Summer is a great time to travel whether it is to the beach or to visit the grandkids. But with current high gas prices and inflated prices due to the rush of vacationers, it can be tricky to travel on a budget during the summer months.
For many seniors, splurging on a summer vacation is not within the budget. One in four seniors receiving Social Security rely on it for 90% or more of their income.1 That leaves little wiggle room for vacation money making it all the more necessary to spend wisely on summer trips.
So before you plan your summer getaway, consider these tips for traveling on a budget:
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1. Travel during the week
Weekends are notoriously expensive travel days throughout the year and summer is no exception. If you are planning a summer trip, plan to fly out mid-week. Most research shows that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually the cheapest days to fly and the most likely days for airlines to offer discounts.2 Plan your departure dates on cheaper flight days and save some extra money!
2. Find travel discounts
If you are over 65, there are several travel companies that offer a range of senior citizen discounts.3 If you are a member of AAA or AARP, there are often discounts available for flights, lodging, transportation and more. Do some research ahead of time to see if you qualify for discounts that may help your budget out.
3. Choose budget-friendly activities4
You can still have a fun vacation even on a budget! Explore your options ahead of time and research the cost of activities. See if you can discover deals or coupons to use on certain activities or opt for free options like walking around a new city, visiting a local park, or heading to the beach!
4. Make a daily budget and track spending4
Although it may sound tedious, making a daily budget and tracking spending while on vacation can be a helpful tool to not derail your finances. Calculate how much you are able to spend on your vacation, then create a tracker to account for things you might spend money on like food, activities and souvenirs. Every day, write out your expenses and adjust accordingly the next day if you are under or over budget. Having your expenses in front of you will hold you accountable to staying on budget even while on vacation.
5. Check your Medicare coverage
No one plans to get sick or hurt while on vacation, but it could happen and not being prepared could cost you in out-of-pocket medical costs. It is best to plan ahead and make sure you are covered in case of an emergency. Medicare Advantage plans offer emergency coverage to make sure you are taken care of in the event of an accident. To check plans in your area, visit www.medicareadvantage.com/shop
Budgeting is hardly fun, but when it is done right, it can unlock more fun opportunities like traveling during the summer. By implementing these helpful tips, you will be able to travel this summer while keeping your budget on track.
If your Medicare card is lost, stolen or damaged, you can get a replacement card from Social Security and the Railroad Retirement Board, or by calling Medicare or logging into your My Social Security online account. Read more
Medicare beneficiaries who are also eligible for Medicaid are considered dual eligible. If you are Medicare dual eligible, you may qualify for a Medicare D-SNP (Dual Special Needs Plan), which is a type of Medicare Advantage plan. Read more