Be flexible with travel plans.
This is one of the mantras of the membership, but this strategy can be a significant boon to saving some dough. For example, you can save money by traveling during off season, as attractions and accommodations tend to be more wallet-friendly during these times of year.
Sell what you don’t want to get what you do want.
When you have a vacation coming up, it’s a good excuse to pillage your attic or storage shed for treasures that would be better in someone else’s hands. Set up a garage sale or put your items on eBay or Craigslist to get some extra cash for your impending trip.
Save dining out for vacation.
Think about how much you spend at Starbucks, McDonalds and any other restaurant you frequently visit. Brewing a pot of coffee at home and making your own lunch can save you around $20-$50 a month.
Take advantage of gift-giving occasions.
Ask for travel money or gift cards whenever you have a birthday or gift-giving holiday coming up (ex. Christmas, Mother’s Day). It takes away the stress of finding a gift, too, so everybody wins.
Set up a travel fund account.
Put travel money aside from each of your paychecks with a separate savings account. US News gives you the basics, but this is a convenient way to give yourself a “hidden” account with funds you can’t normally access. Set your account up so that you have to go to the bank in person to make withdrawals when you actually need the cash.
Dedicate Tax Refunds for Trips
Put your refund (if you get one before a vacation) into a certificate of deposit that expires leading up to your trip. This will keep you from spending it until then.
Track purchases to see where your hard-earned money is all going.
If you’ve pinched every penny you can think of and you still want better results, take your savings plan to the next level and monitor all your spending habits. From there, you can decide what is worth cutting in order to have the ultimate vacation. You can use an app such as Mint to budget every aspect of your life to make sticking to your goals easier.
It’s not as hard as you think to find the money to splurge on vacation. When you redirect the money you’re already getting and cut out unnecessary purchases, you can get more out of your travels than you realize.
How do you save for a big vacation? Share your tips in the comments below.