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Book Far Enough in Advance
One of the keys to saving money on travel is to book far enough in advance. This is usually 2 months in advance for train tickets, airfare and hotel/AirBNB. For cruises, it’s usually 6 months to a year in advance. Note that you can do last minute travel but you have to be flexible with the days you’re going and possibly where you’re going. There is also Space A travel through the military but you have to ensure your service member can get back by their leave end date. If you’re working or have kids in school it can affect your family getting back in time for that as well. Note that fares are usually higher when school is out because this is when most people take vacations. This is nice in the UK if your kids go to DOD schools, you can take trips while the British schools are still in. This is usually Columbus Day weekend, Veteran’s Day weekend, Thanksgiving, Martin Luther King weekend as well as June through the end of July.
I always try to look at 3 different websites/travel agencies to see which has the best deal. If it’s airfare I start with Skyscanner then look at Ryanair and Easyjet. Many times British Airways has deals going on over the summer where kids fly free or half off. FlightNetwork, a Canadian based company has great fares if you’re traveling internationally. Allegiant Air has cheap airfare if you’re flying within the states but is not known for amenities. Southwest has good service and usually runs deals on flights within North and South America. For lodging, I check AirBNB, Booking.com, and military lodging if we will be by it. Many people are leary of Airbnb’s but you can pick the option to have the entire place to yourself and you only might see the owner to get the keys when you first get there. Sometimes we get a rental car and sometimes we take public transport(usually if it’s a big city like Paris or Rome).
Consider Travel Insurance
Because we are military consider getting travel insurance. You never know when your spouse will have to work or some poo hits the fan and they can’t go anymore. Travel insurance allows you to recoup most of the money you pay for your trip depending on the plan you sign up for. I have partnered with RoamRight travel insurance to give you guys an option for your trips. USAA also has a travel insurance program.
Stick to Your Budget
It’s great to travel but don’t break the bank doing it. When we were in Okinawa we didn’t travel as much as we would have liked because we were adjusting to the income of one on airman pay. Plus, we actually had a lot of emergencies that took us back stateside, plus I kept having babies! I only have two but I had them both in that 3 year period. We still made the most of our experience and traveled all over the island of Okinawa. Here in the UK, he’s higher in rank and we haven’t had any emergencies that took us back stateside. When planning travel, consider how much you can spend and look at what you can cut to be able to take that trip as long as it’s not important (like diapers).
I hope this inspires you to save up and travel because it is such an eye opening experience! What big trips are you planning? Have you gotten an amazing deal on one of your vacations? Please share in the comments. Happy travels!!!