Financial Education


Saving for a Great Summer Vacation

Tracy Curtis / April 12th, 2018

Summer is coming and that means vacation-time! Are you thinking of taking a trip abroad? Or maybe doing a bit of camping in a National Park? If you want to enjoy your vacation without relying on your credit cards, now is a good time to start thinking about how you’ll pay for it.

Once you know where you want to go, figure out how much you’ll need to spend. Sign up for travel alerts to your destination. Airlines, hotels, cruise lines, and travel companies often have flash sales. If you’re a student, veteran, or a senior, check for any discounts you might be eligible for. If your dates are flexible, find the least expensive travel times. Compare the costs of flights out of nearby airports. Read sites like tripsavvy to help you get the best deals.

Estimate the cost of food, lodging, shopping, local transportation, and the admission prices for places you want to visit. Then divide the total costs by number of months between now and when you plan to take your trip. This is how much you must save each month.  

Create a savings plan to help you determine how much you can put away each payday. If it looks like you might fall short, you can either reduce your current expenses, take a side-job, or do both. A few ways to reduce expenses is to put your cable on hold, check out books and videos from the library instead of buying them, brown bag your lunch, and look for free or cheap entertainment during the months leading up to your trip.

To earn a little extra money, work overtime if you’re eligible. If you have skills as a web designer, writer, or editor, take on freelance assignments through websites likes UpWork and Fiverr.  Organize a garage sale with your friends or neighbors and use the house with the best visibility and traffic. If you live in a city served by TaskRabbit, earn extra money by doing things like packing, cleaning, or assembling furniture.

Saving is easier when you automatically “pay yourself first,” so consider automating your savings. Set up an automatic transfer, placing a regular amount from each paycheck into your savings account.

A vacation that doesn’t create any debt is the best kind to have. Save in advance and travel knowing that you have truly earned this trip. 

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