Money for Miles: How to Budget for Summer Travel

*Drum roll please!*

School’s out. I’ve got my finger hovering over the play button for “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and the travel bug is creeping up on us all. The destination you added to your vision board in January isn’t getting any closer to you, and you want to make your trip a reality. Well, once you answer these questions below, your roadtrip is pretty much planned with some money left in your pocket:

Where do I want to go? – Whether you’re thinking domestic or international, check out Groupon for all inclusive deals for the environment you’re looking for (mountains, Caribbean, etc.). Be sure to read the terms and conditions BEFORE purchasing.

How am I going to get there? – I love flying and you’ll be able to set flight price alerts for your destination with The Flight Deal, AirfareWatchdog, and Skiplagged. If you’re more of a road trip fan, MegaBus is covering most of the United States with their safe, convenient, low-cost transportation.

Where am I going to stay? – If you’re focused on racking up hotel points, you’ll still be able to enter your reservation information when using coupon and bargain websites for booking. However, if you’re not loyal to a hotel chain, you need to try my go-to website, AirBNB. The website gives you the opportunity to book homes from local hosts across the world. Last year, I booked a villa via the website for my trip to Turks and Caicos for $99/night (1/2 price of a hotel room during the same stay). I was in walking distance to Grace Bay Beach, the #1 beach in the world according to TripAdvisor. AirBNB gets you close to local attractions and gives you the “at-home” feeling. Kitchens and living rooms are always a plus without having to pay the hotel suite costs.

How will I get around? – Uber is slashing prices like it’s 1999 as they’ve dropped their prices nearly 40% in most cities across the globe. If you’re into being your own chauffeur, TURO, a new company that promotes the Sharing Community idea, will let you rent a local’s car for the week for a considerable discount than your average rental car company.

What will I do when I get there? – Craft your itinerary using your new best travel buddies, Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor. Or you could always ask your AirBNB host.

How much do I need to save to afford this trip? – Now add up your expenses: lodging + food + travel (round trip and how you’ll get around during your trip) + activities.  The total is your savings target number. Need some help putting your money to the side? is great for setting saving goals and tracking them.

BONUS:  If you’re looking for a soundtrack to put you in the Summer mood, Mick Boogie and DJ Jazzy Jeff always cook up their “Summertime” mix. Listen to the past 6 HERE.

Where do you plan on going? Drop your destinations below! Feel free to add travel blogs that are inspiring you to get some passport stamps if you haven’t locked in on one location yet.

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