Dying to head out of town, Money Bitches, but terrified you might overspend on vacation?
A vacation spend plan allows you to budget for the trip and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible when you’re away from home. With careful planning and smart strategies, you can make sure your dream vacation is within reach, while managing your spending responsibly. Here is how to approach creating your vacation spending plan that can keep you from spending more than you want to while you’re away.
Decide how much money you can afford to spend.
Before booking your flights and purchasing your excursion tickets, it is important to decide how much money can realistically be spent on the trip. Consider factors such as number of people in your family, current income, existing debts, and any upcoming expenses that need to be considered. Get creative with your vacation planning. Consider bringing grocery items from home like snacks or breakfast foods that don’t need refrigeration; this could save you quite a bit of money compared to eating out every day.
The best idea is to save money ahead of time for travel, not spending it on credit cards and then working to pay it off when you get home. Creating a travel bucket in your savings account that you are contributing to regularly is key. By the time your vacation comes up, you’ll have the money to spend rather than going into debt.
Research various destinations to get an idea of the cost of flights, accommodations, food, and other activities.
Make sure these costs are realistic based on where you will be traveling. Some places are much more expensive than others. Taking the entire family to Disney World is going to take much more planning than a trip to the beach. Look for discounts, coupon codes, or special offers that could make the trip more affordable so you don’t overspend on vacation before you even go.
Bundles and packages are great ways to get deals on lodging and entertainment. If you’re planning on flying, getting ahead of the game is essential. Airlines generally offer the best prices up to three months in advance of departure. Midweek travel is usually cheaper than weekends and flying during off-peak times may result in lower fares.
Families should also explore package deals that combine airfare with hotels or car rentals at discounted rates. If you’re in the right situation to open a new credit card, some airlines offer the ability to accumulate free “flying miles” for credit card holders. Make sure you’ve got the cash on hand to pay off those cards right away – remember, we’re not trying to go in debt!
Don’t overspend on vacation – stay on track with a spend plan.
Once you have determined how much money can be allocated for your vacation, create a spend plan based on this amount. Be sure to include all the expenses associated with the trip in your budget. This means considering not only transportation costs such as flights or gas, but also other expenses like meals, entertainment, souvenirs, and even tips when applicable. Give your kids their own allowance to minimize their overspend on vacation. Set limits for the amount that can be spent per day or week, as well as what types of purchases can be made with the money. Getting everyone on the same page before heading out ensures that everyone knows how their money should be used.
Factor in some room for unexpected expenses.
Having some extra cash available should something come up during your travels can help ensure that everything runs smoothly while away from home. Whether it’s an extra night at a hotel, or unpredicted car repairs, having access to extra funds can provide peace of mind if something arises unexpectedly.
If you are especially worried about something happening while you are gone, it doesn’t hurt to consider insurance. Insurance is usually an additional expense to the entire trip, but it can be well worth it for peace of mind. With proper vacation insurance coverage, travelers can be better protected against unforeseen circumstances that could result in major financial losses. Vacation insurance typically covers reimbursements for flight cancellations due to weather or airline issues, lost or stolen luggage, trip interruptions and cancellations due to emergencies, car rental insurance, and medical costs.
Finally, once you have created your vacation spending plan, make sure everyone is aware of it before traveling.
Going over expectations together will help prevent potential issues such as running out of money or overspending unnecessarily. Keep track of all receipts while away. Staying organized and keeping a spending record will help ensure that you don’t overspend on vacation and stay within your plan.
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