7 Practical Ways to Save for Your Vacation
What's the difference between a vacation and trip? A vacation is when you travel somewhere with a plan. You do exactly what you want on your vacation and you don't have a care in the world the entire time you're there.
A trip is when you go somewhere without a plan, you are stressed about money the entire time you're there, then when you get back home and see your credit card bill you're straight TRIPPIN'!
Here are 7 practical ways to plan for your summer VACATION:
1. Build up savings and pay for your vacation BEFORE you leave – The best way to pay for your vacation is to make savings automatic. Just as you save up every month toward retirement, you can do the same for your vacation. Whether its 5% or 10% of your take home pay, saving for travel should be automatic.
2. Take half the clothes and double the money – Many people tend to over pack for vacations. As a rule of thumb, I recommend taking half the amount of clothes you think you’ll need for your trip and double the amount of money you think you’ll spend. Depending on where you stay and the length of your trip, research to see if you have access to laundry or laundry services. Doing this will also help you save on baggage and overweight fees. The goal here is travel light and limit your baggage (physically and mentally).
3. Shop around for flights – Generally speaking, there is not a specific day to get the best price on your flight. Instead, CheapAir.com analyzed almost 3 million flights and have concluded the ideal window to book a flight for the cheapest price is 21 – 112 days before departing. While 3 months is a huge range, it is recommended that you check fares frequently during this time frame because at some point, the best fare is likely to pop up.
4. Use the right credit card – In this day and age, there are so many credit cards out there competing for your business. There are a number of credit cards offering 40,000 – 50,000 points when you sign up, bonus points for spending on food/travel and no foreign transaction fees. There are great resources like NerdWallet.com or ValuePenguin.com that you can use to find the credit card that is right for you. Also, be sure to take an extra 60 seconds to sign up for the frequent flyer programs when you book your flight. On average, it will take $2,000 of airline spending to receive a free domestic flight. While it may take a few flights to earn 1 free flight, you want to be sure to get credit for your travel because every little bit adds up. If you want to track all of your airline miles in one place, AwardWallet.com can be a great resource.
5. When in Rome – As the saying goes, do as the Roman’s do. Live like a local: go grocery shopping when you travel, explore the less popular tourist destinations, visit the local watering holes, etc. Not only will this help you save some money but you just might strike up a conversation with a local and get a deeper sense of what it means to live in a different place.
6. Splurge on a meal or activity – You spent a lot time shopping around for the cheapest flights, you did your homework on the best credit card for your situation, and you avoided tourist traps by living like a local. Where should all of these savings go? Spend it on a WOW moment. At the end of your trip, you’ll remember that beautiful dinner or unforgettable activity you did with your loved ones. Life is too short not to treat yourself every once in a while.
7. Come back home with money and memories rather than stuff – Avoid all the little trinkets from the “souvenir shop.” When you travel to different cities, states, and countries you’ll realize almost all of the stores sell the exact same stuff. Avoid buying items that will just take up more room in your suitcase and end up at the bottom of your closet once you get back home. Instead, come back spending less than you thought you would and put that extra savings towards your next vacation.
Whether its saving up for you next vacation, saving to buy a house or saving for retirement, having a plan in place will make your life so much easier. Use the resources around you, reach out to a professional and get your plan in place. At the end of the day, we will remember the memories we created with our loved ones. Remember, in order to create more wonderful memories in life, all you need to do is plan for it.
By Elijah Souza
Investment Advisor Representative
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.
Investment advice offered through Gerber Kawasaki Inc, a registered investment advisor.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which course of action may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.
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