With the winter holidays and the New Year, people are all geared up for travelling. But fear of Covid still lurks and foreign holidays are limited. Moreover, the Indian economy is still recovering and people affected by pay cuts and job losses are trying to gain back their footing. In such a situation, you may think that travelling within a smaller budget is not possible. But it is.
With foreign travel restricted, travelling within the country can be safer and a financially affordable option for many. With some planned decisions like the choice of destination, accommodation to go for and others, one can easily enjoy an affordable trip.
Smart Financial Planning
To avoid any sort of financial burden, it is always better to plan the trip beforehand with adequate time in hand and a proper budget. Travelling and vacations are a financial goal for many. So, like other goals like buying white goods or a car, you can plan for travel too. “Random decisions to travel are never healthy for your pocket. While budgeting, it’s ideal to keep travelling as a component of your expenses. Setting aside money every month doesn’t disturb your cash flow in the travel month. Having a predefined budget and savings plan enable you to fulfil your desires along with your other major financial goals,” says Arijit Sen, a Sebi-Registered Investment Adviser and Co-founder, Merrymind.in, a financial planning firm.
Move 1: Choose Affordable Destinations
While the tourism industry has been badly affected due to Covid, gradually things are picking up as people are slowly coming out for trips. Pent up travel demand is pushing the sector’s recovery and by some estimates, it is nearing pre-Covid levels.
“During winter, people are specifically interested in experiencing snowfalls. So, if someone is tight on budget, destinations like Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand can be a good choice. Moreover, younger travellers often go for treks as they are affordable and also cheaper than family trips,” says Abhishek Gaur, Senior Manager – Holidays, Travel Parinda.
Travel patterns have also changed. Earlier, people preferred to travel in groups; now travelling solo or in small groups is being preferred due to Covid, adds Gaur.
Another way to reduce travel expenses is to travel to places that are nearby. Rather than going for a long trip, you could choose to go to places that can be reached easily by road; this helps reduce expenses. “To reduce cost, travellers can also opt for group departures where they generally stay at different hotels and separate rooms but for sightseeing, shared vehicles could be used,” says Gaur.
Move 2: Stay Away From That Credit Card
Planning budget-friendly trips also involve spending carefully while on the trip. “Often, people misuse credit cards for unplanned vacations. Shopping beyond the set budget is another way of spending too much. The need to pay off credit card bills in subsequent month(s) puts unnecessary pressure on your cash flow,” mentions Sen.
Move 3: Stay Local
Your choice of accommodation can make or break your trip budget. “Travelers opt for economic eco-friendly stays rather than big commercial hotels as the former are cheaper and travellers get to enjoy the local touch. Such stays also get subsidies and tax rebates from the government, so they are able to offer their service rooms at a lower cost,” adds Gaur.