Nine Creative Ways to Save for a Vacation
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If you want a yearly getaway with your significant other, spouse, or your whole family, you probably have to budget throughout the year prior to your planned vacation. How do you do this? Let me share with you nine creative ways to save for your next trip.
Nine Creative Vacation Saving Techniques
1. Open a Savings Account
If you seriously want to fund your vacation methodically and directly, this is a beneficial and necessary step. The majority of savings accounts are free to set up. Be sure you won’t face any penalties for a minimum balance that must be maintained. Set up an online account to monitor your new savings account, as well as draft money from your account to your travel booking. You’ll be able to keep track of your vacation spending with little effort.
2. Set Up Auto Transfers
Once you set up your savings account, you need to fund it. Set up automatic transfers from your regular checking account. Even small amounts transferred once a week can really add up over a year’s span.
Another good idea is you can ask your employer to split up your direct deposit amongst both accounts. You can have them put a small percentage of your paycheck into your travel savings account.
3. Allow Someone to Do it For You
If you find it difficult to save for the trip by yourself, think about using Smartypig.com. It is a great choice, as it will do the transfers for you until your goal is reached. Once you saved up enough money, you can transfer it to a gift card, bank account or debit card.
4. The Change Jar
All of your spare change should go into a savings jar. By the end of the year, you will be shocked about how much money you have accumulated in that jar. Did you know it only take $1.37 a day to earn a total of $500 in a year?
5. Do a Vacation Budget
Make a budget that includes all the money that you don’t spend while on vacation. This includes lower energy bills, movie rentals or Netflix, food, etc. It doesn’t make much sense at first, but this will give you a true and honest cash-flow analysis of how much your vacation will cost you. Factor in costs, such as pet boarding or mowing the lawn while you are gone to have a better idea of what your trip will cost.
6. Liquidate into a Direct Travel Fund
Once you set up a vacation account of some sort, start clearing out stuff you don’t use anymore and empty your closets. The sales you accumulate doing this can really help to increase your savings account with little effort. There are multiple online site for you to advertise your items, such as eBay, craigslist or other classifieds. A yard sale is also a good option.
7. Travel Grants
If you are traveling for purposes of research, profession or education, you may qualify for travel grants. The majority of times, travel grants will not cover your whole trip, but will likely offset a number of expenses and will allow you to have extra pocket money.
If you are in charge of a volunteer vacation, support from temples or churches, charity-minded institutions and community organizations may be available.
8. Everyone Should Save
When parents are taking their kids on vacation, the cost multiplies dramatically. You need additional plane tickets and beds, larger rental vehicles, more attraction tickets, more food and everything else.
If you give your children a weekly spending allowance, they should also help to save for the trip. Explain to them that vacation is an extra expense on top of paying bills and they need to save up for any extra stuff they would like to purchase on vacation. Let them be aware of what costs you will be paying for, such as hotel rooms, airplanes, meals and souvenirs.
9. Parent or Grandparent Grant
It can be a challenge to get kids to understand how much more expensive a vacation is than staying home. A great resource to use is Grandparents.com. Your children can use this site to apply for a travel grant from grandparents or from you to fund the trip.
Establish a foundation and name it. Have your children create a budget and outline your children’s responsibilities. Have them go through the grant process as if they were actually applying for a real grant.
Last Minute Savings
If you decided to do a trip last minute with little time to prepare, you need to save money as quick as possible.
Some ways to do that are as follows:
Quit eating out and cook! Eating out costs much more than buying groceries. You will be surprised with how much money you can save simply by cutting out the restaurant costs.
Make a spending plan. Be specific and include everything from plane tickets (or gas), hotel prices, admissions, souvenirs and food. If the plan won’t work for you because it is too expensive, cut back on the costs. If you can’t afford a vacation for a whole week, cut it back to a long weekend trip.
For one week of the month, eat only what you already have in the house. Call it a pantry week. Sure, you can live on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a meal. Pretend you are trapped on an island and need to do whatever you can to survive. When you eliminate a whole week’s worth of groceries, especially more than once, you will see a decent amount of savings.