8 Ways to Budget for Your Vacation

Everyone looks forward to their vacation every year. Vacations let you get away from your job, the stress in your life and they help you to relax and feel better. Planning the perfect vacation means that when you return you are not more stressed out because you have over spent or are now behind on your monthly bills. With careful budgeting, almost everyone can afford a dream vacation. Here we provide you with a few tips that will help you stay within your budget during vacation, so that money matters will not interfere with you having a great time.

Budgeting and Planning:

1. Determine the amount of amount that you intend to spend and multiply by 10 to 15 percent for additional costs. Travel cost can add up fast.

2. Plan your vacation early and have a budget in mind. In general, anywhere from 6-8% of your total yearly budget should be set asides for travel or a vacation. Or some experts say that an entire week’s salary should be saved to ensure that you have enough money for a decent vacation. Of course the more you save the better for you. How much to save for a vacation is strictly personal and depends on your other expenses like car and student loans, rents, and lifestyle. If you are a frequent traveler, then you may need to increase this budget by cutting down on other things like dining out or ordering pizzas every weekend.

3. Plan your vacation at least 6 months in advance. This will give you ample time to pay off as many items as you can during this time. This includes your hotels and other entertainment fees. By doing this the cost will be spread over many billing cycles and you won’t feel the pain as much.

4. Create a vacation savings account. Try and put a little money from each pay check into the account and by the end of the year, you will have saved enough. Another possibility to consider is a vacation layaway. These prepaid travel holidays are very similar to putting money away in a vacation savings account but the difference here is that you make payments regularly to a tour operator. When you have paid in full, you go on a vacation.

5. Next you need to sit down with a pen and paper and make a budget. Once you know where you will be going, you need to find out the cost of travel and the hotels. Today, many airlines offer inclusive package deals if you book a hotel and airfare at the same time.

6. When booking your vacation you can use an airline’s mistake to your advantage. La Carmina, travel TV host and blogger, says, Look out for mistake a fare, which is when airlines accidentally list their ticket prices for far, lower than normal. These can result in amazing deals, but you have to act fast. Where to find them?  Visit Twitter, Facebook groups and forums dedicated to ˜travel hacking’. If you can find a few weeks or more to travel, a round-the-world ticket may be your greatest bargain.. Many airlines offer free stopovers that allow you to enjoy two destinations for the price of one.

7. For US trips, extended-stay hotels may be your best options. They give you affordable suites with extra goodies for the money. You get a door to the kids’ room that you can close at naptime or bedtime, and more space, a refrigerator and microwave, washing machines, plus free breakfast, Wi-Fi and sometimes even snacks and dinner too.

8. One other common reason for going over budget on a vacation is buying unnecessary souvenirs. Most holiday resorts have countless useless souvenirs but these gimmicks are not necessary. Collect things instead of buying them. One parent made a game of it: to see how many interesting things they could pick up free that would remind them of the place. Artifacts included rubbings, stamps, sea-shells, bus maps, restaurant menus, etc.

Deals to Consider:

  • Groupon

They have a site specifically on Getaway deals; you can visit it by going here https://www.groupon.com/getaways

Ex: When I opened the site, the first thing coming up was Family friendly Water Park Resort in Lake Geneva from $105 per night (30% savings).

  • Travelzoo

They are another deal site and by visiting this site, you can view various destinations and deals http://www.travelzoo.com/vacations/

You can also search by keyword on top right, and inputting a key word. It will show deals in the U.S. alone from which 29 are vacation deals.

  • Living Social

They have a tab on ˜escapes’ by going here https://www.livingsocial.com/escapes

Just input your key word in the search area and the results will come up.

  • Concierge services through your credit card provider if offered (Visa Signature, American Express)

Your strips of plastic in your wallet can help you, too. America has 150 museums across the counties that offer certain cardholders discount and awards.

Bank of America, for instance, has a program called Museums on Us, where cardholders can visit partner museums on the first full weekend of every month for free. Reading the fine script behind those cards may be totally worth your while

Visa credit cards offer travel services by going here https://usa.visa.com/pay-with-visa/visa-checkout/travel.html

As well, all cards that are Visa Signature and World Elite MasterCard offer concierge services, plus American Express Platinum and Centurion (Black) cards and the Citi Diamond Preferred, ThankYou Preferred, and Prestige cards.

American Express cards, visit here https://travel.americanexpress.com/home

  • Apple Vacations

You can go here http://www.applevacations.com/

  • Going through a Travel Agent

  • Mileage Plus programs through various airlines

Southwest Airlines http://www.southwestvacations.com/themes/beach-vacation-packages-1

United Airlines  http://vacations.united.com/Themes/Theme.aspx?theme=5

  • Accumulated points with your Credit Cards
  • Registering for reward programs via airlines and/or hotels
  • Vacation packages

IndependentTraveller.com has a nifty planning tool that can help you calculate precise costs. You can estimate how much you’ll spend on each expense, and then hit “Find my trip cost!” It’ll give you a customized budget for your trip that you can save, print or e-mail to your travel companion.

Once you enter the accommodation area, ask the front desk or concierge on site if available, what they recommend for families in the area such as restaurants, accommodations, and attractions. Whenever you are looking to go with your family on an inexpensive trip, consider these few tips:

  • Weekend travel is most expensive, especially if traveling on a Friday or Saturday
  • Holiday travel will be a hassle as everyone will be looking to travel during that time as well
  • Traveling during the week, like on a Tuesday or Wednesday is best
  • If renting a car, look for the lowest gas locations by visiting gasbuddy.com


No matter where you want to go for your well-deserved vacation, planning and budgeting is a key factor. There are so many ways to save money and still have a great time. A little research can save you hundreds of dollars. After all, vacations are about spending quality time with your family and being stress free. Where will your next vacation be?


About Author

Nicole Yingling

Nicole is a mom of three children. She is always up for learning new things and loves listening to a variety of music, reading and helping others through her writing. For as long as she can remember, she has loved writing. She is very passionate about writing and has had poems published along with several articles and blog posts as well as dabbling in freelance writing. Nicole enjoys writing about several topics. These topics include but are not limited to, health and wellness, fitness, food, and everything that deals with the lifestyle of a mom. She is now sharing what she has learned so she can empower you to live a happy, healthy, successful life - visit often so you don't miss any of her posts.

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