Planning a vacation for the family doesn’t have to break the bank. With some organization and creativity, you can save for your big trip while also finding opportunities to cut costs once you arrive at your destination.
Wondering how to afford your next getaway? Here are a few tips to help ease the financial burden.
1. Start setting aside money in a vacation account.
Don’t let extra income just sit in your checking account where you’ll be tempted to spend it on impulse purchases. Instead, start putting discretionary income aside in a savings account specifically for your vacation. Even just $20 a week adds up to over $1,000 in one year.
If you don’t have leftover spending money at the end of the month, there are still ways to save for your trip. For starters, take a close look at your spending habits: Chances are, you can easily cut back on some of your expenses. Consider canceling a subscription you don’t use or try completing a no-spend weekend. Instead of pocketing the money you save, put it into your vacation savings account. Over time, you could accumulate enough to offset the cost of transportation, lodging, dining out, or even the cost of an entire trip.
2. Be frugal as you plan.
If you have flexible travel dates and you’re open-minded about your destination, you could save tons of money on your trip.
Visit popular destinations during the off-season to score deep discounts on accommodations and airfare. If going on vacation while the kids are in school isn’t an option, consider traveling somewhere off the beaten path. Book a room at a nearby indoor waterpark if spring break on the beach isn’t in the budget, or plan a road trip to visit family in a warmer locale.
And don’t forget to cash in frequent flyer miles, hotel loyalty points, ScoreCard Reward points and other perks that will help offset the cost of your trip.
3. Find savings on the ground.
To get the most out of your trip without overspending, go into your getaway with a clearly defined budget. Decide ahead of time what you can afford for food, activities, souvenirs and other on-the-ground expenses.
When you arrive at your destination, head to the grocery store first. By eating breakfast at the hotel and packing your own snacks during the day, you’ll save money that you can put towards activities and experiences that will create lasting memories with your family.
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