Saving up for Summer Vacation

Does the dreary, rainy weather have you dreaming of a dreamy beach vacation? Worried you can’t afford a dreamy beach vacation? Worry no more!

There are sunnier days ahead with these tips on how to make that beach vacation a reality. So book your tickets, pack your bags and don’t forget the sunscreen!

Create a travel budget

We’ve written about the benefits of creating a general budget. Now is the time to set aside a specific budget for travel. In order to figure out how much you need to save, figuring out the cost of the overall trip is first priority.

Figure out where you want to go, when and for how long. These three decisions can all factor into each other. For example, a flight to Italy or other popular summer destinations may be cheaper later in the season.

Add up all your costs, from flights and hotels to extras like food and gifts. Then add an additional 10 percent for unexpected or “emergency” costs. Divide your total amount by the number of weeks until you leave, and that’s how much you should save each week.

Take shortcuts

There are plenty of ways to cut down costs. Have family, friends or friends of friends who live in the area you’re traveling to? Reach out to see if you can stay with them. (And of course, bring a thank you gift!) Don’t mind flying on a discount airfare or taking a layover? Some airlines offer free layovers in cities for up to 7 days. Like to cook? Consider grocery shopping and cooking meals at your hotel or hostel, instead of eating out for every meal.

Visualize the trip

Life happens and sometimes we’re tempted to dip into our savings. To avoid this, keep reminders of your upcoming trip in plain sight to keep you motivated. You may need to skip a dinner out with friends to save some extra cash. But ultimately, this lesson in saving for something short-term could make you a better saver in the long run.