Monday, April 15, 2024

7 Budgeting Tips for Summer Vacations

The temperatures are starting to rise, the snow is melting, and families everywhere
are starting to plan their summer vacations. But before you put in that PTO
request at work, we have a few tips and tricks for budgeting for your next trip.

Here’s how to make sure your relaxing getaway doesn’t become a financial burden:

Be realistic

As you start to plan your summer vacation, try to keep your budget in mind. Look at
your current financial situation and consider whether an international trip, a
cross-country flight, a road trip, or even a staycation is right for you.

As glamorous and relaxing as those day cruises on the Amalfi Coast might look, a
temporary vacation is never worth going into debt. Instead, look for vacations
that won’t cause financial stress.

Find out where summer is the

If you are looking to get away from home this summer, research places where summer is
the off-season for tourists. Doing so can result in cheaper flights, nicer hotel options, and fewer crowds.

If you’re looking to try off-season travel, Outside Magazine recommends New Zealand, Bonaire, South Africa, Puerto Vallarta and Lake Tahoe. Travelling to the pristine beaches in the US is also a good option. The Seabrook Island Rentals offers the finest vacation rentals in the beautiful Seabrook Island.

Anticipate how much you’ll need

Once you pick your destination, start looking at how much money you’ll need to get
there, explore, and get back. Look into flights, hotels or BNBs, excursions, and food costs so you can start saving.

“ … the reality is putting things on a credit card and paying it back afterwards is the worst thing that you could do when it comes to travel,” Samantha Barry, Glamour’s editor-in-chief and host of the She Makes Money Moves podcast, recently told Conde Nast Traveler.

Start saving well in advance

When it comes to summer vacations, Jade Beckman, vice president of consumer loans at Mountain America Credit Union, recommends “start saving 6 months to a
year in advance. Figure out roughly what your trip will cost, then set up
automatic monthly contributions to a summer vacation savings account. This
might mean you have to pass up your morning caramel macchiato from Starbucks,
but it’ll be worth having more peace of mind during your vacation knowing the
trip was paid for upfront. Another smart way to budget for summer vacations is
to utilize credit card rewards. Put a lot of your purchases throughout the year
on a rewards credit card – making sure you pay off your balance in full each
month – and then use the cash back to help pay for your vacation or use the
travel rewards points to purchase flights or hotel rooms.”

Use credit card rewards

Your credit cards can be a major tool when it comes to saving for your vacation —
and getting there. Create a spending strategy that helps you earn
credit card rewards — either cash back or air miles — to relieve some of the
financial stress of travel.

Create a budget for the vacation

A few weeks before your trip, use the research we mentioned earlier to create a
budget that you and your family can stick to.

Start by looking at how much you successfully put away in savings, then subtract your flights or estimated gas costs and your lodging expenses. Using that, you can decide how many times you can afford to eat out, which adventures to go on, and what other fun money you have to spend throughout the trip.

The tricky part is sticking to this budget. You might be on vacation, but your money isn’t. Try not to let yourself get carried away.

“The key to enjoying your travels while also sticking to a budget is BALANCE,” writes Katie Diedrcihs of Two Wandering Soles. “Splurges are fine when they are balanced out with days with a little spending.”

Don’t worry about souvenirs

Finally, don’t fall victim to the souvenir trap. Too often, friends and family return
from a trip with half a suitcase full of tchotchkes that will live on their
shelf for a few years before being donated to the nearest Goodwill or Salvation
Army. Skipping this tired routine can save you money and time that can be spent
creating valuable memories with your loved ones.

You work hard, and you deserve a vacation this summer. But don’t let financial stress ruin a relaxing getaway. Take a little time to plan before you book, and you’ll be well on your way to the perfect summer vacation.

Claire James
Claire James
Claire is an accounts manager at Fire Digital UK, an online publishing and content marketing company based in the North West.

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