This was originally published on Monday, June 25, 2018, in the Pacific Daily News. Click here to subscribe to the PDN.
Summertime vacations can be costly. If you are planning on traveling off island, you may want to consider traveling with a group of friends or even extended family.
Traveling in groups opens discounts for groups that may save you money. Group rates are offered with many hotels, amusement parks and museums. If you are planning on traveling as a group, here are a few things to consider.
Budget. Discuss a budget agreeable to everyone. It is very easy to overspend when you are having fun. By planning ahead, you will ensure a dream vacation that everyone can afford. It will also dispel any concerns or disagreements over money. Decide where you want to go and what you want to see. Many attractions, hotels and car rentals have their prices listed online.
Spending habits. Don’t assume that everyone’s finances are the same. Travel with those who think and value money the same way you do. If you are frugal and like to use coupons, you may have difficulty traveling with someone who likes to splurge. If you are with a group that values money, you may be open to more options that will save you money.
Split the bill. Add up the cost of the trip and divide it by the number of people traveling. That amount is then paid by each traveling member. You may want to consider opening a separate bank account that can be used to pay the cost of the trip. You can make direct deposits into the account. The account can be used to pay airfare, hotel stays, transportation and admissions to attractions.
Deadlines. Establish payment deadlines to take advantage of early planning. The closer to the peak summer travel dates, the more prices increase. Be aware of payment deadlines for airfare and lodging. Missing these dates could forfeit your reservation. Some reservations may not be refundable.
Eating. One cost that is sometimes overlooked, but can break a budget, is eating. Decide how many meals you will eat out or cook. If you use a rental property, most likely you will have a kitchen. You can also stay in hotels that have kitchenettes.
Cooking, even if it’s the simplest foods, will help you stick to a reasonable budget. Plan meals out in advance and discuss so everyone is happy with what is cooked. You may also research hotels that offer a meal for each night you stay.
Michael Camacho is president and chief executive officer of Personal Finance Center. He has more than 24 years of experience in retail banking and at financial institutions in Guam and Hawaii. If there is a topic you’d like Michael to cover, please email him at email@example.com and read past columns at the Money Matters blog at www.moneymattersguam.wordpress.com.