More than three years after COVID put the travel plans of many Canadians on hold, travelers are once again embracing their wanderlust and warming up to the idea of taking a vacation.
According to a recent TD poll¹, 62% of Canadian respondents said they were planning their next trip sometime in the next six months, while the number of respondents who said they are ready to travel has nearly doubled year-over-year (from 21% in 2021 to 40% in 2022).
But for many of those looking to travel again, the question is: with the cost of many goods and services on the rise, how can you make vacationing work financially?
Find room in your budget for a travel fund
Creating a budget from scratch can be challenging. And at times, sticking to it can be even harder. But if you have a savings goal in mind – such as paying for a vacation – a budget can help you prioritize essential expenses and identify areas where you can reduce your spending, leaving you with money to save for travel.
Tools like TD MySpend can help you track your monthly spending and provide insights on how you can save more that may help you reach your travel goals faster. For information on how to build a budget, check out the Find room in your budget for travel article on the TD Ready Advice Hub.
Once you've set out a list of all your expenses (both essential and nice to have) as well as your income, you can then determine where you can make some changes so that you can add a savings category to your budget and direct the savings from not making certain purchases towards a vacation fund.
Whatever you are able to save, consider opening an account dedicated to saving for your vacation, or automatically transferring money to this dedicated savings account. At TD, you can automatically transfer money using the TD Pre-authorized Transfer Service.
Finally, don't forget to continue the saving process even after you book your trip. Whether it's to ensure you have enough to cover a last-minute change of plans or a spontaneous excursion, you'll want to be sure you have back up cash prepared just in case.
To learn more about saving for your trip, click here to check out the "How to save money on travel" article on the TD Ready Advice Hub.
Leverage travel rewards points on your travel credit cards
If you're someone who's using a travel credit card, many of them offer the ability to earn travel reward points on everyday purchases. In many cases, the points you earn can then be redeemed for flights, hotels, and other travel-related expenses, helping to cut down some of your vacation costs.
In fact, according to the same recent TD poll, interest in travel reward cards is on the rise, with 46% of respondents saying they were looking into a travel rewards card in 2022, compared to just 25% in 2021.
TD recently introduced a refreshed TD Rewards credit card portfolio, including the TD First Class Travel® Visa Infinite* card that accelerates your point-earning potential in high-use categories like restaurants, groceries and regularly recurring bill payments and when you book travel through Expedia For TD.
Along with earning TD Rewards Points fast, for a limited time you can also earn up to 145,000 TD Reward Points (conditions apply).
In addition to leveraging your TD Rewards Points, TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite cardholders are also eligible for rewards, discounts and travel benefits. Look into what your card offers before you jet off so you can take advantage of everything available to you.
To learn about the TD Rewards credit card portfolio, click here.
Consider the 5 W's — who, what, when, where, and why?
Beyond your credit card, there are a ton of other things to think through when it comes to planning your vacation. Now that you've made the decision to take a trip, you need to know who's coming with you. If you will be travelling with family, you'll need to know which costs you will be paying for. If you're travelling with friends, think about which costs you might be able to split.
Of course, one of the most critical factors is where you're planning on going. Think about where you want to travel. Some vacations offer all-inclusive packages that can help you figure out a set amount of money you need to save to cover food, drink, and lodging costs. Other vacation spots may require more planning and budgeting. You'll also need to consider how long you plan on being there, as that will also affect how much money you need to set aside.
Next up is what you plan on doing during your trip. From rental cars to excursions, you'll need to factor in the cost for the activities you want to do, the hidden gems you want to see, and the souvenirs you may want to buy.
When you decide to take your vacation can also have an impact on how much you pay. Some vacation destinations offer cheaper travel during the winter months versus the summer months, or vice versa. It pays to do some research on when the most affordable time of year is to travel to wherever it is you want to go.
Lastly, you'll want to consider why you're going on this trip. For example, if it's an anniversary trip for you and your partner, you may feel inclined to spend more on luxurious accommodations. Whereas if you were doing a solo trip for fun, you may not feel the need to spend extra on luxury hotels. The reason for your travels may require more saving, so be mindful of your why.
Search for deals
When you're in the research phase, comparison shopping is the name of the game. From last-minute vacation packages to booking group vacations or visiting a popular destination during off-season, there are multiple ways you can save on your travels. But be wary of potential vacation scams. Shop only from trustworthy travel sites or directly through your credit card's redemption website if redeeming your travel points.
To learn more about how to protect yourself from travel and vacation scams, please see this article from TD Stories.
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* Trademark of Visa International Service Association; Used under license.
¹About the TD 2022 Credit Card Survey: TD Bank Group commissioned Ipsos to conduct a national online survey of 500 Canadians aged 18+. This poll was conducted between August and September, 2022.