If you’ve been practicing social distancing for the last few months, homeschooling your children, and working from home, chances are you need a break. After all, staying in your home for hours on end and being overly cautious when you have to leave the house isn’t exactly relaxing. If you and your family are planning a vacation soon, here are some practical tips that can help you save money during the planning phase and once you’re on vacation.
Choose an Affordable Destination
One of the first things you should do is choose a destination that works for your budget. If you can, take advantage of vacation packages so you’ll pay a low price for hotel rooms, rental cars, and other resort-related accommodations. For instance, if you’re planning to visit Disneyland, you can purchase a vacation package that includes tickets to the park, hotel room(s), and early admission to some events. Some packages also include land and air travel discounts. When you choose a vacation you can afford and purchase several features at one low price, you can save a considerable amount of money.
Set a Target Amount and Date
Once you have a price estimate for your vacation, it’s time to figure out how long it will take you to save the required amount. For instance, if your total vacation cost is $2,000 for your family of four, and you have six months to save, you’ll have to save about $350 each month until your trip. You may even want to try and save about $400 per month so you can take care of any unexpected expenses if they arise.
If you don’t think you can save that much each month, you may want to change your vacation date or choose a hotel or airline that offers cheaper prices. Even if you have a prepay or prebook for certain aspects of your trip, you can use the money you’re saving to pay your credit card bill before you go on your trip.
Consider opening a second savings account as well. Use this account just to save for your vacation. This will keep you organized and help you avoid spending the money on things that aren’t related to your trip and help you achieve more financial stability when it comes to setting a monetary goal. Keep your family updated on the status of the account to keep everyone motivated to use their money wisely.
Book Your Trip Early
The earlier you book your vacation, the more money you’ll save. Some hotels, airlines, and rental car companies may provide incentives like a percentage off your travel cost or hotel stay when you book at least a month in advance.
It can also help to set up price alerts so you’ll know right away when a hotel say or plane ticket goes down in price. This will let you know the best time to book to save the most money.
Select Your Destination Wisely
Popular vacation spots tend to be pricey. You may want to consider another destination to save money on the entire trip. For instance, if you want to visit the beaches of California but the vacation package is too expensive, check out southern states like Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida, which all have beautiful beaches and exquisite hotels.
You may also want to book a guided tour as part of your vacation. This will ease the stress of trying to figure out an itinerary and will help you avoid spending money on several excursions. Many vacation tours are designed for families to ensure the experience is interesting for everyone.
Book an Apartment or Home
Even though hotels are a convenient choice, this may not be the most practical choice. You may want to rent an apartment or home instead. You’ll likely save money if you planning on vacationing for a week or more since you pay one set price for the whole vacation instead of per night. When you rent a home or apartment, you can also prepare your own meals, which helps you and your family save money during your trip. Of course, you’ll want to try some of the local restaurants as well, but you won’t have to eat out for all three meals. Check to see if nearby eateries have a kids-eat-free day as well to keep the cost down.
These tips can help you appreciate your vacation even more and reduce the stress of saving for a fun family excursion.