Occasionally it’s important to get away from your normal routine and take a relaxing vacation. While some people prefer visiting new destinations, others just want to spend some time with family members they haven’t seen in a while.
However, some people are not comfortable with making vacation plans due to the costs involved. No matter how great a vacation is, it does more harm than good if it’s likely to drive you deeper into debt. But if you prepare early enough, you can have an outstanding vacation within your budget. Here you’ll find some tips to help you plan a vacation without accumulating debt.
Determine the costs
If you intend to take a vacation, it’s important that you understand how much it will cost you, so you can make adequate plans. You’ll need to find out the charges (for example accommodation, transport, food, activities at your destination, etc.) in advance. To get the right estimate for accommodation expenses, you can look up the prices for hotels in your destination.
While it can be quite hard to plan the exact places to eat or take part in activities, you can rely on reputable travel blogs to get an estimate. You can also get travel guides for your target destination.
If the vacation is all-inclusive, you’ll have an easier time making the estimates. If you need or want to participate in an activity that isn’t included in the package, you’ll have to pay the additional costs. To be on the safe side, account for unplanned costs that may come up.
After knowing the amount, you need to start saving in advance for the vacation. The best way to get started is by starting a monthly savings goal and following it consistently. If you can open a savings account dedicated to the vacation fund, it is easier to avoid the temptation of spending money. Most importantly, making automatic deposits will ensure that you actually save for the vacation.
If you have decided the date for the vacation, calculate the time left, and factor in the costs to know how much you should be saving each month. If you have yet to decide on a date, you can find creative ways to cut back on expenses and save money. Know that there are some expenses that you can comfortably survive without and that saving money is a major step towards a debt-free vacation.
At times, you may get a great vacation deal but you haven’t saved enough money. While taking a quick $1000 loan to fund a vacation is not a good idea, sometimes it can pay off.
Earn more and stay motivated
While it’s great to cut back on unnecessary expenses to free up some money, it is better if you can find ways to earn more money. If your schedule is already tight, and you can’t take an extra job, you can sell off the stuff that you no longer need around your house.
While the rewards are obvious, sticking to the plan can be a difficult task, especially because sometimes, it is not easy to maintain the motivation. Nevertheless, you can find several ways to keep the fire burning until you achieve the goal to save.
You can start following bloggers who tell stories and document their experiences in the destination you intend to visit. When you see photos and read exciting stories about the vacations, you’ll be motivated to continue with the plan, even if you have to make a sacrifice in the short term. In addition, you can track the savings plan and watch the funds grow.
Find a good travel agent
While some travel agents might charge for their services, there are many agents who get compensated by the hotels, flights, and cruises that they book for their clients. As such, you can tap into their expertise for free and end up saving time and money for your vacation.
All you need to do is submit a list of activities that interest you, as well as the amount you plan to spend, and your agent will provide you with the most suitable options. More often than not, agents are updated about special offers from hotels, destinations, and airlines. While you can do your own research if you have the time, you may not be able to choose the best deal, especially if you are not experienced. You shouldn’t expect the travel agent to lower the accommodation fee, but they can help you get a better room.
Travel during off-peak seasons
After you decide where you want to go, try to figure out the best time to travel. Normally, a travel agent understands the destinations and the most appropriate times to visit to get the best rates. But if you are planning the vacation on your own, make sure you are traveling to a destination when there aren’t many tourists interested in the area. You can look up the visitors’ bureau website and determine the low and high seasons for a destination.
While you might be forced to travel when the weather is not at its best, you can still enjoy better conditions, and you won’t have to deal with overpopulated destinations. If you are taking a flight, it will cost lower when you fly during midweek, as well as early on Saturdays.
Set a daily allowance and shop for the best deals
Regardless of the destination you plan to visit, you can make huge savings by finding better deals. You can accomplish this through retailers and websites with promotional packages. When you plan ahead about where you will eat and sleep, you can avoid making mistakes when you are tired or desperate to find a place to rest. At the same time, consider any additional expenses like souvenirs and plan where you’ll get them at a bargain.
When you arrive at your destination, it is easy to fall into the temptation of spending more than you had planned. It can be disheartening if you spend most of your money during the first three days of the vacation and are left struggling for the remaining days. To avoid getting into debt while on vacation, you should make sure you have allocated a sufficient amount for your daily expenses and stick to it.
Nobody needs to go into debt when taking a vacation. If you can’t afford to pay for the vacation, you definitely shouldn’t travel in the first place. But if you can plan early, it is easy to enjoy a great vacation without introducing unnecessary stress in your life.