Whether you're rebuilding after bankruptcy or just trying to save some hard-earned money, you've probably come across the vacation question. That is, "how can I afford vacation?" Turns out, it might be easier than you think.
It's a good idea to decide how much you're willing to spend before you start planning. That way, you can know where to make compromises to get in under the line. Once you have the golden number in mind, some economists recommend opening a savings account exclusively for vacation funds.
Decide how much money you need to deposit each week (total budget divided by weeks left until vacation) and put a "vacation jar" in your house. Encourage everyone in the family to drop in spare change and consider sacrificing small treats to contribute to a much bigger one.
This allows everyone to contribute to the vacation and builds anticipation. Saving for a concrete goal can be more fun than saving in the abstract.
A budget will require some sacrificing, but will pay off in the end. If eating out is important to you, pick a dollar limit for food you can eat out, or determine how many nights you'd like to eat in restaurants. If you love souvenirs, give everyone a souvenir budget. This way, you're forced to choose things you really like and can avoid impulse buys that seem unimportant later.
You can save serious money by making sure your lodging has a kitchen, so that you can prepare most of your food. Staying in a furnished apartment, a villa, a condominium or sharing a rental house with another family are excellent ways to save money on lodging.
This is the single most effective way to save money on the road. Think of it this way: the earlier you start planning, the earlier you can start enjoying your vacation!
Sometimes, paying more up front is worth it. Lodgings close to your attractions, for example, can save you on gas money. If you must eat out on vacations, consider traveling in the off season, when costs tend to be lower across the board.
Enjoying vacation is easier when you're not worried about ruining your budget. With a little planning, you should be able to relax worry-free.