Summer is the time for vacations, whether it’s visiting family or just getting away for a weekend. The only problem: vacations can be expensive, from gas for the car to flights, hotels, and every meal at a restaurant.
Chicago Healers Practitioner Julie Casserly, MBA urges vacationers to “Position yourself to be lucky to spend the amount of money you actually have for a vacation, instead of going into debt and later on having to pay for past choices. No one likes having what I call a ‘spending hangover;’ it takes all the fun out of going on vacation in the first place.”
In this day and age, it’s EASY to find fun and still affordable options for spending that week (or even weekend) away with your family.
Here are a few tips to help CURB the COSTS
- Last Minute Deals – In a world where there are so many things to do, most of the travel websites will have last minute trips at a deep discount, particularly in economic environment. Decide a budget and search online for an all-inclusive trip for the long weekend that falls into that number. The exciting part is that you are leaving yourself open to trying a new adventure or a new place.
- Look At The End, First – Decide priorities for a vacation and what amount to spend, and then build a plan out from there.
- Choose the Day – Choose to travel on cheaper air fare days, say Tuesday – Saturday.
- Name Your Price – Rent a car, hotel, or airfare through priceline.com where customers can name a price. Sometimes it can be 30% less expensive.
- Pack the Snacks – If a road trip in the works, pack a cooler!!! No need to spend extra money on those high cost, high calorie snacks and fast food meals.
- One Stop Shopping – Buy in bulk; get airfare, hotel, and car from one vendor.
- Locals Know Best – Interact with the locals to learn the best restaurants and tours, where the prices won’t be spiked just for tourists.
- Set the Plan and Open an Account – Plan for future trips: set financial intentions by opening up a separate savings account that is ONLY to be used for vacations. Set a plan for how much to spend each year on vacations and be sure to put aside an appropriate amount per paycheck that will allow for this later in the year.
According to Ms. Casserly “It’s all about what free cash you have to be able to afford a vacation and about what is right for you and your family, there is no right or wrong, it’s about what you have chosen as your financial priorities and making sure that you create a positive energy flow from your spending (spending on a cash basis) and not a negative energy flow (spending with debt).”