Planning for vacations can often feel like a once-in-a-lifetime event. They can be costly, and when you’re on a budget, it’s hard to see how it’s possible to take one regularly, let alone every year. However, you don’t want those vacation days to go to waste while you take time off to sit in your home on your days off, so what can you do instead? With a bit of planning and creativity, there are plenty of ways for you to save money on your next trip. Here are some tips for saving up for your next vacation.
Determine How Much Vacation Time You Need to be Saved Up
Time is a precious commodity. It’s also one of the most important factors when planning your next vacation. How much time do you have? Do you need two weeks, three weeks, or four weeks off? How much time do you have to save for this vacation? How long will it take you to accumulate enough days off?
Many people can’t imagine telling their boss they want a four-week-long vacation doing something fun like playing casino bingo or lying at the beach. But, if your workplace allows it, that vacation time is free to use whenever you need it.
Determine How Much Money Your Trip Will Cost
When planning to vacation annually, it’s best to plan to save at least 15% of your income each year. While this can be difficult in the early stages of your career when you are paying down student loans and accumulating credit card debt, setting aside some money each month is still essential. Whether or not you can save that much will depend on your circumstances, but even if you can save just 5% or 10%, that is better than nothing.
Get Good at Finding Deals
When budgeting and saving for a vacation are essential, you’ll prioritize it in the budget and be willing to look for incredible deals. Not only will you be setting aside money to go, but you’ll also pay attention to the times of the year when prices are more affordable, and it may be a better time to go. Then, when you have the money, the vacation time saved up, and a willingness to go almost anywhere, you can snag so many last-minute vacation deals to places on the beach, in the mountains, or in the city.
Use Coupons for Everyday Things
While coupons are a great way to save money on groceries, they can be even more effective when applied to other areas of your life. There are coupons and deals for almost everything you buy, so when you want more money in your vacation budget, look for clever ways to save on your regular expenses.
Make a Few Sacrifices
You might be able to set aside an extra $50 or more per month toward a trip if you’re willing to downgrade some of your subscriptions for a while. If you have a subscription to a streaming service, cancel it. If you can’t live without Netflix or Hulu, downgrade your subscription to the most basic level and only watch what is available on the free plan. Don’t be afraid to cancel your gym membership or find a more affordable option. Cancel any magazine subscriptions that aren’t part of your job or don’t provide you any value for the money. You can always check out your favorites at the local library for free.
Try the 50/30/20 Rule
What is it? It is a great way to organize your budget and set clear priorities for spending. First, you break up your budget into categories, so 50% of your income goes to fixed expenses like rent and utilities. Next, you would spend 30% on discretionary spending like restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. Finally, just 20% goes to savings and debt repayment. You could even funnel some leftovers to this category from the other two areas to give you a bigger buffer.
Have a Goal in Mind
If you plan to vacation every summer when school is out or in the winter when everyone gets a break, you know exactly how much time you have between now and then to save up. You may try a vacation somewhere within driving distance in your first year. Set a goal, figure out the price, and make it happen.
How to Save For a Vacation Conclusion
Saving up for annual vacations is entirely possible. You can easily prioritize your budget to make it a reality with the proper steps. Save money by using coupons, looking for travel deals, and cutting unnecessary subscriptions.
Mark is the founder of Financial Pilgrimage, a blog dedicated to helping young families pay down debt and live financially free. Mark has a Bachelor’s degree in financial management and a Master’s degree in economics and finance. He is a husband of one and father of two and calls St. Louis, MO, home. He also loves playing in old man baseball leagues, working out, and being anywhere near the water. Mark has been featured in Yahoo! Finance, NerdWallet, and the Plutus Awards Showcase.