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Daily Banking

How to vacation on a budget!

May 24, 2024
min read

Do you have travel plans this summer? Here’s how to stay on budget while you’re on vacation!

Young family vacation at beach

When you're in holiday mode, it’s easy to let spending get out of control. You may set out with good intentions, but once you’re drawn in by mouth-watering food, unique souvenirs, and breathtaking sights, all those plans go out the window!

With the rising costs of living, travelling is tougher on your wallet than it used to be. But with summer around the corner, you might have vacation destinations on your mind.

You don’t want to pinch pennies so much that it dampens your enjoyment of your trip – but at the same time, you don’t want to break the bank. It’s all about striking a balance!

Part of any financial plan is budgeting to enjoy your life today, not just far in the future. Here’s how to enjoy your vacation and keep it budget-friendly where you can:

Travel on a weekday

Try to plan your trip around the most affordable times to travel, from the time of year to the day of your flight.

For example, summer and winter flights tend to be more expensive because that’s when most people book vacations. Traveling during peak seasons makes everything cost more, from your airfare to your hotel. Consider booking your trip for an off-season instead, like the spring or fall!

One trick to a cheaper vacation? Travel on weekdays! You’ll be competing with fewer travelers for seats, and prices will drop accordingly. Whenever your schedule allows it, go for weekday flights.

Sign up for promotional emails from your favourite airlines or travel sites. That way, you’ll be notified when there’s a deal on a trip you’ve been dreaming of, and you can plan your travels around it.

You can also use Google Flights to monitor prices, so you get an email when flights for your chosen date and destination drop in price.

If possible, work remotely!

This will depend on the type of work you do and your employer. But if it’s an option, consider working remotely during your trip!

This may allow you to be more flexible with travel dates. You can save money by planning your trip around lower airfare prices rather your working hours!

Find creative ways to reduce your food budget

If you book a hotel or vacation rental with a kitchen, you can save money by cooking meals yourself rather than eating out every day!

It may cost extra to book a place with kitchen access, but if you’re embarking on a longer trip, it will pay for itself with the money you’ll save from dining out less.

Stock up on ingredients at the local grocery store and aim to cook 1-2 meals a day yourself!

Keep an eye on your spending

While it’s easy to avoid looking at your accounts on vacation, it can lead to spending more than you planned! This can lead to an unpleasant surprise once you’re back home.

Checking back in on your finances during the trip can help you stay grounded. You’ll know if you’re still within your budget – and if not, you can reign it in now before you regret it later.

Take advantage of credit card rewards!

Be sure to use your credit card for travel purchases so you can earn rewards1. With a Cambrian credit card, your reward points1 can be redeemed as a statement credit, a direct transfer to your chequing or savings account, or gifts/merchandise*!

Check to see if your credit card offers travel protection2 – this may come in handy if you need coverage for trip cancellation/interruption2, or your baggage gets lost2. If that’s important to you, you might be interested in Cambrian’s World Mastercard®!

Unwrap your rewards1. Browse our special credit card offers today!

Look for cheap accommodations

Exploring a new place by yourself can be a rich experience of self-discovery. However, it also means you have to foot the entire bill for accommodations!

To save money, look online for room rentals or hostels. Alternatively, you can travel with a friend to split the cost of your lodgings.

Your choice depends on what part of the travel experience is most important to you. If nicer accommodations are worth the splurge, go for it!

But if you’d rather spend most of your time outside so you can sightsee and explore, a less expensive room may be a better fit.

Planning to share your room with people you haven’t met yet? Follow these safety tips for shared accommodations:

  • Make sure the room you’re staying in has a lock on it.
  • Keep a padlock on your luggage to secure your items.
  • If you’re using a platform like Airbnb to rent a room, be sure to find a host with good reviews.
  • Don’t leave your belongings unattended.

Let’s work together to save up for your financial dreams!

A budget-friendly vacation is about enjoying your life today and considering your future financial goals, too. Together, we can map out how you’ll get there.

You can meet with a Cambrian Advisor via video, phone, or in person. Book a meeting today!


®Mastercard, World Mastercard and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated

*Terms and conditions apply. Visit for more details.

1 Reward points are earned on net purchases only. Any Cash-like Transactions including Cash Advances, and interest charges, fees, payments, credit or debit adjustments and any amount other than Purchases that may be charged to your Account with your Card or Convenience Cheques, do not qualify for Points. For more information, visit

2 Insurance coverage is underwritten by Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company. Details of insurance coverage, including number of days of coverage, definitions, benefits, limitations and exclusions are in the Travel Insurance Contract. Please visit for complete details. Insurance coverage is subject to change.

Today’s Rates

*All rates and yields subject to change without notice.
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