It’s a good idea to set a budget for your trip, regardless of where you are going. Doing so will help you manage expectations and avoid coming home to a mountain of debt.
Some people use the 50/30/20 rule to guide their savings plans, in which a percentage can be dedicated towards travel.
1. Set a budget
Before you start saving for your vacation, it’s important to set a budget. This will help you stay on track and not spend more than you can afford. There are several ways to do this.
The most common expenses for any trip are transportation and accommodations. These are easy to plan for, but you’ll also need to factor in any meals and activities.
A good way to set your vacation budget is to calculate how much you want to save and then divide it by the number of months before your trip. You can then use Wallet’s Budget feature to help you stay on track. Alternatively, you can open a separate savings account and transfer funds from your paycheck into it each month. This helps keep you from overspending and adding to your debt.
2. Decide on a destination
It’s important to figure out where you want to go before you start budgeting. If you don’t, you may end up going over your budget and spending money on things that you don’t actually need. This can lead to a stressful trip and extra credit card debt when you get home.
Decide what kind of vacation you want to take and where. For example, do you want to be surrounded by mountains or would you prefer a beach? Also, consider whether you will be traveling alone or with others.
Finally, decide when you can travel. Prices can be higher around special holidays, so you should take that into account when planning. You should also stop deliveries before you leave and ask someone to pick up your mail so that your mailbox doesn’t look too full and attract robbers.
3. Make a list of things to do
If you’re planning a month-long vacation, then you’ll need to know your daily costs. This includes the cost of meals and transportation. You might need to rent a car for certain trips, or you may have to rely on public transit for others.
You also need to decide how much you’re going to save for the trip. Some people set a goal and use it as motivation to work extra hours. This will help ensure that you don’t end up in debt after the trip.
It’s a good idea to make a list of things to do before you go on vacation. This will ensure that you don’t forget any important tasks and will reduce the chance of making mistakes. For example, you should check that all the documents you need are in order, and that your phone is charged. You should also use up any food that will spoil before you leave.
4. Make a list of things to buy
A budget helps you know what to expect and gives you guidelines for how much to save. But it’s often hard to predict the true cost of a vacation, especially when it comes to airfares, hotels and restaurants.
One of the best ways to keep costs down is to book accommodation with a kitchen so you can prepare meals yourself. Another option is to take advantage of complimentary hotel breakfasts. Restaurant bills can be three times as much as preparing a meal at home, so this simple strategy can help you keep your travel costs low.
If you need extra cash to make your dream trip a reality, consider getting a side hustle or working overtime. That way, you can avoid coming back to a financial headache months after your trip.
5. Make a list of things to avoid
There will always be those frivolous costs that pop up during a vacation (gift shops, side jaunts, expensive restaurants), so it’s good to build a little wiggle room into your budget. However, you may not want to go so far as avoiding these types of expenses entirely.
A lot of people spend the most money on food while they’re on vacation. This can add up fast and ruin a budget. Instead, focus on non-food related activities like sightseeing, walking tours, parks, and murals.
A good tip is to break down your overall vacation budget into daily amounts. Then, create an envelope for each day of your trip and fill it with cash or gift cards. You can also set a debit or prepaid card limit to help you stay in control of your spending.