Money Saving Tips – Budgeting for Summer Vacation

summer vacationWith summer right around the corner it's a good time to review your summer vacation plans….. Here are some tips for making sure your summer vacation doesn't break the bank.

Create a Budget for Your Summer Vacation – Plans for any vacation are best made well in advance. This obviously not only gives you time to set aside the money that you will need to pay for your trip but allows you to research where you would like to visit and search for the best deals online.  Whatever your budget turns out to be make sure you add 10% for unexpected expenses!   Don't forget that gas can be much more expensive when traveling on the interstate so be sure to check prices along the route you are taking and for the location you are traveling to. By combining airfare, lodging and rental car you can typically save 10% or more…  Browse All Travelocity Vacation Packages & Save!.

Can You Afford It? –  Once a realistic overall budget has been created you've got to decide if you will be able to fund your current financial priorities and have the money available come vacation time.  A good rule of thumb is to take the entire cost of the trip (less any required deposits or advance purchases like airfare) and divide this into the number of months remaining less one month.  Here is a scenario to illustrate,the total cost of your planned vacation in 12 months is $3,500 and you have to put a deposit of $250 on a beach rental and airfare will cost $1,000.  The amount remaining $2,250, is calculated by subtracting $1250 from $3500.  You would then need to save $205 each month for the next 11 months to ensure you will have the funds needed to pay for all of your planned vacation expenses. While we never would suggest using a credit card to pay for expenses that you do not currently have the cash to pay for, charging expenses to a rewards credit card and then using your vacation fund to pay off the entire balance allows you to earn rewards like cash back or other rewards.

Consider Alternatives to Hotels – Lodging can be the single largest expense when traveling so it makes sense to look into other options such as renting a home or a private room or apartment.  I have rented several vacation rentals using Airbnb and I have been extremely satisfied with both the wide availability of quality properties and reasonable price. A Vacation Home Rental can even allow you to rent a house for half the price of a hotel® and save even more on meals by having the option to prepare your own meals instead of eating out.

Use Technology to Save Money and Time –     There are many apps for travelers and a few of my favorites are Zagat, GasBuddy, and Go511.  You definitely want to check out the Top Free Apps on Apple iTunes before you leave on your next trip!  Don't forget to check out Groupon for dining and entertainment deals –  Find great Getaways in the US and Canada from Groupon

Be Prepared for the Unexpected – Everyone has been on a vacation where something unexpected happens, a flat tire or worse with your vehicle, a lost or stolen credit card or cell phone, or a delayed flight or cruise.  Before leaving make sure you have photocopies of credit cards and your drivers license and keep them in a safe place while traveling.

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10 Responses to Money Saving Tips – Budgeting for Summer Vacation

  1. Baby Boomer Super Saver 07/23/2018 at 10:18 am #

    You mentioned having photo copies of your drivers license, etc. This is the best tip, and one people don’t think about doing. It saves so much in just the hassle factor, not to mention the expense if you find yourself in a predicament. Our daughter was traveling in another country when she lost her passport. I had made a copy of it before she left, so she was able to get a temporary passport to travel home without too much trouble.

  2. Joseph Hogue 03/01/2015 at 9:42 pm #

    Great advice! It’s a good idea to start planning and setting aside money as early as possible and doing research on how you can travel without spending too much. Summer is peak vacation season so it’s best to book tickets and hotels/rentals ahead.

  3. College Savings Bank - Indianapolis 02/24/2015 at 3:23 pm #

    Nice post. It can be difficult to make the conscious effort to save for something that is months away. But by breaking the cost down into monthly goals, it is easier to understand your efforts. Start saving now for summer!

  4. Tactics and Bunks 02/18/2015 at 4:13 pm #

    Awesome advice! I’m totally with you on ditching the hotel – I’ve used sites like instead of airbnb – their booking fees are lower and the prices are $99 and under. Give it a shot!

    • Paul 02/21/2015 at 8:45 am #

      I’ve been really happy with rentals we have been to, we just booked another rental on Airbnb for spring break!

  5. How to Save Money 02/16/2015 at 3:40 am #

    Plan trips in advance! This can save you tons of me in plane tickets. Also, good affordable hotels get booked up very early, so plan ahead!

  6. maria@moneyprinciple 02/14/2015 at 2:00 am #

    Haha! I like ‘be prepared for the unexpected’. Along this line, we’ve managed to save a lot on holiday by waiting till the last minute. There are some really good deals going but you have to be very flexible (e.g. know that you want a beach holiday but not exactly which beach you want to go to).

  7. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank 02/11/2015 at 3:32 am #

    Yay! two months left and it’s summer! And, I am not prepared yet because I have no bucket list yet. Thanks for your advice as it reminds me to prepare a budget for this and where to go to.

  8. Connie @ Savvy With Saving 02/09/2015 at 2:02 pm #

    Great tips! I try to plan ahead as much as possible, especially when it comes to eating. I try to find those hidden local spots that have amazing food and is easy on the wallet.

    • Paul 02/10/2015 at 6:19 am #

      We are planning a trip to San Diego and I just got Whale Watching Tickets for 50% off and also picked up a coupon for $20 worth of food for $10 on Living Social. We are also booking a place on Airbnb that costs half of what the hotels cost in the area!