Fortunately, there are plenty of great places to visit right here in the United States. And, saving for your family getaway doesn't have to be complicated.
Here are five tips to help save up for an affordable vacation:
1. Open a Savings Account
One of the first steps of saving money for a summer vacation is opening up a designated savings account. If you're saving for travel, you should head to your local bank to discuss account options for this particular savings goal. With available banking services, you can automatically transfer a certain amount of money from a checking account or paycheck to ensure you're tempted to spend, and not save. Sometimes you can even transfer a certain dollar amount to savings per debit card swipe. This gives you an added bonus to your savings each month.
2. Know How Much to Save
Another factor to consider when saving is how much money is necessary for the trip. You'll want to think about travel costs, lodging, food, entertainment, and other expenses that may arise while on vacation and set create a budget that meets all these needs. Once this number is determined, it will likely be easier to work toward a more concrete goal. You'll be able to easily track how much progress has been made building the savings and how much more they will need to be made to accommodate all vacation expenses. An online service, such as Money Manager, is a great way to track your savings progress and help you create a plan of action.
3. Decide What to Sacrifice
Certain expenses can be cut out while saving money for a vacation. Consider canceling subscriptions to magazines, newspapers, and video or music streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
Eliminating early-morning runs to the coffee shop and other little expenses can also help contribute to a savings account for future fun on your vacation. It's important to keep in mind the money saved while at home will be used at your intended destination. How to compromise? Make your coffee and parfaits at home. By setting a timer on your coffeemaker, you can ensure your coffee is ready to go bright and early. With all of the amazing creamers on the market, you can easily add some flavor.
4. Do Your Research
When it's finally decided where you're bound for vacation, doing a little research ahead of time can help immensely. Whether it gives you a better idea of your savings goal or reveals a few ways to conserve money while on vacation, doing the homework prior to booking will help the pocketbook.
After doing research and realizing exactly what you want to save, you may want to account for additional expenses that occur as a result of traveling. Some extra costs may include:
- Traveling insurance
- Baggage fees
- Transportation costs
"It might seem like a lot, but the best part about overestimating your budget is that if you find really great deals in any category, you can then use the 'extra' money for fun stuff and will actually be able to fully relax on vacation -- without financial worry," Melissa Massello, founder of a budgeting and lifestyle publication, told USA Today .
In addition, researching ahead of time can help you know where to get the best deals for dining and lodging.
5. Take Advantage of Tools and Resources
There are a wide variety of tools and resources available to individuals trying to budget that help accommodate the expenses associated with a planned vacation. Your local bank can help provide guidance and support, and there are even helpful mobile apps that can allow you to track spending and saving, such as Central Bank's Money Manager.
Staying updated on outgoing expenses will help you stay on budget and ensure you're able to save enough for the ultimate family getaway.