Do you want to buy a new (or new to you) car—and go on vacation? You’re not alone, and thousands of people manage both every year while still being financially savvy. How do they do it? It takes a combination of frugality, realism, and research. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways online to figure out the best approach for you. Here are a few trips to get started:
Travel in the off-season
If you’re traveling to a tropical location, the off-season is a lot cheaper. You can get flights, rooms, and experiences for a fraction of the cost. If possible, don’t travel during holiday times (either in the US or wherever you may be headed). You’ll pay a premium for it.
Consider “gently loved” vehicles
It’s well-known that buying a brand-new car means you’re paying a premium just to drive it off the lot. Find a car that’s less than 24 months old with low miles and preferably still has a warranty. You’ll save a bundle. It’s also best to buy during the off season, which is avoiding late spring and summer. Buy in December and you’ll get the best deals as dealerships want to get into the black and get last year’s model off the lot for the new year.
Consider traveling standby
It’s not a very common move anymore, but if you have flexible dates this can work. Different airlines have different regulations for standby, so check with them first. You might have to wait a day or two for flying our or returning, but you can save 50 percent or more on travel. You might even get bumped to first class.
Look for a vehicle with incentives you can actually use
Incentives can be just as good, or better than, cash savings when buying a car depending on your needs. For instance, additional warranties that you’ll actually need for no added cost can be a game changer. Make sure you check the ratings of every car you’re checking out to see what other buyers have to say. Also, double check the fine print of the incentives program for loopholes.
Look for tickets 60 – 90 days in advance and mid-week
Studies have shown the best time to purchase airline tickets is 60 – 90 days in advance and in the middle of the week. Tuesday is often cited, as are red-eye flights. If you have miles, use them. If not, look into credit cards that allow you to rack up miles on purchases you’d make anyway.
Overall, start practising more frugal money matters. Saving, cutting expenses, and tracking your income and expenses is critical. There are many apps for this. Challenge yourself to a new frugal habit every week, such as taking public transportation instead of driving or buying most items second-hand (there are, of course, exceptions). Create a challenging but reasonable savings goal and see just how frugal you can be for two incredible rewards.
Author Bio: Trevor is a freelance writer and a self-proclaimed “Travelholic”. He enjoys traveling to parts unknown, sampling local cuisines, and sharing his experiences with the world. In his free time, you can find him planning his next trip or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable