Family vacations can be expensive. Often, it’s the money issue that keeps parents from taking their families on vacation. The idea of having to spend so much can be overwhelming and worrisome. However, there are many ways to save for your family vacation that will make it easier and a whole lot less stressful, especially if you are smart with your money. It is essential to plan ahead and know what your budget needs to be, so you can put a strategy in place that will help you get there faster. There is no need to keep delaying your family vacation. Put a savings plan in action now.
There are some really great tips and tricks that can help you plan ahead and save money for your family vacation. Read on to learn about eight money-saving tips that will help you make your vacation a reality in no time.
1. Have a Firm Goal in Mind
The best way to start saving for travel is to have a firm goal in mind. You may already have the perfect family vacation destination in mind, which is fantastic. If you don’t, check out our list of ideas to find one that excites you. Believe me, it’s very hard to get motivated to travel when you have no destination in mind. You will end up putting off your vacation again and again, until you know where you want to go and committ to it. Once you have a destination, you can start some preliminary budgeting. How much will will flights or gas cost to get you there? How much will a hotel room cost for the number of days you want to go? Plan for $150/day for food for a family of 4, unless you’ll be staying in an apartment with the ability to cook your own meals. What activities will you want to do and how much do they cost? Once you’ve got these costs written down, you will have a clearer picture as to how far are you from your target.
2. Make a Realistic Plan
Make your plan realistically with your personal finances in mind. If your plans are way beyond your means, there is very little chance of reaching your goal or being able to save enough money for the trip. If you don’t have the money for 4 long-haul tickets to Rome, then plan a trip closer to home instead, where you can drive to the destination. Aiming too high will thwart your efforts from the start.
3. Get Everyone on Board
It’s important to get everyone in the family on board with the plan. If everyone is excited about the vacation you’re going to take, they will all be willing to cut back a little here and there to afford it. If you have to force family members to give up favorite comforts in order to afford your vacation, it will be more tedious for you than exciting. Ways to get everyone on board are to share the plan, do research together, and find things to do that everyone will enjoy. Read our other tips for planning a great family vacation.
4. Start a Savings Plan
Decide on a savings plan and adjust your household budget accordingly. What are things you can give up or cut back on? If you’re not really using the HBO or newspaper subscription, you could cancel them and put that money into your savings fund instead. With regular and determined efforts, you will reach your goal faster than you think.
5. Keep Your Travel Savings Separate
If you don’t have a separately bank account, or envelope under the bed, in which to keep your travel savings separate from your household savings, you may end up spending it on other things. Keeping it separate also help you see the accummulated balance and keep an eye on your progress. We suggest a bank account where you can transfer larger sums of money, or a percentage of your income each month. Another way to make sure you’re saving every chance you get is to start a travel fund jar. Put loose change in the jar, or a few dollars here and there. You won’t miss them at the time, and the money will start to add up.
6. Use Free Budgeting Tools
Make use of budget tools and let the technology help you become budget conscious. Numerous apps can help track your expenses, remind you of your bills or send a snapshot of your spending. You will be alerted if you are over spending.
7. Look for Other Sources of Income
There might be some hidden sources of income that you are not aware of. Is there a service you could provide? You could make good use of your skills and earn seem extra money in jobs like mowing lawns, babysitting, craft work, baking or raking leaves. Perhaps there is a weekend job you could take short term while you’re saving? Do you have any unused valuables gathering dust. Consider selling them on Ebay for some extra cash.
8. Limit Your Spending on Extras.
Look for free events or discounts on things you want to do, like meals or movies. If you know how and where to look, you are sure to locate some good coupons and discounts. If you usually buy coffee at a coffee shop, go to making your own for a month and put the money you would have spent in your travel jar. There are always little comforts that you can do away with, even if only temporarily, so you can put that money in your savings.
9. Use Budget Travel Tools
Once you do start planning your trip, make sure you’re using the best budget travel tools and websites to find the best deals on hotels and airfare. Just spending a little extra time searching for low fares could save you hundreds. Consider booking an Airbnb instead of a hotel, which will cost less, be more comfortable for a family, and allow you to cook meals in to avoid steep restaurant costs.
Keep your dream destination in mind during the long savings slog to keep yourself motivated. You can pin beautiful photos of the location on your Pinterest board and read informative facts that are motivations and exciting. As long as you’re dedicated to your mission to save money for your family vacation, you will eventually have enough saved to go where you want.
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