From the white sand beaches of the Bahamas to the mountains of Colorado to the beloved Magic Kingdom of DisneyWorld, the world is full of fun and exciting places to explore. Whether you want to travel internationally or take a road trip to the beach, a great vacation starts with a savings plan. Use these five tips to save up for your next great adventure.
Decide on a Trip Budget
Before you make a plan to start saving, you need to know how much money you need to travel. Create an estimated budget so you ensure you don’t fall short on funds when your trip does arrive. Some costs you should consider when you budget include:
- Your accommodation like hotels or other lodging
- Plane tickets, gas, toll charges, Visa expenses or any other costs associated with getting to your destination
- Expenses for food and meals
- Car rental expenses
- Any special clothing you’ll need to buy before you leave (swimwear, special boots for hiking, etc.)
Do a little research and calculate how much money you’ll need to enjoy your vacation. Check out some money-saving vacation tips below.
Look on Discount Travel Sites
You can find vacation packages on websites like Priceline and Groupon that offer great deals on all types of vacations. You can often find full vacation packages with airfare included at 30 to 50% off their normal price.
Be sure to look at the fine print to make sure you’re getting everything you expect and there aren’t any additional fees required once you arrive. It’s good practice to check hotel and airline reviews before you book.
Find Vacations You Can Pay in Installments
Paying in installments has become a popular option for many resorts and cruise lines. You can build your trip and make payments at different times leading up to your trip. This will allow you to pick your dates and choose more options on your vacation without paying for everything upfront. This will take some financial planning since missing a payment could cause you to have to forfeit your entire trip.
Build your payments into your budget and create calendar reminders for when your installments are due. If there are multiple people joining you and paying toward the trip, encourage them to do the same.
Save on Travel and Transportation
Many hotels offer free shuttles to and from the airport and even short trips around town. Call your hotel to see if this is an option for you instead of ridesharing or renting a car.
Save More in the Offseason
Check different dates when booking any type of travel. Sometimes going a couple of weeks before or after peak season could dramatically change the price of your vacation. You can also look at traveling during the week if it’s a possibility for you. Flights, hotel rooms and attractions are often discounted Sunday through Wednesday.
Adjust Your Spending to Save More
Now that you have decided on your vacation location and have an estimate of the cost, it’s time to save and reach your goal. From your vacation estimate above, figure out how long it will take you to save that amount of money.
Don’t be afraid to start small — saving just $20 a week will leave you with over $1,000 for a vacation in a year.
Look at your spending habits and target areas that you can cut back on, such as a morning coffee-and-muffin tradition or even a vaping habit. Start by writing down all of your household expenses for 2 weeks. Every time you spend money, record it — even if it’s a small cash purchase.
Earn Extra Cash For a Trip
Consider increasing your income and devoting the extra money to your travel fund if you want to reach your savings goal faster. Here are a few simple ways you can earn a bit of extra cash on the side while you save for your vacation.
- Sign up for a ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft
- Sell some of your old clothing on a site like Poshmark or eBay
- Walk dogs, pet sit or house sit for busy employees or travelers
- Deliver food through a third-party site like DoorDash or UberEats
- Request more hours or overtime at work
Learn 10 ways to earn $500 here. Remember to devote your extra money to your travel fund and emergency expenses only. You don’t want to work hard at increasing your income only to spend the money on things you don’t need!
Stay on Track Toward Your Goals
Once you’re on track with your savings, remember to monitor your progress and adjust your goals as necessary. Regularly check your travel fund and see how much money you still need to save before you reach your goal. Some savers find it easier to stay on track after they create a “mood board” to help them visualize their end goal. Pin up a few pictures of your dream destination somewhere you’ll see them often — keep your eye on the prize!
Save More with MoneyLion
Once you’ve got a plan, it’s time to start saving. Create a separate investment account to hold your travel fund and help it grow. This will help you track how much progress you’re making toward your goals and decide if you need to adjust your trip timeline. It will also help you avoid the temptation to “dip into” your fund for impulse buys.
Consider making your savings automatic. First, decide how much you want to save for your trip each pay period. Automating your savings makes it easier to stay on track toward your goal. Does your travel fund need a little boost?
Instacash from MoneyLion gives you access to up to $250 deposited into your account when you need it at 0% APR. To learn more about MoneyLion, Instacash and saving for your future, visit our financial learning center.