Getting away on vacation is one of the best things we can do for our souls. Exploring a new place, relaxing on a beach and simply changing your daily routine can reduce stress and boost happiness. In this post I will show you how to afford any vacation. It just comes with some strategic planning and saving.
In fact an article published on Inc. highlights a study by the American Psychological Association which concluded that people who take time away from their jobs and daily routines to go on vacation show a significant reduction in stress.
But, affording that getaway can be the hurdle that stops a vacation from being planned in the first place.
But all it takes is some strategic planning. I will show you how saving small amounts of money at a time will not impact your monthly budget too much, and will ultimately get you to your vacation goal.
Plan Where You Want To Go
The first step is to map out where you would like to go on vacation. This is the obvious first step. Once you have identified your vacation destination you can note how much you will need to save, which is the basis of how to afford any vacation.
If you have been dreaming of a European vacation and you live in the USA, that will likely cost more than traveling domestically. We can all grasp that.
How to afford any vacation? Well, planning when you travel is a huge component.
Time of year is huge here. The warmer summer months are peak travel times. I highly recommend traveling during shoulder season. Shoulder seasons give you the most bang for your buck.
If you are open to traveling in the off peak summer months you will be able to stretch your money further. I personally like to look at flight costs at specific times of year to gauge when I should travel
Research Where You Want To Stay
Accommodations are a huge cost of any vacation. Today there are so many options with Airbnb (If this is your first time using Airbnb, get a $55 credit as a referral from me) as well as hotels to choose from. I
f you are comfortable with staying in a basic room within a shared home on Airbnb you can save a ton this way.
On the other hand there are a wealth of hotel options from budget hotels to five star accommodations. Remember, its your vacation, do what is more comfortable to you. If you want to stay at that five start hotel, than by all means do so, just note the cost in your planning.
Set Aside Money For Food
Meals are another expensive cost to any vacation. Consider whether you plan to cook some meals from an Airbnb, or if you plan to eat out for every meal.
Keep in mind that you are likely to divert from your original plan a little on vacation. Maybe you think you want to cook half the time, but then your tired and don’t feel like it. Or, you saw a cute restaurant that you can’t say no to.
A good rule of thumb for meals that I go by is $100 per day. Now that gives a lot of cushion as some won’t spend that much. But if you consider tipping, one can easily spend $100/day on food.
I think of it like $25 for breakfast, $25 for lunch and $50 for dinner.
How To Implement A Savings Plan
There are so many savings plans out there, and I am a huge fan of weekly savings plans that recommend a specific amount by put away each week.
This is what I mean…
Let’s say I want to plan a week long vacation in Iceland. After researching when I want to go, flight costs, and accommodation fees I have determined that I need to save $1,794.50.
- Meals – $100/day x seven days = $700
- Airfare – I found roundtrip tickets in mid-September for $563 on Google Flights. I plan to go during the shoulder season of September. The weather is still warm but the height of tourism is lower.
- Accommodations – $1063 for a week at a cute apartment in downtown Reykjavik on Airbnb My plan is to split the accommodations in half as my husband I are going together which brings this cost down to only $531.50 each
- TOTAL = $1794.50
Now that I know how much I plan to spend on vacation I can break this number down and make a savings plan.
Now its a simple math game that you can tailor to your needs. For me, I have six months to save $1,794.50.
I take the total trip cost of $1,794.50 and divide by 6 (# of months until trip), which equals $299.
I can break that number down further and plan for how much I need to save each week. $299/4(about 4 weeks to each month) = $74.77.