Did you know that January is the month most people start thinking about vacation? It’s the month where we all start dreaming about beach vacations, warm sunshine and taking a break from the daily grind. For those of you on a budget, you’ll really need to plan far in advance to be sure you can work in a vacation so I have some simple Budget Planning Tips for Summer Vacation.
Tip #1) Sign up for Emails: Have a family meeting and discuss the area you might like to see – like say South Carolina for instance, then hit the local tourist website for that area and find some state parks, camp grounds and places you’d like to visit and sign up for their emails so you can start receiving information NOW about events, discounts, and special offers.
Tip #2) Set Aside Funds Each Week – Don’t wait until you feel the warm air in May to worry about how you’re going to pay for your summer vacation – start planning now and set aside a little money each week, even if it’s just $20 a week. Talk to the kids about the need to cut back so you have money for the trip. The more you get your family on board with the savings plan the easier life will be. Consider packing a cooler daily with drinks, bars and various snacks to avoid costly trips to the convenience store or fast food restaurants.
Tip #3) Order Brochures: There’s no better way to get in the mood for a vacation and give your family something to look forward to than getting some color brochures and visitors information in the mail! Take out a few of your favorite pages and hand them on the refrigerator so you remember the reason WHY you are saving!
Tip #4) Consider Vacationing With Another Family: If you have kids that whine of boredom and want a friend everywhere they go and are on a budget you may wanna ask some close friends about sharing a vacation rental at the beach. Not only can this hugely reduce costs but the kids will have playmates too! Be sure to have a meeting before you go to set some ground rules about kids getting along, everyone sharing in chores of cooking and keeping the house clean, and paying for incidentals like toilet paper and paper towels.
Tip #5) Sign up for Travel Points: There are so many credit cards that give back vacation points and perks now a days. Instead of paying your bills online, think about signing up for a rewards credit card that offers a sign on bonus or rewards for every day purchases like groceries and gas then place all of your purchases on that credit card and pay off the credit card each month (as opposed to your online banking payment method) then wait for the rewards to roll in. We even paid for our kids braces on credit cards for the rewards which over many years was turned into 4 round trip tickets to Arizona!