As another wonderful vacation wraps up, and the doom and gloom of reality is weighing heavily, I thought I would share some tips on going on vacation without breaking the bank.
I am incredibly blessed that my in-laws live in a super awesome vacation destination so we have few costs involved in a place to stay. However, lodging is only half the battle when you’ll still need travel fare, food, money for shopping, and maybe even some wardrobe additions. The list can seem a bit daunting, so what will ease the financial burden? (The humdinger is at the end, but glad I’ve caught your attention! Keep reading 😉)
1. If you’re flying, shop around and book as soon as possible. My husband and one of my best friends (shout out to Crystal, again) are excellent at shopping for the best price on flights. If that’s not your forte, phone a friend! But generally speaking, if you’ve booked a hotel/air BnB and taken PTO, purchase your flights sooner, rather than later. The closer you get to your departure date, the more ticket prices increase.
2. Food can be a total money drain. My rule of thumb for saving money here is to only eat dinner out. Even if your lodging doesn’t have a refrigerator or microwave, there are plenty of satisfying ways to eat breakfast and lunch on a budget. The right granola bar can be a healthy and filling breakfast. Good ole peanut butter and honey are a good lunch option. For snacking? Bananas, apples and clementines are awesome, nutrient packed sweet snacks that don’t need to be cooled. You can pick all of this up at a local grocery store and you’ll save a TON of money only eating out for one meal. *Pro tip: limit your dinner eating to only places you can’t find at home! It’s vacation, live a little!
3. Wardrobe needs. So you’re headed someplace tropical and your shorts are a little snug? You’re off on a ski trip and not sure what to bring? My advice is to get to where you’re going, then buy. I’m guilty of overpacking and only wearing 20% of what I brought. You may not end up needing what you initially thought. Also, specialty items tend to be cheaper in the places that they’re necessities. Snow boots in Florida would be difficult to find and likely cost a fortune. Lots of vacation destinations are also equipped with Tanger outlets, which are excellent for finding name brands at a discount.
4. Be an early bird and sign up for discounts. I cannot stress enough the importance of booking in advance and searching for deals ahead of time. Many airlines, credit cards, etc. have awesome rewards programs. Groupon is a wonderful resource for lodging and fun activities at a discount. It’s not just for old people, lol.
5. Make a vacation account!! I’ve stressed before the importance of having a savings account, and I stand by it. Open a checking account at your bank that you only touch for vacation. It is as simple as putting 30 dollars a paycheck into the account! You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference that biweekly 30 bucks makes when it comes to vacation. I’m leaving Florida with my regular account barely touched at all. Our vacation account has allowed us guilt free dinners out, mini golfing and other activities, and even a little bit of shopping!
If you have any questions about opening a savings or additional checking account, ask a teller or personal banker. Many banks have a super simple process for transferring from one account to another. *Pro top: set up an automatic transfer on payday, so that it’s money you never even thought about to begin with!