Financial Plan - Heritage TripsCost? How do you save costs and budget for the trip?
One way is to travel in wintertime, fall or early spring when airfares are typically less. You can also take trains in between key cities, which can save on hotel and airfare costs in China. If you travel in a group of 10 (adults) or more, you will gain the benefit of group rates as well. If you like, you can pre-pay in installments for your planned trip.
For example, if your in-country travel costs $2000 per adult, and there are 2 adults and 2 kids (under age 12) the total in-country cost would be $7200 ($2000 x 2 = $4000 + $1600 per child x 2 = $3200). After placing a $500 deposit per traveler, ($7200-$2000=$5200 trip balance) one can pay $433.33 per month for 12 months to fully pay for the trip prior to departure. Airfares can be purchased through Lotus; or some families save up miles for the flights. To budget an average cost for flights, one can estimate $1200- $2500 per ticket during peak summer time; or approximately $1000-$1800 during off peak times.
Budget Saving Tips
- Consider travel at non-summer times to get better airfare rates (fall, spring or winter)
- Travel at non summer times and get better in-country travel rates ( winter)
- Travel when your child is still under 12
- Join or bring together a group of 4-5 families, to get best travel group prices (10+ adults)
- Bring together at least 16+ adults and may be eligible for complimentary hotel space for 1 person
- Plan to travel sooner rather than later -- inflation climbs steadily in China
- Let grandparents etc… know of the Lotus Travel gift certificate option for kids’ birthday and holidays
- Collect frequent flier miles to lower or eliminate airfare costs or ask others to gift you miles.
- Consider staying at 3 star, budget minded, non-Westernized hotels
- Create a Lotus Travel “trip savings” account. You can send us funds as you have them. Send us $500; $100 or $50 as you can. We’ll help you track your progress.
- Plan ahead and determine the dates of your in-country travel for 6-18 months in advance of your trip. Then set up an airfare alert for your travel cities on travel tools, or check fares every Wednesday. You may be able to snatch best airfare as it changes
Sample Action Plan
- Plan your target year for your trip.
- Let friends and family know of your trip year. They may wish to purchase gift certificates for the trip.
- Create a savings account designated for this. Or, set a “trigger level” (e.g. $250) for sending a payment to Lotus Travel to put towards your account. You’ll be encouraged as it builds.
- Select a strategy for earning miles for future next 1+ years. Consider letting others know – they may offer to collect miles too.
- Evaluate the possibility of a “staycation” for 1-2 years as you save towards your heritage trip.
- Consider having your child assist in saving/collecting
- Every time they find/use a grocery or dining coupon, they put the difference in a jar
- Have older kids look at their spending. Ask what they can save for next 12-18 months.
- Allow them to have responsibility for designated part (visa fees, shopping, orphanage donation, etc..)
Seasonal Cost SamplesIn-country travel costs
Summer - Base prices -- $2000-2500 per adult* Winter Break -- Base price -- $1760 per adult*
Summertime airfare from US gateway city Estimated range -- $1200 - $2500
Fall/Winter / Early Spring Estimated range -- 1000 – 1800
There are ways to build your trip savings and make your family dream trip come true!
* A child under 12 costs 80% of adult price ** hotel accommodation level is 4 star *** trip length is 12 days; cost reflects base price