Do Your Research
The first step you should take in building a spending plan is research destination options to get a feel for how much you’ll spend in each place. Some things to take into consideration are the flight prices, average hotel rate in the city, transportation costs beyond your flight, activity costs, and average meal costs.
Be Realistic about Your Timeline
If you have your heart set on an extravagant summer vacation and the spending plan isn’t coming together smoothly, you might need to consider one of two things: 1) eliminate spending in other areas of your life to add more cash to your vacation costs, OR 2) plan a smaller vacation this summer and continue saving for the dream vacation next summer when you’ve had more time to build your vacation fund.
Set Up a Vacation Savings Account
One mistake many people make is keeping their vacation cash in their checking account or physically in their home. This makes the money too easily accessible, and it may become tempting to spend the money on other things. The best solution is to open a separate savings account specifically for your vacation money. Setting up this account with an online bank will allow you to earn a higher interest rate. You should also consider automating your savings to make sure you’re putting some money in the account every paycheck.
Once on Vacation, Know the Local Deals
While your vacation fund may limit how much you can spend, it doesn’t need to prevent you from having a wonderful time and experiencing new things in your destination city. If you take advantage of local resources, it will allow you to do more without breaking your budget. A great way to stay informed about local deals is by signing up for local deal newsletters such as Groupon, Living Social, or Amazon Local Deals in your destination city.
Stick to the Plan
While on vacation, your bank’s mobile banking app is a great resource to have on your smartphone. When you’re constantly swiping your debit card for meals, attractions, or souvenirs, these charges can add up quickly and it’s easy to lose track of exactly how much you’re spending. Mobile banking is a great way to keep track of your spending plan while on the go. It lets you transfer funds, locate ATMs, and constantly check your balance. If you load your summer vacation funds onto a prepaid debit card, you can avoid overspending altogether.
Remember, you deserve a break this summer! Keep these vacation spending plan tips in mind and you’ll happily find your balance between an unforgettable yet affordable summer trip. Enjoy!