Traveling can be expensive but there are plenty of ways to save for a trip, whether it is your dream vacation or just an overnighter in the next town.
1. Pick your destination and make a list of the things that you want to do – I am all for spontaneous travel and do some last minute trips myself. That being said, when you have children spontaneous travel is not always the best choice. When we decide that we are going on a trip, we often sit down and write a list of everything we would like to see or do and how much each activity costs. For example, when we went to Hawaii we wanted to splurge on an expensive luau. We knew that we would need that extra money. This helps us plan our budget accordingly.
2. Open a vacation account at your bank – We have a separate bank account that is only for our vacation dollars. Anytime we have a little bit of extra cash, even just a few dollars, it gets transferred into our vacation account. We never touch that account unless it is a dire emergency. It is great to be able to use the cash to pay for meals and admissions without worrying about that credit card bill at the end of the trip.
3. Get a change jar – Get a piggy bank, Mason jar, or bowl to throw all your change in daily when you get home. Don’t cash it in until you are a few days away from your trip. Even if you only have a few months to save some extra change, every penny counts! Thirty or forty dollars will pay for a meal out or admission fees. Eighty or ninety dollars can pay for one hotel night.
4. Cut out a luxury– I know that this is easier said than done, but if it is possible even if just for the months before your vacation. The key is to put that money you would have spent into your vacation fund though! For example if you love to go out to dinner every week, skip one dinner a month and put that $25 you would have spent in the vacation fund. If you love your drive thru gourmet coffee every morning, make it at home or the office once or twice a week.