With the weather warming up and the sun shining more, we all long for that next vacation. Whether heading to the beach for some sun and sand or loading up the RV for a trip to a National Park, we know the season for trips is among us. No matter the location, if you’re planning somewhere fun to head to during the summer – here are some simple money tips to consider while you prepare for that next vacation!
Money Saving Tips and Tricks
Even though this is a vacation, create a budget beforehand and stick to it! If you have a plan, you can stay accountable for your spending. It is far too easy to overspend without a plan going into a vacation, so let’s start this trip on track! Be in control of where and how you spend your money. And *bonus* if you plan your budget months in advance, you can put money aside each month leading up to your vacation in a sinking fund, helping you save and not worry about how the additional trip will affect that month’s budget.
Before heading out of town…research, research, research. With fluctuating gas prices, sometimes flying can be the cheaper option. That is not always the case, but sometimes. The best way to see which way to travel for you is most cost-effective is by looking up your desired flight, then comparing the price against the cost it would take to drive. Don’t forget to include any interstate tolls or overnight stays you may need when estimating the cost of the drive.
Be sure to pack the essentials. Most likely, wherever you’re headed, purchasing products like sunscreen, toothpaste, beach towels, etc., will all be more expensive once you get there. Figure out all the essentials you can bring to save on those extra expenses. Something as simple as bringing snacks in the car or your own water bottle on the airplane is a great way to save a few bucks.
Excursions, Activities, and Day Trips
In your vacation budget, plan out any day trips, boat rides, tours, shows, or any other activities you may venture into while on vacation. Once again, researching and knowing these prices can help you plan and stick to your budget.
Most importantly, figure out what you’re capable of. You are allowed to say no. If a staycation is what you can afford this year, that is OK! Don’t get sucked into the comparison trap of watching others head south when this isn’t the year for you to make that happen. Instead, find ways to be content with what you have and where you are. Remind yourself of your financial goals! There is no need to get in debt because you’re trying to keep up with the Joneses.
A staycation can still be a fun experience and a great way to save money. See what is open around you – museums, nature trails, farmer’s markets, zoos, etc. Most towns have a local Facebook page where you can see what is happening and what’s new or ask for suggestions from people in your area. Use this opportunity as a chance to explore your town.
If you need to relax, take a break, or a total halt from everything going on – grill some food up at home and do an activity you enjoy but haven’t had the time for recently. Maybe it’s the woodworking project you are in the middle of, getting back into painting, spending some time out in the garden, getting some fresh air while exercising, or digging into a house project you have been putting off.
Enjoying your time stress-free
Vacations are meant to be a reprieve from work and be less stressful. Preparing a budget and sticking to it during your trip will give you peace of mind to relax and enjoy whatever vacation you choose, knowing you won’t be straining your finances to make it work. So, whether you are headed out of town or staying home, enjoy your time off this travel season!
If you’d like to work with one of our financial coaches on creating a budget and seeing how you can plan for yearly vacations, contact one of them today for a meeting to get started!
PLANNING FOR THAT NEXT TRIP
June 7, 2023
Beth Anne Allen
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