A family vacation, or even a trip alone, is a great way to clear your mind, reset, and make priceless memories. Of course, it often comes with the anxiety of crafting the perfect vacation at the best price. Below we will discuss how to make planning your ideal vacation a breeze while saving money in the process.
Create a budget
One of the first steps to planning the perfect vacation is to create a budget. Sit down and think about how much you want to spend overall. Once you have that number set, begin breaking down your budget into categories, such as hotels, food, airfare, fuel, souvenirs, and so on.
By detailing all of your costs before embarking on your trip, you’re able to have a pretty good idea of the total amount of money you’ll need. It's much easier to stick to a budget and plan accordingly before heading out than spending on a whim for everything...and possibly regretting it later.
Open a special savings account
A great way to begin saving for your upcoming vacation is by opening up a special savings account. In doing so, you can set up payroll deductions or automatic transfers to have money put directly into your new account each payday.
There are many benefits to setting up a special savings account, including the ability to see how much money you have set aside for your trip. Plus, you’re more likely to stay motivated to save and avoid spending the money frivolously before your vacation when it’s in a separate account with limited withdrawal options.
Avoid using a credit card
When planning a vacation, it's not uncommon for people to use their credit cards with the intention of paying the balance once they return. However, that’s rarely as easy as it sounds. Life happens, and payments may become delayed – resulting in expensive interest costs. Instead, consider alternatives to using a credit card, such as a personal loan.
Utilizing a personal loan is often a better option than turning to a credit card.
- A personal loan provides a specific dollar amount you can borrow, which makes budgeting easier.
- The interest rates on personal loans are usually lower than on credit cards.
- You will have set repayment terms on your loan, which will help you pay off your debt quicker and avoid the higher interest charges of credit cards.
Detail food costs
Food is almost always one aspect of a vacation budget that is overlooked. Meals often make up a substantial portion of your vacation budget. If you’re taking a road trip instead of flying, consider packing a cooler with sandwiches, snacks, and drinks. In doing so, you can avoid constantly spending money on fast food or restaurants along the journey.
Before booking your lodging, consider choosing a hotel that offers a kitchen or kitchenette. This option will allow you to buy some groceries at the local market and cook the majority of your meals. Many do not realize that eating out is one of the most expensive costs while on vacation.
Be sure to book your hotel and flight well in advance to get the best pricing. By utilizing travel websites for booking, you can compare prices to help find the lowest rates and best value.
You may also want to consider booking your attractions or excursions ahead of time as well. Frequently you’ll find better deals and possibly discounted pricing.
We’re Here to Help!
Planning your perfect vacation should be fun and exciting, not overly stressful. With a bit of preparation, you can make saving for your getaway a breeze. Opening a special savings account and setting up automatic transfers are great first steps.
Please stop by any of our convenient branch locations or call 540-389-0244 to learn about the many financial tools available to you. At Freedom First, our goal is to help you enjoy greater financial success ― and a nice vacation too!