Start Planning Your 2024 Holidays
With the rising cost of living, most families are tightening their belt. And the first thing scrapped from many families’ expenditure is the family vacation. We all know how important these yearly trips are for family bonding (and parental sanity). So is it even possible to plan cheap holidays for whole family in Malaysia?
If a family vacation in 2023 is not within your budget, there is always next year! Plus you have the advantage of making your preparations early and reduce the stress.
Planning for a vacation is undeniably fun and exciting, but it can be quite stressful staying within a budget. (If you do not have a budget, you need to set one before planning further!) Set up your expenditure budget and begin to change your spending habit in advance in anticipation of your vacation.
If you have planned to go for your vacation in the next three months, start cutting back on spending at least two months in advance. You’ll have more money to spend during your trip if you stop going out for expensive dinners for two months.
For a family of three, each time you eat out at a decent restaurant will probably cost you an average of RM100. If you usually eat out once a week, you would have saved RM800 for your trip, which will come in handy for dining out at your holiday destination.
Do your bookings earlier
Look at your budget and find other ways to save. Things you can cut back on are entertainment costs, restaurant meals, clothes and coffees. However, to make the most out of your money, it is always advisable to plan ahead.
Last-minute airline tickets and accommodation at hotels usually take the biggest bite out of your travel budget. Whenever possible, decide on your travel dates at least three months ahead of time. If you are able to commit to a travel plan for 2024, even better! Start checking airline website, group buy websites and travel websites for special promotions on holiday packages.
Even if you don’t get to save a significant amount, as an earlier travel planner, you still get the best picks on destination, accommodation, seats for flight and other tourist attractions. By planning early, it will also give you more time to compare prices.
At iMoney, we are a strong advocate of comparison shopping. To be a smart consumer, always compare before making a financial decision. And any decision involving money is a financial decision.
Start a vacation fund
If you are the type to plan way ahead, for example a year ahead, you can even start putting assign part of your income as your vacation fund. A RM150 contribution to the fund will add up to RM1,800 by the end of next year!
If you are using your credit cards for your vacation, such as booking of airline ticket and hotel, and you are unable to pay off the payment on your card before you leave for your vacation, it is important that you clear the balance within six months.
If all else fails, forget a grand vacation. With soaring inflation combined with the weak ringgit, it pays to keep road trips short. Explore your backyard by considering a closer-to-home destination, such as an amusement park or a water park. You will be supporting local tourism and will save a tonne in the process, too. Some tourist attractions even offer cheaper rate for Malaysians, such as Aquaria KLCC and Sunway Lagoon Theme Park.
Regardless of the destination, it is the company that matters. Be clear on your objective which is to spend some time resting and relaxing with your family. With a few changes to your spending habits, you will be able to plan for a great vacation that will keep your kids occupied and entertained, without grimacing about the financial costs after that.