With summer just around the corner, now is the time to figure out how to save for a vacation. Taking a vacation is recommended to relax, recharge and forget about the everyday stresses of your daily life. But if you don’t plan out your finances, a vacation can also be a daunting task. Setting aside money in advance may seem difficult, but with a few strategies, it can be easier than you think. Check out these 6 ways to save money for your summer vacation.
1. Make a Vacation Budget
Even if you aren’t a planner, planning ahead for your vacation is a smart idea. Start by determining where you want to go, the costs for air and ground transportation, accommodations, meals, activities and other miscellaneous costs. Create a budget worksheet and divide the costs by the number of months you’ll need to save for it.
2. Create a Vacation Fund Account
Now that you have a budget and you know how much to save, you need to create a vacation fund. One of the easiest ways to set aside money for your summer vacation is to make the savings automatic through your bank. When you begin saving will determine the amount you should put away each week until the trip. Having money set aside for travel will keep your spending on track and give you peace of mind financially. A vacation fund will also help you develop strong, money-saving habits for your life.
3. Use Travel Rewards Credit Cards
You definitely don’t want to charge your vacation, but you can use credit cards with travel rewards for everyday purchases ahead of your vacation. These cards give consumers travel points that you can cash in for flights, hotels and other items. NerdWallet’s 2018 Travel Study found that Americans who sign up for a travel credit card average $901 in free flights and hotels in the first year.
4. Consider Small Trips or Staycations
Going on vacation doesn’t mean you have to fly halfway around the world. If you can’t afford to fly to Greece this summer, then consider taking a short, inexpensive trip to a place within your state or a neighboring one. You can also staycation. The idea is to relax and enjoy yourself without going far and spending a lot of money. Remember also to keep your home safe while you are away.
5. Save Money for Summer Vacation With a Budgeting App
Budgeting apps like Wela or Mint make managing finances a lot easier and can help you save for vacations and other summer experiences. Good budgeting apps work with smartphones and tablets at the same time so you will be able to keep your money in sight, whether you are at home or on the go. Apps also let you set up alerts. So, not only will you never have to worry about missing a payment, you can get reminders about how your vacation fund is coming along. Other features on Mint.com let you see how additional savings every month would add up, so you’ll be able to get a preview of how vacation savings will grow before you go.
6. Side Hustle Some Cash
If you want to make some extra money for your vacation fund, there are lots of different ways to do so that don’t require long-term commitments or major changes to your lifestyle. Consider picking up a part-time job at a local shop or selling some of your unnecessary belongings on eBay or Craigslist. Websites like TaskRabbit and Fiverr allow you to take on small jobs to make extra money on your own schedule.
Already on your vacation yet still want to stick to a budget? Read our 8 tips to keep your Summer travel costs low.