There are a variety of costs to take into consideration when planning annual holidays. The budget may have to cover many aspects, including family travel insurance, flights, accommodation and activities. The costs are so high that many people are opting against holidays in foreign destinations. However, prospective travellers should adopt the kinds of strategies outlined in this article to keep expenditure to a minimum.Stay In One PlaceIt may be tempting to schedule numerous journeys with the intention of seeing the broadest range of tourist attractions. However, the prices of train, bus and aeroplane tickets can add up. It’s for this reason that wise travellers are encouraged to identify specific resorts with the greatest appeal. It’s also worth paying in advance (online) for entry to popular attractions and sightseeing tours.Check Flight PricesThere is a great deal of variation in the ticket prices offered by different airlines. Prospective travellers who are really keen to save their hard earned money are advised to conduct a thorough search on the websites of no frills airlines. There will be a fairly good chance of discovering bargains in the month before scheduled holidays. However, it should be mentioned that it’s important to find out whether your family travel insurance covers last minute flights.Choose the All-inclusive OptionAll-inclusive breaks have traditionally been perceived as regimented and perhaps restrictive. However, over the last few years, some of the major holiday companies have started to offer flexible package deals for very reasonable prices. These all-inclusive holidays include accommodation, food and sometimes even drinks. There’s also the option of booking places on package holidays involving extreme activities and trips to notable heritage sites. (However, again, make sure your family travel insurance covers any extra activities.)Find Affordable CoverSome travellers mistakenly assume they are entitled to free healthcare when abroad. There is a certain amount of cover with an EHIC, from the UK, but often, foreign medical authorities charge huge amounts for any care provided. Those travellers who are worried about the prospect of having to pay thousands of pounds are advised to invest in comprehensive family travel insurance. The best policies will include cover against the expense of medical transfers and repatriation and also the option of including cover for expensive business items and electronic gadgets.Stick to a BudgetSome people don’t bother to set budgets in preparation for their holidays, using an international break as the perfect opportunity to splash some cash. But even if you are on a budget, it is quite possible to have a fabulous time despite restricted funds. Money conscious travellers are encouraged to set budgets for everything, however – from accommodation to food to entertainment. It might even be worth downloading a budgeting app, which can be accessed on a daily basis. That way you’ll see where you stand and be able to have the occasional splurge.
Let’s face it, when you’re young, thinking about growing old is a scary thought. Will I have enough money to retire at an early age? Will I even have enough money to retire at all? Most Americans would love to retire at the standard age of 59 ½ or 65. But with the rising cost of everyday living, these targets are becoming harder and harder to hit. Increased Healthcare Costs, Rising Insurance Premiums, Housing Market Fluctuations, Energy Price Increases and Growing Medical Expenses are digging into savings that were once thought of as your nest egg. In order to retire comfortably, you must start saving at an early age. If you follow a few golden rules, you can possibly retire early and even be a millionaire.For starters, it’s imperative that you open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) at an early age. How early? How about right out of High School! There are two types of IRA’s that you should familiarize yourself with; the Standard IRA and Roth IRA. Both investments have their benefits and drawbacks that your accountant can go over with you. If you do not have an accountant ask your the financial manager of your local bank to guide you in the right direction. You can also do a quick Google search of these IRA’s. The search results will give you an in depth look at how they work.Once you have setup your IRA, a 401K Retirement Plan is a great way to invest your weekly earnings. Most large corporations offer a multitude of 401K plans to suit your needs. Some of these corporations even match your investment up to a certain dollar value. The maximum amount of money you can contribute to a 401K is 10% of your earnings. You might think this is too much but believe me, its not. After a while, you won’t even realize its missing from your paycheck. In a few years, that 10% will compound itself into a nice nest egg.Now that you have an IRA and a 401K, Debt Reduction is the next key element in striving for that early retirement. Reducing credit card debit should be your number one priority. Let’s face it. Most Americans live in debt. My advice to you is, don’t be one of them! Credit Card debit can consume a large chunk of the money you set aside each month for savings. With credit card interest rates as high as 21%, carrying a $1,000 balance can cost you hundreds of dollars each year if you just pay the minimum amount due. If you are holding credit card balances on multiple cards that amount to over $5,000, you should consider a Debit Consolidation Loan. Your local bank can offer advice on these types of loans or you can contact one of the Debt Consolidation Companies on the web to assist you. Just remember, when dealing with a Debt Consolidation company, they’re in business to make money. Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous companies that are not looking out for your best interest, so learn as much as you can about them before signing any papers. You can check the Better Business Bureau to see if they have any claims against them. If so, steer clear and look elsewhere.Buy a House; Do Not Rent! I can’t stress this enough. Renting an apartment is just throwing money away. When renting, you’re making someone else a millionaire! Here is a little story for you. When my sister got married six years ago, she asked me for some advice on married life. Well, my advice to her wasn’t about marriage at all. I told her to purchase a house instead of renting an apartment. She looked at me funny and said, “Well, we plan on renting for a little while to save up enough money to buy a house.” I told her that if she chooses that route, I’ll be visiting her in that same apartment five years from now. Sure enough, she chose to rent and is now stuck in that same apartment because she was throwing away $1200+ per month in rent for the past six years. She could have been making monthly mortgage payments that were building equity. I know it’s not easy to purchase a home these days but do what ever you can to save up enough for that down payment. There are plenty of programs for first time home buyers that can assist you. You can consult your local bank about these programs.Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to an early retirement. Start early enough and you might even be a millionaire! Good Luck!