Summer vacation is right around the corner. You may be dreaming of a relaxing trip to a far off land, but your budget might not agree with that. You may not get to Europe, but there are affordable vacation options to consider. With dedication and a plan to save, you can have a summer vacation without racking up credit card debt.
How to Save for a Summer Vacation
Use Your Budget to Save for a Vacation
The best way to save for a major purchase or expense is to include it into your budget on a regular basis, rather than depending on credit cards. By saving a little bit each month, you can save the amount you need without ending up with any credit card debt.
Let’s say you needed to save $1,500 for an upcoming vacation. If you saved $125 each month during the year, you would have the total you needed. Likewise, you would need to save $250 a month if you had six months to save and $500 a month if you only had three months. So the more time you give yourself to save, the easier on your budget it will be.
If you have less time to save, cut back on other areas like entertainment, groceries and dining out to reach your goal. Even if you aren’t sure how much you need to save, giving yourself a reasonable budget will make it easier to make up a small difference in price for your vacation. Read more from the How to Save for a Summer Vacation blog post and use the travel budgeting calculator!
Affordable Summer Vacation Options
While staying with giraffes in Kenya sounds like an amazing experience, maybe this summer isn’t the time to go globe trotting. Whether you needed major car or home repairs, or an unexpected medical bill, vacation funds are usually the first to get picked over. If you need cheaper summer vacation options, check out this list:
- Camping– Camp sites in state or national parks can be reasonable. If you travel regionally or close to home and borrow some equipment from friends, you’ll be well on your way to a relaxing vacation.
- Change the Timing– Cutting down the amount of days you are on vacation can save a bundle. Especially if you book mid week instead of over a weekend.
- Staycation– This may be the least glamorous, but it still has great potential. Try exploring your town or city; go someplace new every day. Museums, hiking trails, historical landmarks, new restaurants… there are tons of options!
- Utilize Credit Card Rewards– As long as your credit is in good standing and being used responsibly, credit cards can be a great way to gain mileage, cash back or other rewards to put towards your vacation. Remember, don’t spend more than you can afford using credit. Credit card debt does not outweigh the benefits of a rewards program.
- Transportation Options– If you need to travel long distances, make sure you are price shopping. Is flying cheaper than taking a train or renting a car? Which airline offers the best deal at what time? Do some research before pulling the trigger on your vacation plans.
The world is a big, beautiful place filled with amazing adventures and experiences. Sometimes, the world has to wait! Patience and staying within a budget is more important than blowing your savings on a trip, or going into debt. Enjoyable summer vacations are totally possible; you just have to prepare for them with budgeting and savings.
To speak to a credit counselor today about budgeting and managing your finances, call 800-769-3571.