Save for Summer Vacation
Taking a break and escaping the daily rut is what a lot of Americans do each summer. In fact, 100 million of us will get away from it all this summer. If you are debating over taking a summer vacation, budget is likely the first thing that comes to mind. Money can ultimately determine where we go, for how long and what activities we will do. If you are looking to budget for a great summer vacation, these are the best tips to save for your summer vacation you should consider taking.
Before you even consider destination, excursions or anything at all, you should absolutely be realistic about your budget. While we can all daydream about sandy beaches, Caribbean breezes and envious sunsets, we have to be realistic about the beach or destination we can truly afford.
You should never go into debt just to go on vacation. The sandy beach you have in your dreams might only be affordable if you visit the local lake. While credit cards can be convenient, they can often get you into trouble if you do not have a good repayment plan. Instead, you should save up prior and only go where you can actually afford to.
Estimate your budget
On top of being realistic about your budget, you must next give yourself a realistic estimate. What can you really save up until your ideal travel date and what can you put towards the trip right now? If you have an idea of your destination, start looking at travel prices, hotel rooms, and entertainment prices right now. It will give you an idea if the trip is truly affordable.
Keep in mind that other incidentals add up as well. Consider things like food, alcohol (if you are of the age of course), road tolls, hotel surcharges, souvenirs, new clothes, swimsuits, etc. All of these expenses can really add up fast.
Set up a savings account just for your vacation
You can play a little psychological game here. First, set up a separate savings account just for your vacation. Next, give it a name. By naming your savings account, you are giving it a purpose and additional value in your head. This account should just be for your upcoming trip and nothing else.
Remember, if you keep your cash easily accessible (under your bed or in your debit account), you will be more likely to spend it before your vacation. Additionally, check with your bank to see if you can set up auto payments into this account. That way the money can go directly into the account without you needing to decide how much to send over.
Find other ways to save
Another easy way to add more money into your vacation savings account is to get rid of expenses that are draining your pocket. Can you live without Netflix, fancy coffee drinks, car washes, etc? Even if it is temporary, putting these things on pause can help you get to your vacation goals faster. Much faster.
Shop for the deals
There is always a deal to snag when it comes to a vacation. Sometimes you have to be a super internet sleuth, searching websites over and over again. You can start by signing up for the local websites. Continue your search through sites like Groupon, Living Social, Slickdeals, etc.
Another way to beef up your savings account is to start cleaning out your closets for stuff to sell. Especially if you missed out on spring cleaning, now is the time to find and sell the stuff you just are not using any longer. It can be as simple as selling through Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or having a garage sale. It is a great way to declutter and add towards your summer vacation. Don’t forget to sell those unwanted cell phones as well. Those can resell for upwards of $100!
Create the dream and the budget, then stick to it
The dream is the vacation and the budget is the stepping stone to that dream. Make up your budget and goals, then you have to stick to them. The last thing you want to do is get to your vacation destination and have zero to spend. You can budget your finances for the here and now to make sure your budget is padded for the trip itself.
Also remember that there are many apps out there to keep you on track. Especially since it is easy to swipe a card and not add up on the spot what you are spending. Some ways to get around this include going old fashioned and using cash or using prepaid debit cards. This will help you keep your budget in balance.
Planning a vacation can be loads of fun, but being realistic about what you can afford is definitely important. Your best bet is to start early, stay organized and keep your dream on track. By using these tips and tricks, you can have a successful vacation that doesn’t bust the budget or further your financial debts.