Step one of saving for anything is knowing the true, full costs of what you are planning for.  In the case of vacations, especially a dream vacation, families should try to calculate an accurate estimate for how much their vacation will cost.To do this, first determine exactly where you want to go, and for how much time.  Think about how much time you can realistically get away from work, and your kids can miss school (if going during the school year).  Using the internet or a travel agent, research what your flights and lodging will cost, making sure that you gather prices from the correct season.  For example, school vacation week can be a much more expensive time to travel.Next, think about your food budget, keeping in mind the type of meals you are likely to eat.  My family typically eats lighter breakfasts on vacation, but we generally eat larger dinners.  Once you know what you will spend during your vacation, you can actually subtract out your typical grocery and dining out expenses for the week, since you won’t be home.Many families, when budgeting for vacations, often forget about the “hidden costs” of vacation.  These include kennels, or pet sitters, rental car fees, airport parking fees, and souvenirs.  Forgetting to budget for these particular items can make you burn through your vacation budget quicker than expected.In the future, I’ll write about how you can incorporate saving for vacation into your regular family budget.  Do you have any tips on budgeting for vacations?  Leave a comment below.Jodi Grundig reviews products for moms, babies, and children on Mom’s Favorite Stuff, and writes about her life at Multitasking Mommy