SUMMARY:Whether you go on a solo adventure or you bring the whole family, summer vacations are not cheap.The costs of hotel rooms, car rentals, eating in restaurants and paying entry fees adds up quickly. It's even more difficult for people working in the gig economy because they don't get the benefit of paid time off.
If you know how to plan for your next summer vacation, though, you will have enough money to enjoy yourself without worrying about finances. Use the following advice to make the vacation of your dreams more than just a dream.
Make a Budget So You Know How Much the Vacation Will Cost
Summer vacation may feel far away, but it's right around the corner. Now is the right time to decide how much money you are willing to spend during your time away from home. The cost will depend on several factors, such as where you want to visit and what types of restaurants you prefer.
Do some research so you will know how much money you'll spend on travel-related expenses such as:
- Vehicle rentals
- Entrance fees
When most people make budgets for their vacations, they remember expensive items like airfare and hotel rooms. Unfortunately, many of them forget about smaller expenses such as fuel and taxis.
Think carefully about your trip so you can locate every possible expense. When you think of something, no matter how little it costs, add it to your budget. If you don't, then you might find that your vacation costs several hundreds dollars more than you had planned. Suddenly, the rest and relaxation that you got during your time away from work turns into financial anxiety. No one enjoys that feeling!
Devote More of Your Savings to the Vacation
Unless you suddenly inherit a lot of money, you only have one way to fund your vacation responsibly: You have to save more money. Some people take out loans to pay for their vacations. That's not a great idea, though, because the loan's interest will only make your vacation more expensive.
For the most part, you save money by denying yourself something that you want. Instead of going to see a movie at the cinema, you think about the satisfaction of spending that money on a beachside cocktail. Instead of buying the latest-model car, you remind yourself of how much you want to visit relatives in a distant country. In some ways, saving for your summer vacation is about delayed gratification.
You can, however, get inventive in how you save. In addition to spending less money, you can:
- Use credit cards that reward you with travel points.
- Pick up a part-time job or do some freelance work for extra cash.
- Choose to pack a lunch for work instead of eating out.
- Bike to work to avoid paying for fuel.
- Hold a yard sale to exchange unneeded items for cash.
Individually, these ideas might not save you much money. Together, though, they can help you fund your summer vacation.
Use Online and Mobile Banking to Monitor Your Accounts
Today's technology makes it easier than ever to save money. Use a mobile banking app or online access to keep track of your accounts. Many banks will even let you create an account specifically for your vacation savings.
As you see your savings grow, you'll become even more determined to reach your financial goal. Just remember that every dollar in that account will make your trip more enjoyable!