Tag: Save

Where to Spend and Save in Your Vacation Rental

When it comes to spending money on a vacation rental, you need to consider different factors than when spending money on your primary residence. For one thing, when you invest in improving your primary residence, the goal is to add value to a prospective buyer. But when you’re improving your vacation rental (unless you’re selling it right away), your goal is to make the property more appealing to prospective renters. Vacation renters generally don’t see the property in person before deciding to stay, making decisions based on how well the property is presented in a listing, as well as the overall functionality of the property.

With that in mind, here are some of the best value-adding ways to spend money on your vacation rental, as well as some expenses unlikely to create the type of value you’re looking for.

5 smart ways to spend money in your vacation rental

The two best, cost-effective ways to boost your rental income are those that help your property’s listing appeal to more renters and make the home itself more functional. Here are five low-cost ways to add value to your vacation rental:

  • Professional listing photos: Sure, you can snap a few pictures with your smartphone, upload them to your Airbnb listing, and call it a day. But professional photos (or even those taken by a real estate agent with experience making properties look great in listings) can go a long way toward attracting more renter interest in the property.
  • Exterior appearance upgrades: Fresh landscaping, a new coat of exterior paint, and other lower-cost items that make the property look better from the outside can produce an excellent ROI. This type of upgrade will help your property show better on rental listings, which can significantly boost renter interest.
  • More beds: Many travelers search for vacation rentals by sleeping capacity, so by increasing yours, you also increase your potential renter base. For example, if a kids’ room currently has two twin beds, upgrading to two bunk beds adds to sleeping capacity. So does swapping a standard sofa for a pull-out sleeper.
  • Lighting upgrades: This idea piggybacks off the first two points and can help your rental look more warm and inviting, especially in your listing photos. By investing in some moderate lighting upgrades, you could boost the listing appeal of your rental — and make it more comfortable — for not much money.
  • (Good) Wi-Fi: If you offer Wi-Fi to your renters, do a speed test next time you have a chance. If it’s slow or only works in certain parts of the home, you could be turning off travelers who may need to get work done on the road. You can get a great mesh system for about $200, which could be a major selling point for people who need it.

3 vacation home expenses that aren’t worth it

With all that in mind, some expenses are not likely to produce a good return on your vacation home improvement dollars. Here are

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How to Save for a Vacation Without Breaking the Bank

Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, but it’s hard to unwind when you’re constantly stressing about how you’re going to pay for it all.

Whether it’s a road trip, cruise or another much-needed getaway, now is the time to start saving up for that vacation you’ve been dreaming of for months.

With a little creativity, you can bulk up your bank account and be ready to hit the road or beach in style, without going into debt to do it.

3 Strategies to Save for Your Next Vacation

Saving money is something many of us struggle with, but a dream vacation is great motivation to start stacking your coins.

These three money-saving strategies will have you sipping cocktails by the beach (or hiking at a four-star mountain resort… or testing out your language skills at an international destination) in no time.

1. Open a Dedicated Vacation Bank Account

One easy way to save for a special trip is to open a dedicated vacation savings account. If you choose a high-yield savings account, your money might even grow a bit while you’re looking forward to your trip.

You can open a savings account at your local bank, but if you go with an online bank, you’ll be less likely to withdraw the money.

Set up automatic payments into the account, and, with a little restraint, leave that money there until it’s time for your trip. Bulk up your account balance by depositing any $1 bills or $5 bills that you receive as change from everyday purchases. Funnel any extra money — like a work bonus or birthday cash — into your vacation fund as well.

If you have a side gig and don’t rely on the income to cover your essential expenses, you can save that money toward your upcoming getaway, too.

2. Create a Savings Goal

If you budget for your trip in advance, you don’t have to spend time stressing over your spending while you’re on vacation.

Research the costs of your expected expenditures, such as airfare, rental cars, gas, hotel stays, meals, souvenirs, special excursions and tickets to attractions or events. After totaling those costs, you’ll have an estimation of how much you’ll need to save.

Now work backwards to reach your savings goal. Divide your estimated vacation cost by the number of months you have before taking your trip to figure out how much money to save aside each month. For example, if you’re taking a $2,400 vacation a year from now, you’d need to save $200 a month to fund your getaway.

If your vacation date isn’t set in stone, you could figure out how much you’d like to save monthly and divide your total estimated vacation cost by your monthly savings amount to figure out when you can afford to take your trip. Using the $2,400 vacation example, if you could only afford to save $150 a month, you’d have the funds for your trip 16 months from now.

3. Download Money-Saving Apps

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Aileen
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France, favourite vacation destination for so many, looks inwards to save summer

LA BAULE-ESCOUBLAC, France, (Reuters) – The sweeping Atlantic bay in La Baule-Escoublac should be filling up with holidaymakers taking advantage of a series of long weekends in May. Instead the only activity is a bulldozer and excavator reshaping the shoreline.

Construction machineries are seen in action on the deserted beach of the Promenade des Anglais in Nice during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France, May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

With France under lockdown, tables and chairs lie stacked on the outdoor terraces of beachfront restaurants in the western resort town as their owners plan how to reconfigure seating to respect coronavirus social distancing rules once the government says they can re-open.

La Baule-Escoublac is a ghost town. It offers a snapshot of the financial uncertainty facing the tourism industry in France even as it and other European nations start winding down their restrictions on public life.

Nearly 90 million foreign tourists visited France in 2018, making it the most visited country in the world, according to government data. Tourism accounts for about 7% of France’s 2.3 trillion euro ($2.48 trillion) economy.

“We’re not used to seeing the beach like this. The quicker things pick up the better,” said Pierre Guillou, who manages the waterfront restaurant Les Fils a Maman.

Guillot’s problems extend beyond when the beach will open. He wants to know who will be able to visit the resort’s cafes, restaurants and shops.

Across Europe, countries are grappling with just how much freedom of movement to restore, both across borders and internally.

France begins easing its lockdown from Monday but will initially impose a 100-km (60-mile) travel restriction on people inside “red zone” COVID-19 hotspots, including the greater Paris region, unless it is for an urgent family or work-related reason.

There will also be a compulsory two-week quarantine for travellers – whether French or foreigners – arriving in the country from outside the European Union’s Schengen open-border area and the United Kingdom.

President Emmanuel Macron has told the French they should holiday in France.

“We’re going to limit big international trips, even during the summer holidays. We will stay amongst Europeans, but perhaps we will have to restrict that further still,” the president said this week.

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EU policy on reopening borders remains disjointed. For example in neighbouring Italy, the outbreak’s early epicentre in Europe, anyone arriving from abroad currently faces a fortnight in quarantine unless on a short business trip.

It all leaves Parisians in the dark over whether they will be able to decamp to the Riviera, the Dutch uncertain if they can drive their motorhomes to Spain and British unsure if they can hop the Channel and spread around France this summer.

France’s Dordogne area, a favourite with Britons, is not banking on anybody coming from very far away. So far this year, the region has already lost an estimated 93 million euros in tourism revenues, according to the Dordogne tourist board.

“We’re going to lose our foreign clientele this year,”

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Save Money on Vacation by Following These Steps

save money on vacationThere is no getting around it – a great vacation comes at a high cost. For a family of 4, you can sometimes spend in excess of $5,000 for 5 or 6 days away from home.

How Much Money Should I Save for Vacation?

The amount you can save is going to vary greatly depending on where you want to travel, how thrifty you are and how much research you do.

The different areas you can save some money include Transportation, Accommodations and staying on top of any hidden fees that could end up costing you a tremendous amount of money extra that you haven’t budgeted for.

TRANSPORTATION

There are a number of ways to save on transportation when you are going on vacation.

Plane Travel

Save Money on Tickets – You can save a lot of money on airline tickets if you’re flexible with your travel dates. A day or two earlier or later can make a huge difference in the cost. Tuesdays through Thursdays are usually the cheapest days to travel by air.

Consider alternate airports – Sometimes, flying into a different airport can save hundreds of dollars per ticket per flight. Larger cities typically have multiple airports.

Consider the cost of travel to and from the airport as well – Try to save money getting to and from the airport. If you take your car, you will need to pay for parking at the long-term car park. There might be cheap transportation to and from the airport, but it might be cheaper and less hassle to take your car if you have a lot of people and/or a lot of luggage.

Don’t overpack – Airlines can charge a small fortune these days for checked baggage. Pack each carry on for each family member carefully for maximum usefulness in the minimum amount of space.

Watch out for fuel surcharges and airport taxes – These should usually be included in the price of the ticket, but if you are booking online, that “cheap fare” might actually end up giving you sticker shock.

Book packages if possible – A flight, hotel and car rental for one inclusive price can be a good deal.

Collect air miles – Air miles can all add up to a big savings on your next vacation as long as there are no high fees for booking. Charges will usually be highest for last-minute travel, such as less than two weeks prior to departure.

Go in the off season – Avoid flying at the height of the holiday and summer. Try spring and fall getaways instead.

Going by Car

Make sure you have the car serviced before you go. You don’t want to end up with breakdowns and/or any costly repairs on the road. Check the tires, especially in warm and cold weather. The state of the tires can have a significant impact on fuel mileage.

Look for good gas prices – If you have more than one option, shop around. Pay cash for your gas. 

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47 Ways to Save Money on Vacation

According to American Express, about one in three Americans plan to spend at least $1,000 per person on their next summer vacation – or $4,000 for a family of four.

International travel is of course a major budget-buster, but modest weekend getaways and regional road trips add up quickly too. No matter where you’re planning to go, what you’re planning to do, or how long you’re planning to stay, it behooves you to do whatever it takes (within reason) to reduce your expenditures.

I spoke with more than a dozen travel experts and dug deep into my own travels past to compile this comprehensive list of tips to save money on any vacation. It’s organized in roughly chronological order, beginning with destination selection. Have a look!

How to Save Money on Any Vacation

1. Look for Destinations With Favorable Exchange Rates

If you’re eyeing a trip abroad, your first move is to look for destinations with favorable exchange rates – that is, where local currencies are weak relative to the U.S. dollar. Look for countries experiencing momentary political or economic instability, a condition that often puts downward pressure on currency values.

One caveat: Don’t rush to take advantage of favorable exchange rates if it means putting yourself in harm’s way. More often than not, currency devaluation is a symptom of deeper problems. Since 2013, the Mexican peso has fallen more than 25% against the U.S. dollar in recent years due in part to widespread cartel violence, according to XE Currency. That’s an enticing proposition for bargain-hunting travelers – as long as they steer well clear of hot spots.

My wife and I took advantage of a slightly less dramatic discrepancy: We visited Porto and Lisbon, Portugal in the fall of 2016, when the euro was near a multiyear low against the dollar. Our out-of-pocket costs were about 30% lower than on my previous trip to Europe eight years earlier.

2. Sign Up for a Cheap Flight Newsletter

If you’re not set on a specific destination, sign up for a cheap flight newsletter that curates deeply discounted flight deals to various destinations.

My go-to is Scott’s Cheap Flights, a free newsletter that comes every day or two, on average. Each deal indicates what you can expect to pay for the cheap flight against the normal fare range, plus a brief description of what you need to do to get the deal (sometimes the instructions are a little convoluted), the deal’s expected lifespan (usually no more than a couple days from the email’s time stamp), and the travel date ranges during which it’s likely to apply (usually a span of several months into the future).

Scott’s absolute best deals are reserved for the newsletter’s premium version, which costs $39 per year and comes about twice as often. I don’t travel internationally enough to justify the investment, but if you head abroad for business or pleasure more than once or twice a year, it might be worth your while.

3. Set Price Alerts

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