Going on a cruise is a lifetime dream for many. The travel buffs and the people who have been weaving the dream of meeting their Jack or Rose since they saw Titanic (well, minus the tragedy!). But unfortunately, to turn this dream into reality, you would need money. To be precise, a lot of money…! But take heart; you have a ray of hope (but yes, you would still need money). Your dream vacation ‘under the sky, above the ocean’, is not too far to reach. The only tip is to plan one that fits your budget. Saving money and avoiding over-priced spending are the star goals that will help you remain within the limits of ‘Cruise on a Budget.’
Plan Your Trip (Within Your Budget)
Decide the place as well as the cruise you wish to embark on. Depending on your area, you can either choose the nearest port to start or visit another new destination and travel along. Whatever you wish to choose should be a realistic wish according to the budget that you can set apart.
There is no use in saving for the ticket and letting go of the actual pleasures that you should enjoy on the cruise. Though the ticket may cover the basics, each little add-on will cost you dearly. Hence, your plan should be such that you can enjoy the trip to the fullest without regretting the restraints you have because of the budget.
Search In Advance:
The early bird catches the worm. Just like nature’s law and the law of flight tickets, you can get a ticket at a much lower price if you book early. Search through the websites or travel agents to find a cruise that matches your expectations and budget. Make use of the festive bonanzas and discounts, among other things, to decrease the cost from its actual price while enjoying the same benefits. Searching in advance saves you from the trouble of booking on impulse and helps you set a budget aside.
On selecting a package, your next step should be to start saving. Create a savings plan and chip in money to the account each month or week, depending on your convenience. Your savings must go beyond the ticket prices. Add to it the shopping list, the parties, the bar and last but most important your internet connection. Apart from the basic food and lodging that the ticket accounts for, everything else requires payment. Thus, your savings should bear the weight of all your extravaganzas too.
Resist The Urge To Splurge
Once into the cruise, you are free to look around, shop your heart out and feast till your heart is satisfied. Giving you a world-class experience befitting the ticket price, you may find all the amenities (both basic and luxurious) at every corner of the cruise (both on and off; for example, shore excursions). They might also host special programs like fashion shows, auctions to boost spirit and raise money.
Restraining yourself from participating (until they are rather appealing for you) is a simple way not to exceed the budget, i.e., limiting spending. Unless you have set aside money for it, do not partake in it, as there are high chances that the savings may dry up faster than you realize. A popular example of this is Casinos. You never know the rate at which the money is slipping through your fingers as you set out to try your luck.
Go crazy on the final day!
If your spending does not burn the pockets, then the last day is here to splurge them all. Keeping the extravaganza at the end may not mean getting the best product, but surely the best deals. Moreover, this way, you won’t be strapped off the cash during your trip. You have the option to buy from the shops on the cruise itself or from one of the stops. Buying things duty-free may be more economical. However, some services can be categorized under overpricing. Hence, make the best use of both while enjoying and creating memories.
Keep an emergency fund
No matter how much you stick yourself in the budget, there can always arise a scenario where you might need some extra spending. It might be because of the additional cost or because something caught your eye. Whatever it be, it is not the best situation to be stuck on the cruise with no money at hand. Hence, always keep a stash that you can fall back on in case of emergency.
Tips to save money
Saving money can be difficult when you have a limited income source and fixed expenditures that you must bear (for example, if you are a student or have a family to take care of). Undoubtedly, enjoying a cruise requires a lot of money, especially if you plan one as a lifetime opportunity. Hence, having a long-term plan to save up might work best for you.
Create a savings account where you add the money you have set aside. Depending on the cash saved in a month, you can plan a period you need to set apart to save enough money. Also, depending on the time frame, you can tighten or relax your budget.
Most of the cruise opt for a cashless mode of payment. You will have a card that substitutes as a credit card to use on the cruise as well as your room key. You should make all payments via the card only; in turn, you should link the card to your credit card to automatically transfer the transactions from one to the other end.
To make the most of the trip, make sure that you have saved up enough money to enjoy every aspect of the trip. Sure, money is an integral part, but the memories built are beautiful (especially if you love the sea). Budgeting and saving up is the key to fulfill your dream without burning your pockets.