Everyone loves a summer vacation. Whether you’re flocking to the mountains, the beach, or just visiting your hometown, you have to practice smart financial planning. It’s vital to make a realistic budget that you know you can stick to. Don’t let your credit card debt increase with the summer temperatures! With the right planning, saving, and time, you can have a summer vacation to remember for years. Follow these tips for a vacation that won’t break the bank.
Know Your Budget
Don’t be caught short on your spending money. According to CNBC, “more than two thirds of vacationers cop to overspending.” Know how much you’ve allocated and where it is going. This might be difficult at first, but it will pay off while you’re lounging poolside, hiking up a mountain, or relaxing with friends. Part of this planning might include saying “no” to other things, like traveling for weddings or passing up those new shoes you want.
Use This Percentage Model
Need help budgeting? Not sure how or where to start? This percentage model created by The Muse will help you budget no matter the size, length, or distance of your summer vacation. With dedicated spots for transportation, lodging, and food costs, this equation will help even the most bashful budgeter feel confident in their spending. They provide a total budget of $1,000 as an example, but it’s easy to swap out numbers to find a realistic plan that you can stick to.
Timing Is Everything
Go against the flow! When demand for hotel rooms and flights are low, so are the prices. Do your research to determine when is the best time to visit your destination and how to get there. Travel in the off season. The off season will depend on where you’re going. Prices can even vary by the day of the week. For example, in big cities, hotel rooms can be more affordable on weekend nights. However, resorts offer lower rates during the weekdays. A little research will go a long way in helping you enjoy your vacation while keeping your wallet happy.
Prep by Packing
Before you leave for your trip, do yourself a favor and make a packing list. Check off each item as it goes into your suitcase, especially electronic chargers and cords. These items are essential when traveling, but also some of the most forgotten. Don’t try to squeeze an extra $12-$30 into your budget for a phone charger or two when you arrive. Pack what you already have and save money.
Lastly, remember to call your credit card company and your bank to let them know your travel plans. This will ensure that your cards are in working order. If you follow these simple steps, the only thing you’ll be bringing home are great memories, not credit card debt! You can also call South Suburban Currency Exchange for more details on smart financial planning.