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How to Take a Summer Vacation Without Breaking the Bank

How to Take a Summer Vacation Without Breaking the Bank

June 12, 2024

Traveling is a great way to relax and recharge, try new things, and experience different cultures. Whether you want to spend time on a beach or in the mountains, a summer vacation is a lot more fun when you aren't worried about money the entire time. Below, you will find some tips to help you have a stress-free and fun trip.

Consider setting up a specific vacation fund and contributing to it

Ask yourself, how much money can I spend on a vacation? While there are many factors at play (such as if you have other saving goals for something like a down payment on a home), a general rule outlined by Money Digest is to spend "5% to 10% of your net (after taxes and other withholdings) income. For an earner with net income of $40,000 per year, that's $2,000 to $4,000 to spend on vacation, which can either be one big splurge or multiple more modest trips." Are there any areas you can save money in to save up for the trip? Once you think you've set a realistic and attainable budget for the trip, set aside that money in a separate bucket and make contributions to your vacation fund.

Be flexible with travel dates

Do some research! While you want your trip to be enjoyable and desirable, most destinations have a 'peak' season where prices surge because of supply and demand. Consider traveling in the off-season or a less busy week for cheaper prices. Take a look at weekday flights at different times and see if that helps bring your costs down, too.

Find free activities

You don't have to sacrifice fun for free activities. Some examples include hiking, spending time at the beach, visiting a free museum or park, exploring a farmers market, or finding a free zoo. You could also have a picnic, which helps cut back on the cost of food, too. Grabbing groceries and cooking for a few meals rather than eating out will also help with your vacation expenses.

Stretch your budget with rewards and loyalty programs

If you plan on traveling frequently, contemplate finding a hotel chain and airline you like so you can start accruing rewards points. Many people don't realize just how much money they have sitting in a pot of credit card rewards that they haven't used yet. What better time to use them?

Some people may not enjoy traveling as much as others. However, if being a world traveler, seeing every National Park in the United States, or any other travel goals seem out of reach for you, we'd be happy to help you chat with you and create a financial plan that prioritizes experiences. Schedule a meeting with one of our experienced advisors today!