IN YOUR PRIME: How to budget for long trips overseas

Budgeting for a long trip means understanding average costs, deciding on priorities and utilizing discounts at one's disposal.

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Budgeting for a long trip means understanding average costs, deciding on priorities and utilizing discounts at one's disposal.

Seniors typically have more time to travel than other groups. That freedom entices many to travel overseas, often for extended periods of time.

The cost comparison site CostAide indicates that the average two-week vacation for two to Amsterdam can run around $5,000 to $6,000. Lengthen that trip to a month, and a vacation of one’s dreams can set a couple back $12,000. Change the destination and costs could get even higher.

The last thing any traveler wants is to run out of money during a dream vacation. This makes figuring out costs and budgeting for such trips essential. Seniors planning the trip of a lifetime can consider these tips to budget effectively and maximize their vacation dollars.

Air travel

Transportation abroad undoubtably will be one of the largest expenses travelers incur. Check prices from multiple airports in your area for the best rates, even if it means having to drive a bit further. If you have only one local airport, book a separate flight to a travel hub, such as Atlanta or New York, so you can comparison shop more affordable flights to your final destination.

Plan a year or two out for the trip and shop around for travel rewards credit cards that provide reward earnings in the way of airline miles; start accumulating them with everyday purchases. If you use airline rewards wisely, you won’t need to budget for the flight and may enjoy extra perks like priority boarding or free baggage check.

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Calculate pre-trip prices

Start shopping destinations to see which locales align with your budget. Compare and contrast estimates as to how much each destination may cost on a daily basis. Prices can vary widely depending on the destination, and this is a great way to some pre-trip notion of what your dream trip will cost.

Look into lodging

There is a lot of wiggle room when it comes to lodging and price points. You can stay in five-star hotels and pay a premium or consider hostels if bells and whistles aren’t your priority. Keep in mind that a longer stay could come with a discount. Airbnb, for example, lets hosts list weekly or monthly prices, with monthly discounts running 40 to 60 percent less than daily rates.

Food

Food is a priority when traveling. If you can stay in accommodations with a kitchenette, you can reduce dining costs and make meals as desired.

Food plans are another consideration. Book destinations that offer an all-inclusive or a meal plan option. It may not be the cheapest alternative, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing food costs already are covered.

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