Budgeting While on Vacation
While most people go on vacation to get away from the stress, tasks and everyday living, the logistics and finances of taking a trip often wind up adding to that stress. The ultimate goal is to get maximum joy out of your vacation, while maintaining minimal stress.
To reduce the stress of taking a trip, you’re going to have to come up with a vacation budget. Your vacation budget should be separate from your everyday budget, and you should do your best to predict and anticipate all your expenses before you step on a plane or pull out of the driveway. Without proper preparation, you could find yourself racking up unnecessary expenses, or worse, stranded far away from home. Coming up with a good budget is one of the great budget vacation ideas.
If you’ve ever been on a vacation that went exactly as planned with no unexpected expenses, then you’re very lucky. The vacations that the rest of us take are full of surprises, twists, and turns. In fact, that’s part of the fun of going on vacation—the little adventures that pop up that you can never plan for.
Crafting Your Unique Vacation Budget
Between the cost of travel, food and lodging it can get very expensive to take a vacation. When you know that you are going to want to take a vacation, there are many ways that you can minimize the cost of traveling. First, it is important to understand what your budget is. You want to make sure that you have a firm budget in mind and that you are going to be able to afford to go on vacation.
While you are setting your budget, you should figure out how much money you are going to save and how long you will need to save to make that goal. Saving is key—overall everyone spends more money while they are on vacation than when they aren’t. Unless you want to go into debt, you’re going to have to spend the weeks and months leading up to your vacation saving as much as you can.
If taking regular vacations is important to you, you can even set aside money for a vacation fund in your regular budget. That way you’ll always have vacation money, even for those spontaneous road trips.
When you sit down to craft your vacation budget, be prepared for surprising expenses. It’s always better to over compensate when it comes to vacation finances. In addition to the cost of activities and amenities, set aside money each day for spontaneous spending—nothing too crazy, just enough so that you don’t feel guilty about buying a cool gift or going on a last-minute night out on the town.
Booking Travel and Lodging
The ideal time to book flights and hotels is months in advance, not weeks, especially if you plan on vacationing during the busiest times for travel. When it comes to vacations, you will be rewarded exponentially for advanced planning.
While you are booking your hotel rooms and rental cars, you should ask for a breakdown of the bill that you receive. Make sure that they are providing you with the total, including tax. When you get the total ahead of time, you can be sure that there are no surprises when you are checking into your hotel or getting your rental car.
Take your time booking your flights and make sure you are finding the best rates. If you don’t feel like you are able to find a good deal, talk with a travel agent and book your flight through him or her. Websites that specialize in booking flights can also bundle hotels and rental cars so you can get a great deal. Sometimes these deals are temporary, so it’s a good idea to subscribe to the website’s newsletter for alerts and promotions on good deals.
We hope you have learned a lot and enjoyed these great budget vacation ideas. Thank you for reading!