The Benefits of Travel Planning Ahead of Time
The best way to create and stay on top of a summer vacation budget is to plan ahead of time. If you do your research at least a couple of months in advance, you can get better prices on flights, hotels or vacation rentals, and discounts on event tickets and more. If you are able to map out your dining reservations or potential souvenir shopping, then you can go into your budgeting process with a clear idea of how much you money you need to obtain beforehand in order to experience a summer vacation straight from your bucket list.
Map Out How Much the Vacation Will Cost
Once you have a travel plan and corresponding itinerary, start putting price tags next to all of the activities, transportation costs, and amenities you’ll be needing while on vacation. If you add up all the numbers and feel the total is a little too outside of your current capabilities, see where you can make substitutions and compromises until your final total fits more in line with your expectations. For example, maybe instead of visiting the local mall (where you know you’ll be tempted to do a lot of vacation shopping) you schedule in a museum visit or local park excursion instead. Most locations have plenty of free or low-cost options that you can sprinkle throughout the duration of your stay!
Figure Out How Much You Need to Save on a Bi-Weekly/Monthly Basis to Have Enough Ready
Once you have your final vacation numbers calculated, you can figure out what your monthly, bi-weekly, or per-paycheck budget will need to be in order to meet it. For example, if your final vacation budget is $5,000, and you have 6 months and 12 paychecks until the time comes, then you know you’ll need to set aside $417 from each paycheck to meet your amount.
How to Stick to Your Budget While You’re on Vacation
The more you've planned ahead, the easier it will be to stick to your budget while actually on vacation. For example, if you’ve already mapped out all of the free activities in the area you are staying, you won’t be left scrambling to come up with an itinerary after your flight lands and you’re worn out from travel (which makes it harder to make rational decisions.)
A few additional tips to help you keep from burning your entire budget in the first couple of days:
- Stay at a place with a kitchen so you can make one or two of your daily meals in your rental instead of dining out for all 3 of them.
- If you find a souvenir you feel you absolutely must have, don’t be afraid to haggle with the vendor (most of them are expecting it, and that’s built into their price!)
- If you find yourself spending over budget on drinks and food, see if you can do more sharing with your travel companions if the main reasons for all fo the additional purchases is because you want to taste/try all the things.
- Our biggest recommendation to stick to a smaller budget while on summer vacation is to spend more planning, and energy on learning about the area, culture, and history of where you’re vacationing over being a consumer of it. Chances are, you’ll get more out of your trip this way too.
Make saving for your summers and vacations effortless with a Summer Club Savings Account from Canopy Credit Union. This account will take an automatic transfer of up to $500 per month from your main checking account into a separate savings account that earns a higher interest rate than most savings accounts in the industry at 1.51% APY.* After growing in your summer club account for however long, the funds will automatically transfer the fund to your main savings account on June 1st – just in time for all of your summer plans!
Click here to apply for a Summer Club Account and start saving for your dream vacation today!
*APY= Annual Percentage Yield. Rates subject to change. $5.00 minimum monthly direct deposit required - sorry, deposits can't be made online, in-person or over the phone. If you withdraw funds from your Summer Club Account before the June 1st transfer date, dividends earned to date will be forfeited.