Ah, vacations. They’re what most of us spend the entire year looking forward to, but saving up for them can be a challenge. Luckily, there are some practical ways anyone can save up for their next vacation.
Where is your dream destination? Is it sipping vino and taking in the breathtaking landscape in Italy? Maybe it’s a trip sightseeing in New York.
Good news! This article will give you six practical ways to save for your next great adventure. They don’t require you to have a high income or a ton of money in reserve; all you need to do is have the determination to stick with a plan that works for you and your budget.
1. Start a Savings Plan
A vacation budget seems like a luxury to many, but with the right planning, anyone can do it! The best part about saving plans is that they’re personal and flexible. You don’t need thousands of dollars a month in expendable income to save. If you decide to save for a year or longer, it’s easy to save well over a thousand dollars toward your next incredible getaway.
Astra’s 52-week money challenge has some great tips to help you start building a budget.
2. Cut Back on Eating Out
Restaurant runs are a staple in busy households. Apps like Postmates make it even easier to get food delivered right to your front door, but it comes at a pretty high cost. Although you might think you’re saving money by eating out instead of buying groceries, you get a much smaller return on investment.
Challenge yourself to go an entire month without buying food out. This is the perfect time to learn new recipes and take up meal-prepping. Many supermarkets also have a shopper’s club you can sign up for, which gives you exclusive discounts and even bigger savings.
3. Take Advantage of Credit Card Rewards
Most cards have rewards that holders can earn with enough spending. Rather than thinking you need to wait to splurge, start earning more points with small expenses. The next time you get gas, pay with your card. Use credit to get your groceries or buy those new shoes you need for work.
Using credit cards for smaller expenses also makes your balance easier to pay back; you can build a great payment history and raise your score while earning awesome travel rewards.
4. Pick the Right Time of Year
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to scoring the best deal on your dream vacation. Research the most popular tourist seasons in your destination before you request time off from work. Hotel rooms and airfare can easily drop by hundreds of dollars when you travel during off-season.
If you decide to book tickets in advance, make sure that the price is fixed. Although it often costs a bit extra, make sure you don’t skimp out on travel insurance and a refundable ticket.
5. Track Your Progress
Use a whiteboard or digital tool to watch your savings go up. A physical reminder can be highly motivating. To really keep yourself committed to saving, set smaller goals and enjoy the satisfaction of meeting them one by one. It’s a lot easier to see yourself saving $100 than it is to envision stockpiling $10,000.
6. Check Your Subscriptions
Make sure that you’re only paying for the services you use. If you happen to only watch Netflix a few times a month, your $12 may be better invested elsewhere. Spotify and other subscription services are wildly convenient and can simplify our lives, but they really have to be used frequently to constitute the cost.
Checking your account may even surprise you; many people sign up for free trials and forget to cancel before they’re charged. Just eliminating these small subscription costs from your spending could help you save more.
Making Your Dream a Reality
Vacations aren’t a luxury only awarded to the rich and financially fortunate. Anyone with a desire to save more can find that planning for a vacation is a great way to prioritize their budget. With these tips in mind, you’ll be one step closer every day to enjoying your ultimate getaway. Bon voyage!