Five Tips to Stick to Your Vacation Budget
Admit it…sometimes, you look at a friend or family member’s no-expense-spared vacation posts on social media and wish you could have that too. However, sparing some expenses can allow you to enjoy a vacation while having peace of mind about your spending. Here are a few ways you can still have fun on your vacation, and avoid money making mistakes.
Create a Budget
Going into a trip with a very clear idea of your expenses will help you to minimize unexpected purchases. Make sure you have covered all the basics you can expect on a vacation:
- Proper Identification: passports, visas, etc.
- Travel: gasoline, airfare, rental car or ride-sharing services
- Lodging: hotels, rentals or campgrounds, plus any extra fees for parking or services
- Food: meals and snacks, or groceries if you plan to prepare your own food
- Activities: entertainment and souvenirs
Depending on where you go and what you want to do, activities could add up to a few hundred dollars or even a thousand dollars. Pick the events and activities that best fit YOUR budget, and to manage those impulse vacation purchases, we recommend these tips for controlling impulse buys.
Choose your Destination
Once you have a budget, you can research where you can go with your money. Location tends to dictate a lot of vacation costs, so take your time with this step. If you have less cash to work with, it can be tempting to choose something just because it is less expensive. Talk with your family about what you all want from the vacation, and weigh your options accordingly. You will be happier with a trip that checks most of the boxes for everyone, even if it has to be closer to home.
Look for Deals
Although you can get discounts on almost any part of your vacation, start with the big-ticket items like travel and lodging. If you begin several months out, you can watch ticket prices and buy when airfare is at a low. Booking far in advance does not always guarantee lower costs. Research the best options for lodging; whether that is camping, renting a condo, or staying in a hotel. Don’t need to stay in a 5-star resort? You can save hundreds of dollars by choosing a place with a lower rating, as long as you and your family are comfortable with the accommodations.
Most vacations have some spontaneity to them, but this can sometimes increase the costs exponentially. Plan out as much as you can for each day, with a little cushion here and there for the unexpected. If you know you will go to a place that has a lot of extra charges for things, plan for them in the budget.
Anticipate Credit Card Payments upon your Return
Many people use credit cards on vacation due to their convenience and sometimes rewards points/features. You should make a plan as to how you will pay off your expenses well before you depart. If you already have the money set aside, plan to pay the bills as soon as you return home. Otherwise, divvy it up into regular payments so you can pay off the debt quickly over the next few months.
Vacations are supposed to help you relax, but that can be difficult if it is costing you a fortune. By creating a budget and sticking to it, you decrease stress allowing you to really kick back.
CAMPUS can help make your dream vacation a reality!
CAMPUS offers a Vacation Club savings account option with no fees and no minimum balance required! Vacation Club accounts are restricted savings that earn a set interest account and matures once a year, on May 15th. Open a CAMPUS Savings Account online or visit one of our convenient service center locations.
By Campus USA at 5 Mar 2020, 15:40 PM