If social media photos of your friends from their expensive vacations is making you question your self-worth and affordability, then you should give this post a read.
As millennials, we have a unique problem that no social scientist had ever anticipated. Call it the flipside of rapid urbanisation or technological advancement, but we weren’t quite ready for the damage that the onslaught of social media posts or updates would do to our self-image.
With our Instagram and Facebook feeds being flooded with images of friends skydiving in New Zealand, cruising in the Caribbean and pub hopping in Amsterdam, vacations mean much more than just wind down time today. But Instagram-worthy vacations need not be the sole preserve of the rich. You can easily afford one such vacation in a year if you plan and budget right with a Credit Card, Personal Loan or even Mutual Funds. Let’s take a look.
Do plenty of homework
Decided on a place where you want to spend the winter this year? Figure out the fundamentals first. How much would it take to get you there? Are you travelling there during the peak season? How much would you have to shell out for hotel accommodation? Would it be a better idea to take a trip there during the off season when flight and hotel tickets will be relatively cheaper? Do you want to spend more on stay at lavish hotels or opt for an Airbnb that will give you a real taste of the local culture?
Always have a plan B in place in case things don’t quite work out the way you expected them to. Browse a few travel websites and compare offers to lock in the best deal. Interact with travel bloggers who’ve written about your vacation destination to get an idea of things that you must bear in mind before travel, tips on how to get around the place without spending a bomb etc.
Flight and hotel bookings don’t have to drain your coffers if you have the Yatra SBI Card that offers instant discounts on hotel and international flight bookings.
Make a fail-proof plan
Agreed, it’s easier said than done. But the success of your plan depends largely on how well it is thought out. Start with the finances. How are you going to pay for the trip? Would getting a Credit Card or taking out a Personal Loan help? Are your finances in order to be able to repay the loan? Start planning for the trip at least four months in advance if it’s an international destination. Keep your dates slightly flexible so that a last minute development doesn’t make your plans go awry.
Additional reading: Cheap Flights From Mumbai To Various Destinations Around The Globe
Book in advance, always!
If you’ve finalised your travel dates and got your leaves approved at work, book your flight and hotel right away. When you make bookings in advance, you get plenty of time to scout for the best deals and offers on travel and deal comparison websites and lock in on the best one out there. However, remember not to book too early as you might get locked into an unfavourably high price for your airfare. The best time to book a flight is 45-90 days before the date of departure. A travel Credit Card can also prove pretty useful as you can offset the points earned on bookings against cashback and other rewards.
For instance, with the Citi PremierMiles Card, you can redeem accumulated miles for flight tickets across 100+ airlines.
While making a flight or hotel booking, remember to switch to the incognito mode or private browsing mode. This rules out the possibility of the travel portal automatically recording your server details, cookies and information that you entered in your previous sessions and showing you jacked up prices in your subsequent sessions.
Additional reading: 6 Fantastic Tricks You Can Use To Save On Airfare
Lounge in leisure:
One of the biggest peeves of international flights is their long layovers. But long layovers don’t have to be synonymous with boredom. With international airports upping the ante with a variety of entertainment, eating and shopping options, you can make the most of your layovers. Lounges offer a host of pampering services and activities like hot showers, free draught beer, massages, music listening pods etc. that will make the time fly.
If you take long-haul international flights often, keep an eye out for Credit Cards that come with the benefit of providing you with free access to international lounges worldwide. Take the case of the Jet Airways IndusInd Bank Voyage Visa Card that gives you access to 600+ lounges across the world through its Complimentary Priority Pass programme.
Additional reading: Qatar 2022: How Mutual Funds Can Be Your Ticket To World Cup Glory
Sample local flavour:
There’s no better way to get a taste of the local culture than to sample its local cuisine. However, eating out in an international destination comes at a steep price and you might have to shell out more than just the restaurant bill in the form of forex charges etc. Several Credit Cards offer heavy discounts on dining bills in their partner restaurants.
Tucking into high-end celebrity chef fare doesn’t have to be a luxury if you have the right Credit Card by your side. The Jet Airways ICICI Bank Coral American Express Credit Card for example offers a minimum of 15% savings on dining bills. Street food eateries in many travel destinations around the world accept Credit Cards too.
So, there you have it! International travel and an Instagram-worthy vacation doesn’t have to be an aspiration anymore. With some thorough financial planning, plenty of homework and not to forget, the right financial product, your dream vacation is only a flight away. We have a bunch of Credit Cards, Personal Loans and Mutual Funds that will help kick-start your prep for the perfect vacation. Take a look here.