Vacations are awesome! Imagine your family sitting on a gorgeous beach without a worry in sight. Pretty awesome visual, Am I right? Well, it’s perfect until you figure out that vacations cost money and you don’t have anything saved up to go on vacation
“Luckily, I have a few solutions for you that will allow you to save for your next vacation as quickly or as slowly as you want! Let’s get started!”
Set a destination
We all have places that are on our bucket list, now: review all of them and narrow them down to two, then eventually one. You won’t know what you’ll need in your wallet until you do the research. It’s worthwhile to look up everything you can, from the average cab fare to whether tipping is customary. This way, nothing will catch you by surprise. Ask travel agents, friends and family who have traveled to your destination about the costs they incurred, including accommodations, airfare and activities. Travel guides, official tourism websites and consumer-travel resources will also give you a general estimate of what you’ll need. This way you will be able to focus on a target so you won’t be short on funds when you need them. You’ll also avoid saving more than necessary and depriving yourself of money that could be put towards other things.
The first step in budgeting is to determine how your net income (commonly known as your after-tax income) measures up against all your expenses and discretionary spending. Write down everything you spend on and how much they cost: This will help you to identify where and how to save. Divide your budget into basic categories. For example: Housing, Food, Auto, Entertainment, Savings, Clothing, Medical, and Miscellaneous. You could also organize your expenses into needs – such as your loan and electricity – and wants – such as clothing and entertainment.
Although you might not be able to save up for your entire vacation this way, you may be able to save up for a part of it, like gas and meals. Do you love cash and hate using credit or debit cards? If so, this method is PERFECT for you! Whenever you make a purchase with cash, keep all of your change. When you get home, go find a jar or jug and put it in a place you pass by often. Throw all of your change into the jar and you could end up with a bunch of money after just a few months. Best part is, you’ll never miss it. Of course, if you only throw change into the jar, it will take quite a while to save up enough money to pay for an entire vacation.
Find out if your bank can set up a separate savings account under your main account so you can organize your funds with ease. Setting up a separate savings account specifically for your vacation plans will help you keep better track of your money and focus on making that account grow. Review the account regularly to keep yourself motivated and on track with your savings plan.
This is easy to set up and can really add up over time. If you’ve set up a recurring direct deposit for your paycheck, often you can work with your employer or bank to have your deposits split among multiple accounts. So you could have 1 or 5 or 10 percent of your paycheck go straight into your dedicated travel account — without having to move it yourself or being tempted to spend it.
Once you have a dedicated account set up, you have to fund it. If you don’t trust yourself or family members to do so, set up an automatic transfer at a regular interval to do it for you.
Any parent knows that travel costs multiply dramatically when kids are added to the mix – you need more plane tickets, bigger rental cars, more beds, more tickets to attractions, more food, more everything. If your kids get allowances, or if you give them a weekly spending budget, they should help save for the trip as well, whether in cash from their allowance or chits from their spending limits. Explain that vacations cost extra, and that while you are still paying the bills at home during the trip and you will cover most of the travel expenses, they will need to save up for any little extra stuff they want to buy. Let them know specifically what they need to save for — you’ll pay for airplanes, hotel rooms, meals, park admission and the like, and perhaps they’ll pay for souvenirs and non-mealtime desserts.
Fundraising for a vacation may seem like a crazy idea but think of all the things people fundraise for: weddings, graduations, arts… and you have always contributed, so its their time to join your fundraising too. Parents, Grandparents, (family members) Employers, Friends can pitch in. Tell everybody you know about your idea (and some you don’t). These are people who could already have some savings. You never know, they may work for a company who could sponsor you or if they don’t, they may know someone who does. The most important thing to do is ask; they will never rack their minds for contacts if you don’t ask them if they have any ideas for possible sponsors for your project. Don’t expect them to pay for your whole trip, but they could raise enough money to add to your savings.
Talk to a travel agent or research it online if you are not familiar with this. The savings can add up to a good difference and put your trip within reach much sooner. The off-season varies by location, so do some research on potential destinations and see which places have shoulder seasons that match up with the times you can get away from work.
Your vacation will be much easier to save for if you plan it during an off-peak time of year known as “shoulder season” when accommodations, airfare and car rentals are less expensive, but the weather is still reasonably nice.
Reduce leisurely Expenses
Commit to cutting back on extras for at least 90 days so you can free up more money for that vacation. Take a closer look at your spending habits, and consider how much you are spending on hanging out at the club, bar, cinema or even presents. Do your own nails, wash your own hair and watch free movies on line or borrow DVDs from friends. Find free parking, reduce on tipping and shop for things that are on sale. Put yourself in a mindset of limiting extra expenses so you can maximize your budget.
Dining out regularly can put a dent in your budget, but you can reduce those food costs by making most of your meals at home Save money by cooking meals at home instead of heading to their favorite restaurant. Scaling back on dining out: even for just a few months could help you save a significant amount of money that you can put toward those travel funds.
Sell your junk
Hold a garage/ yard sale for all un used items. If you have 2 (or more) cars that you drive to the same destination, year after year, sell 1.
Sometimes all we need is a little motivation. Place pictures of your vacation destination in strategic locations such as your computer screen, car, bathroom mirror, and wallet. If there is a type of music or a specific song that reminds you of your vacation destination, play it whenever you have the chance. Watch documentaries about these places, read their literature. If you are planning a go to Paris, learn some French. All of these things will keep your vacation plans relevant as you are saving up.
I hope the above points help you not only in travel plans but all other plans that require saving. If you haven’t reached your goal, don’t give up, readjust your plan and repeat. When you reach your goal, appreciate your efforts and everyone who contributed towards this success and BON VOYAGE!!