Now that the kids are out of school, many of us will be preparing for summer travel. We spend a lot of time with clients discussing how travel fits into their financial plan. Below is a list of our favorite summer travel tips to help your dream vacation become a reality.
Our schedules can quickly fill up with obligations and leave little room for fun at all, let alone a week-long vacation. Setting the date for your trip early – months or even a year ahead of time – protects that time from being squeezed out by other events. As an added bonus, scheduling your vacation first allows you to be flexible with your arrival and departure dates. Flexible dates allow you to pick flights based on affordability and convenience.
Set Monthly Savings Goals
Another great benefit of planning a vacation months in advance is the time you have to save up for the cost of the trip. One common pitfall people make when traveling is underestimating how much money they’ll spend on vacation. The cost of food, drinks, and excursions can add up.
Estimate the cost and break it up into monthly savings goals. For example, if you need $3,000 to cover your family’s vacation expenses in six months, set a monthly savings goal of $500 ($3,000 ÷ 6 = $500). The more detailed you can get on your plans, the better. If you’re able to imagine the wind blowing your hair as you ride the expensive jet ski, it’s much easier to say no to your co-worker’s lunch invitation.
Use Power in Numbers
Few of us have the resources to stay at a luxurious waterfront beach house or a sophisticated uptown condo. But if you split that cost with another or even a few families, the cost per person becomes much more affordable. With sites like Airbnb and HomeAway, you can select your location, number of needed bedrooms, and desired price. You and your friends can live like rock stars but stay within your budget.
Also, staying in a house with many people will help you save money on food. Your condo or house will have a kitchen which will allow you to avoid eating out for every single meal. Just a few breakfasts or lunches in will save you hundreds of dollars.
Make summer Travel a Part of Your Financial Plan
Many people return from a fun, relaxing vacation and immediately begin to dream about where to go next. Unfortunately, many of those people fall back into the rhythm of daily life and those dreams fade faster than their tans. But if you’ve spent the past few months saving for your special trip, you’ve formed a habit. You’ve already proven you can live without that few hundred dollars a month; why not continue the behavior and start funding your next trip?
Have you been dreaming about summer travel, but you’re not sure how it fits into your financial plan? We love to help our clients plan and save for their travel goals. Feel free to call or email us for advice on your specific situation.
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