Sometimes it’s good to rethink the way we take vacations in order to get the most out of the experience, save money, and plan for the next one. In this Skycap News™ update, we explore options to consider for saving money for, during, and after vacation. These are practical travel tips on how to budget for a great vacation. The best part is these ways to save for vacation now will help your finances, not only when you travel, but year-round.
How Budget a Great Vacation Best Practices
Plan ahead. Sure, this sounds simple and obvious. But really do it! This means, planning exactly (not generally), where your next vacation spot will be, finding out how much it costs. Plan to save gradually until you reach your goal. For example, if you plan to go to Destin, FL (see our other posts for info on this gem of a city), and you know it’s going to cost around $2000 for 2 weeks in a beach house, plus food and other accommodations. Then it makes cents, oops, sense, to save around $200 per month for 6 months. This strategy will help in reaching your savings goal by the summer vacation season. Do remember though, that many beach houses require a down payment of half of the balance in advance to hold your reservation. The remaining balance is payable within 30 days of your arrival.
Start a separate account just for saving for travel and pay for your entire trip in cash. I use the Simple.com goal-setting feature for my vacation fund. They are an online bank backed by Bancorp Bank, and they have many neat features that are definitely worth checking out including tracking your spending and specific goal-setting that will allow you to accomplish your travel goals.
Great Ways to Save for that Memorable Vacation. Part of planning for travel on budget success is in the planning. The other part is in the “doing.” Little by little, you can reach your goals if you plan in advance and follow the plan. For those of you who prefer the “tough love” approach, please check out what financial guru Dave Ramsey says in the video below.
Sell something you don’t need. Sometimes you’ll find valuable goods you can sell on eBay or other online locations for quite a handful of cash. This can turn into large amounts of spending money. Turning unwanted items into vacation fund seed money will enable you to escalate your saving for travel funds faster than you thought.
Pool your resources. If you have a friend or significant other that can pool resources with you, you will be surprised at how fast you can rack up the savings for future vacations. So get with a friend that has a mutual destination in mind and start saving for travel together.
Refer to vacation and travel blogs and brochures often! OK, so you might think we’re just tooting our own horn here. Sure we like folks to read our travel blog! But we’re really just talking about keeping your goal in mind while you are saving for that trip you’ve always wanted. This is just basic psychology. If you keep your goal in mind, you will never be far from making it come true.
Save, Save, Save Recap
These travel tips are not the Holy Grail of vacation funding. We didn’t interview Warren Buffett or anyone to get his approval on them (though we do think he would agree!) There are many more ideas you can think of about how to budget for a great vacation. If you have a savings plan specifically set aside just for trip-planning, you’ll be much more likely to meet your financial goals. The best part is you won’t have to dig into your regular monthly budget to fund it. That means more cash flow left over afterward! And that’s a win-win situation!