Are you daydreaming about your next vacation? It’s time to make that fantasy a reality and start planning! Budgeting for a vacation can seem daunting at first, but with a few travel hacks – you’ll be able to book the affordable vacation of your dreams. Keep reading for our top money saving tips so you can fully unwind and relax during your next getaway.
Budget for your vacation early
Write down a list of vacation expenses and research the expected costs. If you already know where you want to go, it should be even easier to get a more precise breakdown of expenses. Here are some examples of what you’d need to budget for:
- Plane, train, or bus tickets to and from your destination
- Baggage fees
- Car rental fees, parking, and gas
- Hotel or Airbnb costs for the length of your trip
- Meals & groceries (including breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, snacks, and desserts)
- Souvenirs and shopping
- Entertainment (museum fees, concert tickets, nightlife, etc.)
- Travel insurance
- Passport & travel documents
- Currency exchange
Set up a vacation fund
Once you have an idea of how much money you need for your vacation, it’s time to start saving! Begin by creating a special savings account just for vacation, and then determining how much you can allocate to your vacation fund per paycheck. You’ll be surprised with how fast the account grows, even if you’re just putting away as little as $5 per paycheck. Set a goal that’s realistic for yourself and stick to it.
Cut back on expenses
This is the not-so-fun part, but it will be worth it in the end. Trust us! Think about all the extra expenses you have each month that aren’t necessary. For example, try skipping takeout and opt for a homemade meal instead. Make your morning coffee at home in a travel mug instead of stopping for your daily dose of Dunkin’ or Starbucks. Do you have a gym membership? Try temporarily adjusting to an at-home workout to help save each month. There’s typically a more affordable option for the things you love, so try comparing prices before making purchases as well.
Find an affordable getaway
Whether you’re looking to tour Europe, go on an all-inclusive beach trip, or plan a weekend getaway – there’s a type of vacation for every price range. Be realistic about what you can afford, find out what’s important to you, and plan accordingly. Travel experts recommend visiting a destination where your home currency takes you further. When traveling to a destination with a lower average cost per day, you’ll be able to afford better accommodations and eat out more frequently.
Travel during slow periods
You’ll likely find cheaper flights and accommodations during a destination’s off-season. Be flexible with your travel dates, and compare prices from different times of the year and even the week. Sometimes weekday flights can be cheaper than flying over the weekend. The added bonus is that airports and cities are usually a bit less crowded during slower periods as well.
Look for travel coupons
If you’re open to different destinations, there are many websites and newsletters that share deals on flights, accommodations, and even travel packages. Looking at these travel discount sites can also help inspire some ideas as you plan your trip.
Want to open a special savings account to cover vacation expenses? Visit a First Financial branch or contact us to speak with a representative today.
*A $5 deposit in a base savings account is required for credit union membership prior to opening any other account/loan. All personal memberships are part of the Rewards First program and a $5 per month non-participation fee is charged to the base savings account for memberships not meeting the minimum requirements of the program. Click here to view full Rewards First program details. Some restrictions apply, contact the Credit Union for more information.