It's that time of year when the spring season begins to show its signs and the anticipation of summer (or even mid-spring) vacation grows. And while we all get excited about the idea of taking some time off to relax and rejuvenate, it's not always easy to save up for the trip.
It’s no secret that vacations can be expensive. But, with a little bit of planning and some savvy budgeting tricks, you can make your dream vacation a reality - whether you're planning a quick weekend getaway or an extravagant international excursion.
With these five easy tips, iCASH, Canada's leading online payday loan lender, will show you how to save money for your next getaway without breaking the bank. And, if you're needing a little extra help to cover the cost of your next getaway, you could always consider an instant loan, so that you're not putting your travel dreams on hold.
Start With a Realistic Budget
The first step to saving money for your vacation is to create a realistic budget - you can even find an easy budgeting template to help get you started. How much can you realistically afford to spend on your trip? Include all of the associated costs, such as airfare, hotels, food and activities. Once you have a final number, break that down into monthly or even weekly goals so that you have a tangible goal to work towards.
Creating these budgeting goals is a great way to keep yourself accountable and prevent you from overspending on other things to save for your vacation. Plus, it's a lot more fun to budget for something that you can look forward to. It makes saving money fun!
Create a Vacation Fund
The easiest way to save money for your vacation is to create a designated vacation fund. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as setting up a dedicated savings account or allocating specific funds each month to put towards your trip. If you're motivated, consider having a 'no spend' month leading up to your vacation where you only use the money you've saved specifically for the trip.
Vacation funds are also a great way to avoid accumulating debt in the lead-up to your trip. By having money saved specifically for your vacation, you're less likely to need to use your credit card for additional expenses.
Stick to Your Budget and Reduce Your Expenses
Once you have your budget in place, it's important to stick to it as closely as possible. Take a close look at your regular monthly expenses and see where you can cut back.
If you're finding it difficult to cut back on certain expenses, you could start with the following:
- Cancel non-essential subscriptions: You might be surprised how much money you can save each month by cancelling unnecessary subscriptions, such as cable, streaming services and other memberships. Plus, you can always renew them once your trip is paid for - if you find yourself missing them, that is.
- Eat out less often: Eating out is a great way to save money, but only if you do it wisely. Consider cooking at home more often or packing your lunch for work. Not only will you save money, but you'll also likely eat healthier (and feel better).
- Take advantage of free activities: There are plenty of fun and free activities to enjoy in any city or town. Why not check out your local museum, go for a walk or explore a new neighbourhood?
- Save on groceries: Although spending money on groceries is an essential expense, there are ways to save. Try to buy in bulk when possible, compare prices between stores, and make a grocery list before heading to the supermarket. You could also take advantage of coupons and cash-back offers.
- Drive your car less: If you can, try to take public transportation or walk instead of driving. If driving less is not an option for you, try consolidating all of your trips into one or two days a week to save on gas.
- Get creative with your travel arrangements: If you're flexible with your travel dates and destination, consider looking into more cost-effective options such as flying during the middle of the week or flying into a nearby city.
Get an Extra Income Stream
If you're finding it difficult to save money each month, consider getting an extra income stream. Not only will this help you save more money for your vacation, but it'll also give you some extra spending money while you're away.
Some simple ways you could start earning extra money to put towards your vacation fund are listed below:
- Sell your old belongings: Do you have any items lying around your house that you no longer use or need? Why not sell them online or at a local flea market? Even if the items you're selling are listed for a low price, the more you sell, the more money you'll have accumulated in the long run.
- Start a side hustle: A great way to make some extra money is by starting a side hustle. This could be anything from dog walking to freelance writing. If you can dedicate a few hours each week to your side hustle, you could easily see a significant increase in your savings account.
- Put your skills to use: If you have a special skill or talent, why not offer your services to friends and family? From painting homes to baking cakes, there are plenty of ways to use your skills to earn some extra cash.
- Tutoring: If you're good at a particular subject, you could offer tutoring services to students in your neighbourhood or online. You could even start a blog or YouTube channel about the subject to attract more students/subscribers.
Travel Off Peak
We know that when the warmer weather calls, it's tough to resist the temptation to travel. However, travelling during peak season can often mean inflated prices and larger crowds.
If you're flexible with your travel dates, consider travelling off-peak instead. This could mean travelling in the shoulder season (e.g. April-May or September-October) or avoiding popular tourist destinations during the summer months.
You could also consider travelling to less-known destinations, which often have lower prices and less crowds. And, just because it's a less popular location, it doesn't mean you won't have a great time. You might even enjoy yourself more as you'll have more room to explore!
Save For Your Next Vacation and Have Fun Doing It
Saving money for your next vacation can be a lot of fun, especially if you stick to your savings goals. It's also important to remember that travelling on a budget doesn't mean visiting places for as cheap as possible. Rather, by following the tips listed above, you can save money while still enjoying your trip.
You should also never be afraid to splurge on something while you’re abroad. It's important to make memories and enjoy your time away. As long as you save up for it in advance and are not putting a strain on your bank account, you can have a memorable and affordable vacation.