Planning a Vacation without breaking the Bank….
Planning a vacation can be a lot of work. Figuring out the expenses is the most important part. The purpose of vacation in my opinion is to temporarily escape for “regular” life hustle and bustle. The last thing a person wants to do is stress over how everything will be paid for while on a trip.
The first thought is usually “Where to go?” Knowing the exact destination important, this will make planning easier. For example if Florida is your choice, what area or city in Florida do you want to visit? This will help make planning A LOT easier. Next how long will this vacation be? Knowing the length of the trip will help when it comes to figuring how much you will need to save for traveling cost. The next question would be “How do you plan to travel and what is more cost effective and comfortable for you?”The goal is to NOT break the bank but to budget out what you can afford to spend without creating financial worries once the vacation is over.
Research the destination to get an idea of how much money will be needed while you’re there. Include the cost of food, hotels, entertainment and anything else that may be of interest. What is the time frame in which this vacation will take place? It is important to give yourself enough time to save without stressing. Let’s say you are planning to leave in 9 months and this trip is going to cost $3000.00. This means you would need to save $333.00 a month, to make this more realistic, saving $11.00 a day for 9 months would be spot on to having the funds.
There are little ways to save money, maybe cutting back on that daily coffee or buying lunch every day. Try not to spend that dollar at the vending machine etc. We tend to not realize how those little amounts we spend a day can add up. Also save a little extra for emergencies or trip insurance (something most people do not think to buy). Anything can happen that could result in needing to end a trip early or having to make a last minute cancelation. Trip insurance could in the end save you a lot of money!
Within 3 to 4 months you should be able to book your flight and hotel accommodations.
Now it’s time to focus on what activities you plan to do while there. Look around online for pricing (maybe call a few places). It is vacation so of course there is no pressure on time schedules but planning activities for specific days (leave some days open). Try to have some flexibility with your plans that way you fit in time to do what you want and time to just explore the city you are visiting.
Finally it is time to pack. I find that making a list of things I plan to take 2 months or so in advance helps with ensuring nothing is forgotten. It is nothing worse than reaching your destination and realizing you forgot a certain pair of shoes or toothbrush or camera! Yes, it is possible to buy these things but that of course takes away from the money you saved to have fun with.
Last but not least ENJOY YOUR VACATION!!! Leave your worries behind and enjoy some much needed YOU time!
As always…Have fun and BE SAFE!!!