How to Budget for the Vacation You’ve Always Dreamed Of

If you want to take the vacation you?ve always dreamed of but think you don?t have the funds to do so, don?t worry! You can still plan an amazing trip by following these five tips for planning a vacation on a budget. Whether you want to travel abroad or stay close to home, this short blog post can help. By planning and staying organized, you can make your dream vacation happen without breaking the bank.

1. Where Are You Going?

Picking a vacation destination is your first step. You should also figure out what you want to do while you’re there and how long you’ll be away. Most travelers will spend almost $2000 on their vacation. If you want to get a little fancier and stay in five-star resorts or eat at top restaurants, then be prepared to spend more.

Remember: To ensure that your dream vacation doesn’t become a financial nightmare, look into different ways to save beforehand, and research destinations and possible activities thoroughly.

It might be tempting to book your dream trip and do it yesterday, but in the end, that kind of thinking usually causes the kind of stress you?re hoping to get away from once you?re on vacation.

2. Transportation and Lodging Costs

When you?re going on vacation, getting there accounts for half the fun. Finding a cool place to stay in the other half of the fun. Fortunately, people often think about transportation and lodging first because they’re a major of the decision-making process.

These two elements of vacation represent the biggest vacation expenses for most people. You can spend nearly $1,400 on just flights, rental cars, and gas for a seven-day vacation.

If you want to save some money, try changing your travel plans so that you don’t fly but drive instead, or maybe pick a less expensive hotel than what you originally wanted. This allows you to spend more money in one area of your vacation planning by cutting back on another.

3. Take an Honest Look at Your Finances

A vacation doesn?t have to cost you an arm and a leg. However, even the cheapest vacations cost too much if you don?t have the money for them. In light of that, it?s best to start your vacation planning by taking a deep, long look at your finances.

Determine how much debt you have and of equal importance, how much credit card (and possibly loan debt) you?ll take on during your vacation. From a financial standpoint, it?s better to pay down your debt before you leave on vacation. This allows you to vacation worry-free. It also ensures that you won?t still be paying for this year?s dream vacation when you?re ready to go on vacation next year.

If you don?t have a debt problem, then decide how much you can realistically save each month to put toward your vacation. How much you need to save requires you to decide where you?ll go and what you want to do once you?re on vacation.

For example, saving $200 a month for 12 months nets you $2400 at the end of the year to spend on your vacation. This amount might be enough for a high-end three-week camping vacation but not enough for a more deluxe vacation.

4. Don?t Be Afraid to Ask Others to Join You

Are you going to have fun by yourself in New York City or Rome? While some people may be able to pull off solo vacations, others find that it?s more enjoyable to travel with others. It?s often cheaper, too, if you travel with others because you can share travel expenses.

Traveling with others is an especially good option if you want to travel but don?t want to spend too much money on accommodations. Sites like Airbnb and Homeaway make it simple to find affordable accommodations with space available for multiple guests.

You have the same option if you pool your transportation expenses. You can charter a private jet or bus. All the members of your party can then pay a portion of the costs.

5. Think About Packaged Deals and All-Inclusive Resorts

If you’re looking to get away and enjoy food, drink, and entertainment at your fingertips, an all-inclusive resort might be the ticket to your dream vacation. These kinds of packages allow you to get more bang for your buck by allowing you to pool your expenses with everyone else that?s participating in the packaged deal for that week.

These resorts and packages have some limitations to be aware of. While they often include transportation between the hotel and airport, they usually don’t cover airfare. Still, they’re an affordable option that can give you peace of mind as you travel knowing that things like meals and other incidentals are already paid for.

Final Thoughts on How to Budget for Your Dream Vacation

When it comes to planning and budgeting for your dream vacation, don’t let money be an obstacle. Use these tips to help you create a plan that works with your financial situation and helps you afford your next dream vacation.