Nobody should tell you where to go on vacation. It’s your hard-earned money, and you deserve to take the vacation of your dreams!
Of course, the biggest obstacle for taking a vacation is money. Your financial situation will probably dictate how often your family takes vacations, and where you ultimately go. Hopping on a plane whenever we want isn’t a luxury most of us can afford. We have to plan ahead and make a family vacation budget in order to turn your dream vacation into a reality.
So how do you realistically plan to finance a vacation? There are typically two options:
Option 1: Let Your Budget Decide Where You Go
There are literally thousands of amazing vacation destinations out there. But many of the most stunning vacation hot spots cost a lot of money. But if you don’t have your heart set on a specific location, then one tactic is to choose where you go based on how much money you already have available for a vacation fund. You might even be surprised at the amazing places you and your family can afford to visit.
You can spend less money on vacation by choosing cheaper ways to travel, or by going camping instead of staying at a hotel. You can also make vacation fit your budget by bringing your own food instead of eating out the whole time you’re away, or by going on a shorter vacation.
A good way to let your budget decide where you go on vacation is to create a small monthly vacation fund in your budget. By building up vacation savings, you’ll always have money available for even those small spontaneous trips.
Option 2: Pick Your Dream Destination and Save Up
We all have those dream destinations that we want to visit. In order to check these vacation goals off your bucket list, you’ll need to save up enough money no matter how long it takes. To do this strategy right, you have to have a pretty good idea how much your dream vacation is going to cost. Do your best to estimate the cost of all your expenses, find your total goal amount, and start saving. Figure it into your monthly budget, and you’ll be on your way to that dream vacation your family has been waiting for.
When you finally do take the vacation of your dreams, all that’s left to do is plan your next vacation and start saving. Before you know it you’ll be adding stickers to your suitcase and adding tacks to that map on your wall!
Other Vacation Budget Basics
Every good family vacation needs a good budget. Once you’ve saved up enough money to finally embark on your trip, you need a plan for how you are going to spend your money while on vacation. How much do you want to spend on food each day? Will you be going to any shows or events while on vacation? Figure your entire itinerary into your budget, and make sure you have enough to cover all your planned activities.
There are many expenses you can plan for ahead of time, but there are also going to be unexpected costs that have a tendency to pop up. To safeguard against any surprises, you need to do two things:
- Include some extra money in your vacation budget for unexpected expenses
- Have a way to get a hold of emergency funds if you need them in a pinch
Sometimes the spontaneous happenings are the best part of a vacation, and if you’ve saved some extra money for this purpose, you’ll be more likely to go where the road will take you. And since there’s always the possibility that you’ll need access to emergency funds, think ahead of time how you’ll be able to get to those funds while on vacation.
For example, if your car breaks down, if you need to move hotels or even if the price of gas goes up as you are traveling you do not want to be stuck without the funds to travel safely. Should you need more cash, simply find the nearest Check City location and take out a cash advance or even have money transferred to the Check City location. If someone can wire you the money, you can pick it up at the nearest Check City.
It’s time to start planning your dream vacation—it’s up to you what strategy you’re going to take and how much you’re going to save.