Tips to Help Save for a Vacation
Nearly everyone would love to take a vacation. However, it’s often tough to save up enough money to do so. With bills, debt payments, and other financial commitments, affording a vacation often isn’t a priority. In fact, many people believe that taking a vacation is simply not possible for them because of their financial situation. However, this may not be true. Here are some tips that could help you save for a vacation.
Decide Where and When to Travel
Before you start saving, you’ll need to think of where and when you want to travel. Do some research and figure out what sort of vacation you want, and when it makes sense to take the trip. Once you’ve narrowed down a destination, look around at flights, hotels, and accommodations to see if you can find a deal. Be sure to comparison shop and know that each trip is unique. Sometimes you can save money by booking your flight and hotel at once, for example, while in other cases you’ll save more by doing it separately.
Determine What You’ll Need to Save
Once you know where you want to go on your vacation, figure out how much it will cost. Take all costs into account, including transportation to the area, getting around once you arrive, where you’ll be staying, and how much you think you’ll spend while you’re there.
Set a Weekly Goal
If you know when you’re travelling and how much it’s going to cost, you can then figure out how much you’ll need to put aside each week to make your trip possible. Once you know the amount, treat it like you treat any other bill and make sure you “pay” this amount into your vacation fund every week.
Adjust your Budget
You’ll need to make sure you can fit your vacation savings into your budget. Look at the numbers and see if it’s possible to put aside the amount you need every week. If it’s not, you’ll need to make cuts so it balances. If you’ve made cuts and you’re still not able to make the numbers work, consider delaying your vacation so you have more time to save, or adjust the details of your vacation to make it more affordable. It’s much better to take a vacation when it makes financial sense than taking on added financial anxiety to take a trip you can’t afford right now. Reviewing your budget will help you see what works for you.
Consider a Separate Account
When you’re saving for a vacation, you might wish to create a separate account for this money. Doing so will prevent you from using it for other purposes. Talk to your financial institution and see if it’s possible to set up a new account (preferably one with no fees) and, if it is, ask if you can have money automatically transferred into that account. If the money moved to this account automatically, you may not even notice it and your vacation fund will grow without you having to do anything other than stay on budget.
A Few Tips to Make Travelling More Affordable
When it comes to affording a vacation, saving is important. However, there are several ways that you can decrease the overall cost of your vacation to make travelling more affordable.
- Consider “off peak” travel
- There are certain times where travel is more expensive, such as during the summer. These times vary depending on where you’re hoping to go, so do some research to figure out when peak travel time happens in the area you’re visiting. Then, try to plan your trip for a less busy time. This can help you save money on airfare, hotels, attractions, and more.
- Look for affordable places to stay
- Expensive hotels may not be your only option when travelling. If you can visit friends or family while you’re travelling, you may be able to stay at their places for at least a couple nights and save some money. Services like Airbnb also make it possible to rent rooms in people’s homes, which can save you a lot of money.
- Eat local food and shop for groceries
- Dining at well-known restaurants can be a vacation highlight, but it can also be expensive. Consider choosing only one or two big restaurants while you’re travelling and eat like a local the rest of the time. This can mean visiting smaller local eateries and shopping at grocery stores for certain items.
- If you’re staying somewhere where you can cook, pick up some local ingredients and make your meals yourself. This can save you a lot of money. Even if you aren’t in a position to cook, you can still buy snacks and foods that don’t require preparation (such as granola bars, yogurt cups, cereal, fruit, etc.) from grocery stores and save money.