Americans are notorious for leaving their vacation days on the table — partly because of work pressures, but also because they think they can’t afford trips. Financial expert Jill Schlesinger visited MONEY to offer a few vacation planning tips:
1. Set a realistic budget: Do enough research to figure out costs in advance, and then plug the trip in as a separate line item in your annual budget, so that you’re not scrambling to come up with cash just when you’re dying to get away.
2. Expect the gotchas: From breakfasts to museum costs to special excursions, make sure you’re budgeting well beyond just hotel and dinner costs.
3. Save separately: To avoid diverting your travel funds to cover day-to-day costs, set up an automatic monthly transfer that will create a separate pot of money dedicated to your vacation.
4. Don’t skip time off: Even if you’ve got big costs elsewhere, commit at least to a staycation. To make it special, treat it as you would an out-of-town vacation: Spend time at museums or other tourist spots you might not otherwise have time for, don’t check work email, and avoid blowing that time off on ordinary errands and chores.
First Financial can help you save for your dream vacation with our Summer Savings Account! A Summer Savings Account allows members to save for summer or vacation expenses. It’s also a great way to provide income during the months of July and August for 10 month employees. Click here to learn more or stop into any branch or give us a call at 866.750.0100!
*Original article source courtesy of Jill Schlesinger of TIME Money.