Find out how much to save for vacation to make sure you have enough cash on hand for your next getaway.
Do you know how much to save for vacation to splurge on a memorable getaway? With the average person working 40 hours or more each week, you deserve to take a break every now and then. However, without the right planning, you may find yourself spending too much on your next vacation.
Before you buy plane tickets or book a hotel, you need to know your budget. There’s nothing worse than enjoying a few days away from work, only to have to take on more hours once you get back to cover your expenses. Here’s how you can use a vacation calculator to make sure you save enough before your flight departs.
Understand Your Vacation Benefits at Work
If you are a full-time employee—or even a part-timer at some places—you may get vacation benefits from your employer. Check your benefits package to see if you accrue a set number of days or hours each year. Plan your vacation itinerary around the amount of time you can ask off from your work. In many instances, you can still bring in your regular income while relaxing on the beach.
Even if your company doesn’t offer paid vacation hours, you can still go on a trip. However, you should plan ahead to earn enough money before your trip. For example, if you are an hourly employee, inquire about possible overtime hours. Many companies pay a premium if you work over your set 40 hours in a week. You may also consider finding a side job to help you earn a few extra bucks before your getaway begins. Waiting tables, taking online surveys, or hosting a garage sale are all ways you can add a few more dollars to your vacation fund.
However, you can’t just up and leave on a trip. Most employers require that you request any personal time off in advance. If you want to travel during a peak period for your company, your boss may deny your request. The same is true if your coworkers already asked off during the same week. Make sure you talk to your boss and clear the dates before you decide to go on vacation.
Set Money Aside Each Pay Period
Every time you get a paycheck, you should put a percentage aside for your vacation. Knowing when you want to travel is a must. For example, if you have six months before your trip, you can save a small amount each pay period. But if you want to leave in a few weeks, you should set aside a larger percentage.
You need to put your money somewhere secure or else you may want to spend it. A travel savings account is a good place to start. Most banks offer savings accounts, and many of these accounts pay a small interest rate each month. Before you open an account, ask the banker to explain any hidden fees or penalties, so you don’t lose any money in the process.
How much should you save? That total really depends on your ultimate beach vacation goals. If you want to stay as close to home as possible, you can book a getaway in the same state. For example, Tybee Island in Georgia is famous for its beautiful beaches and warm climate. Traveling by car costs a good deal less than purchasing a plane ticket across the country.
Did You Think About…
However, if your dream is to travel somewhere exotic or far away, you’ll need more money in your overall vacation budget. How will you get to your destination? Do you want to spoil yourself at a luxury resort, or would you prefer a more affordable hotel? Here are other expenses you should consider:
- Travel arrangements
- Car rental and parking
- Food and snacks
- Vacation clothing and accessories
- ATM fees and exchange rates
- Tipping costs
- Taxes and travel insurance
- Any souvenirs
On average, a family of four should expect to spend a little over $4,500 for a beach vacation. With that number in mind, you would need to save for nine months if you can only afford to set aside $500 each month.
Create a Tighter Budget
If you want to save for an amazing beach getaway, you need to overhaul your current budget. Take a look at how much you spend each month. Do you spend frivolously in any areas? If you do, make it a point to cut back. For instance, if you go to restaurants twice a week, consider eating out once a week. Making your coffee at home instead of heading to the local coffee shop is another great way to pad your vacation fund.
Even if you already follow a strict budget, you can still find ways to cut back even more. Start clipping coupons to save money at the grocery store. If you need some new clothes, consider buying them from a thrift store. Carpooling with a coworker is one way you can keep more money in your wallet instead of giving it to the gas station. Be creative and think outside the box when trying to create a slimmer budget.
Before you know it, living a frugal lifestyle will become second-nature. You may even consider maintaining your new money-saving habits after your vacation. That way, you’ll always have plenty of cash in your savings account for a rainy day—or another family vacation!
Make Your Vacation Vision Visible
While you may know where you want to go and when you want to leave, you should make your trip visible before you depart. What does this mean? Create a beach vacation countdown chart, and post it on your computer, phone, or refrigerator. Write down your savings goal and track your progress on the chart.
You should also make a list of the places you want to visit on your trip. In addition to soaking up the sun on the beach, do you want to see other attractions? Add photos of every destination you have in mind on your chart. This visual reminder will help make your vacation feel real even before its time to leave.
When you create visible financial goals, you’re more likely to follow through. A countdown chart will act as a reminder to keep putting money aside for your trip. You can even encourage other people in your family to donate to the cause. Before you know it, you’ll have plenty of money to enjoy a long, relaxing vacation at the beach.
It can take time and practice to learn how to make a beach vacation savings budget. If you need a bit of wiggle room, a title pawn can help. Call or visit your nearest Title Tree store to find out whether you qualify.