional and personal touch which no amount of money spent can ever hope to compete with, and it saves you lots of money in the process! Rather than buying a Christmas card at Archies, you could make a cute card with your best memories written on it. Rather than buying your friend a pen, you could gift them with a scrapbook containing your favourite pictures. DIY gifts always have more feelings attached to them than store-bought ones, and raw materials never cost as much as the finished product!
c. Alternatives to gifts
Instead of individual gifts for them, consider treating them together. Take them out to dinner, or plan a fun outing they would enjoy. You’ll not only end up saving money, but also enjoy it to the fullest. After all, as one grows older, material gifts matter much less than the gift of precious time spent with loved ones. Of course, there are people you have to give gifts to, like kids, but you can definitely save money when it comes to adults.
3. Save on travel
Holiday travel gets expensive, and you usually end up spending most on your journey. It’s peak time, and everything from bus ticket prices to airfares shoot up during any holiday. Here’s where you can save in such cases:
a. Choose your travel time wisely
Ticket prices show vast variation from off-season to peak season, but there’s also a major difference depending on time. Tickets are often cheaper during inconvenient times. For example, a 3:00 am flight ticket from Mumbai to Delhi may cost ₹ 2000, but one at 5:00 pm on the same day may cost ₹ 10,000! If you really want to save money, it’s always better to travel at odd timings. Also, if you’re travelling long distance, prefer night travel as long as it’s safe, thus saving on accommodation.
b. Walk/Cycle when you can
It’s always better to explore a place on foot, especially if the place you visit is beautiful. Rather than taking random walks to take in the scenery, try to walk to your destination, because after all, walking is free! If the place you’re going to is too far for a walk, you can always hire a cycle rather than anything else. Many cities like Pune have recently come up with pollution-free initiatives, like providing bicycles for rent at low rates.
c. Buy a travel pass
Most places also have travel passes for those tourists who don’t prefer to walk or cycle. Daily and weekly train or bus passes are usually very affordable, especially if you wish to move around a lot during your time in the city. Different cities have different systems, but they almost always work in our favour when it comes to being frugal.
d. Travel light
Many flight companies charge exorbitant sums for excess baggage, so it’s always better to travel light. Control what you pack and only take whatever is absolutely necessary for your trip.
4. Compromise on luxuries
Sometimes, you’ll need to learn to swap a dinner at a fancy hotel for a home-cooked meal. You may have to stay in a traveller’s hostel rather than a 5-star hotel, or swap homes using a service like Airbnb to fund your vacation. You may also need to use public transport once in a while, or travel in economy class rather than business class. But such compromises often make all the difference and save you a lot of future trouble. They also help ensure that you have enough money for another vacation in the near future.
5. Get Instant Cash With EarlySalary
Despite all your budgeting and careful planning, it is entirely possible you end up with more expenses than you’d have liked. Fortunately, there are services out there – like EarlySalary – tailored to meet exactly this need. India’s first advance salary app – it instantly approves advance cash based on your profile and requirements, directly into your bank account – or even to ecommerce stores if it’s an item you’re purchasing online. Get your advance salary here.
It isn’t too difficult to afford your vacation, fund your holiday, or even take care of sudden expenses, without burning too large a hole in your pocket. Happy holidays!