Summer time is vacation time for many people. It’s the time to relax and enjoy each other’s company together away from all the hustle and bustle that we call life. But can you go on vacation and stay on budget? Absolutely. It just takes some planning and preparation before the trip. Here are a few tips to help you stay on budget even on vacation.
Tip #1: Save up ahead of time and don’t blow the budget. Most people know they plan to take a vacation, so one good thing to do is begin saving today for the next vacation. If you budget a specific amount each week to be saved for a vacation, you will have the money to pay cash when the time comes. Then use the cash you have saved and don’t be tempted to use a credit card.
Tip #2: Look for activities that don’t cost quite a bit of money. Look online for tips on activities for the destination you choose. Many times over the years, my family has just so happened to be in the right place at the right time to obtain free access to activities that would have cost money. Once we were visiting an aquarium and someone noticed we were taking our time and making photographs. The person asked if we would be interested in a behind the scenes tour. Of course we accepted the offer and had a great time that most people will never get to experience. The best part is that it didn’t cost us anything!
Tip #3: Plan your meals so they don’t break the bank. My family will often purchase breakfast items for our trips such as breakfast bars and granola bars. This can save you money that can be used elsewhere on the vacation. Another idea is to share meals when dining out. Today’s meal portions seem to be more than enough for one person. Instead of wasting food, choose entries that can be easily shared.
When heading out to theme parks, pack a lunch and snack items to carry with you. Sometimes this can be tricky if the park does not allow outside food items so check before you go.
Tip #4: Leave the credit cards at home. Don’t be tempted to charge your vacation to your credit card because you didn’t have enough money saved. Only take the vacations you can afford, not the ones you have to charge. It isn’t worth the interest that it will cost you over the long run. Pay cash if at all possible.
Tip #5: Take a stay-cation instead of a vacation – Instead of taking a week long vacation out of town, consider taking day trips to areas within driving distant. This will save you the cost of a hotel which can often be the largest cost of a vacation. Make a Google search of attractions and activities within a two or three hour drive of your home. Pack a lunch and some snacks to save even more. You might be amazed at all of the activities available close to home.
Vacations don’t have to break the bank. Plan ahead and budget the amount you will need and avoid using those credit cards!