Saving For Summer: The Best Ways to Boost Your Vacation Fund
Sometimes a week or two of sea, sun and sand is just what the doctor ordered. You’ve worked hard all year, showed up, put the hours in and it’s been a long slog, and so a little time to refresh, relax and unwind is usually well deserved by the summer. However as we all know, travel can be expensive and this alone can be enough to prevent some people from even looking. After all, you can’t afford it right? However you may well be wrong, there are lots of less expensive getaways you can book. From mini breaks to camping trips, road trips, all inclusive vacations, last minute deals and much more- in many cases it can cost a lot less than you think. After all, travel doesn’t have to be five star luxury to be exciting, and if you get away by any means necessary you’re still sure to have an incredible time. But more than likely you will still need to save hard, and tighten the belt to make it a possibility. Here are some ideas for going about it!
Do Some Overtime
For most of us, work is a means to an end. While there are people out there who genuinely love their job, for the vast majority when it comes to hometime we don’t want to stick around for even a minute longer than we have to. However needs must, and the thought of a lovely week or two away in the summer could give you the motivation you need to put in some extra hours. Work one day at the weekend or a few hours in the evening if extra work is available, use that money towards your vacation. It will be worth it in the long run! If you feel that you’ve worked hard and are deserving of a raise then you could always ask too. Be prepared for your boss to say no, but it’s worth asking and if they say yes it could make your saving ventures (and your financial life in general) that bit easier.
Earn Money From Home
There are plenty of ways you can earn money from home these days, and best of all it’s completely flexible so something you can do around your full time job or other commitments. If you already have an established blog, start looking for ways to monetise or sign up to some sponsored post websites. Otherwise you could join a freelancing site, or even set up your own small home business. Even spending a few minutes each day answering surveys can get you a little money, there are apps you can do this on these days meaning you could sit and do them while you wait for the bus to work or are just at a loose end. These kinds of things are something that will serve you well and can be a great way to earn money year round, but especially great in the run up to summer when you want t boost your income so you can go away.
Sell What You No Longer Need
Most of us are sitting on hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars in unwanted items. If you’ve ever upgraded a phone, tablet or computer and not sold the old one then there’s potential to earn money there. Broken or unwanted jewellery can fetch a bit at jewellers, even things like clothes and disks such as computer games and dvds have a market for them. Set up a yard sale, sell on eBay, Craigslist or Facebook groups. Whatever it is you have, chances are someone else wants it. It’s a good way to raise some money as well as have a declutter. There’s no use keeping items in your home that aren’t used or useful, doing this allows you to kill two birds with one stone. Take a look in the attic for things like dusty old antiques, these might not be useful to you but could be exactly what someone else is searching for. Look in the basement for things like exercise equipment you don’t use, or the garage or shed for things like tools or bikes that haven’t been touched in a long time. Most of us have plenty of things we could get rid of to raise money.
Get Teenagers to Contribute
If you have teenagers and are taking them away with you, why not get them to contribute? Working as a way to earn money is something that will benefit most teens, it helps them to understand the value of money and what it means to work hard. They will also boost their skills and it looks good on their CV too which can be useful when they apply for jobs later on. Even if it’s just them working to pay for their own spending money, it shaves some off the amount you need to pay and gives them a great incentive to work hard too. If they’re not old enough or able to get an official part time job then there are other options for them. They could do cleaning, gardening, car washing or babysitting for friends and neighbours. Even a few dollars a weekend could add up over the next few months and mean they have all of the cash they need to enjoy themselves on the trip without you having to fork out an extra penny.
Find The Best Deals
Whether it’s on flights, hotels or transfers or luggage, clothes and currency- make sure you’re always shopping around for the best deals. Sites like Dealdash can save you money on all kinds of things, you can check out their Facebook page for regular updates. eBay is another example where you can snag bargains if you keep your eyes peeled. Use price comparison sites, search for vouchers before making purchases and always shop around for every element of your vacation. Even a small amount here and there will add up and mean big savings overall. Scour thrift stores, ask friends and family to borrow things like luggage instead of buying. Or use what you have, if you already have summer clothes for example then you don’t need to buy a whole new wardrobe. If you write a list and only purchase the items that you need, then you’re set to save yourself a whole heap of cash. A good idea would be to write out a budget and work out what you’re happy to spend in each area. Don’t exceed this, and you will keep your vacation spending on track.
Look For Less Expensive Vacations
All inclusive resort vacations are great if you’re on a budget, you have peace of mind that food, drinks and activities are covered during the trip. That way you don’t have to worry about running out of money and not being able to afford the last few days. Less expensive trips like camping vacations and road trips are also worth looking into- for example if you hire a campervan then that’s your travel as well as your accomodation covered. This could then free up funds to spend on tourist attractions, a nice meal out or something else that’s a little more expensive. Going for a mini break or less days in general may also work out cheaper, as will going to a destination that’s a little closer to home. For example, if you live in the UK then European trips are likely to be less expensive than those to the US. If you’re in the US, how about flying to south America, Canada or even staying on US turf and visiting another state? Anywhere you travel to will be worth the experience, and if you’re working with a smaller budget these are easy ways to cut costs.
Travel can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re a frugal person in general then chances are you wouldn’t go on vacation and waste a tonne of cash anyway. And as someone who is money conscious, you will know that it’s often worth making these kinds of cutbacks, You can still have fun without feeling like you’re missing out on anything, and going on any kind of trip for any length of time is surely better than staying home and looking at four walls. Make compromises, look for deals and save up as much money as you can. That way you get to make memories and have fun experiences, and enjoy your trip without getting into debt or in trouble with money in any way. Resist the urge to take out loans, credit cards or any other types of credit to finance the dream, this is considered as living above your means and is a fast way to spiral into debt. Saving and paying upfront is the far safer option.
Are you off on vacation this year? If so, what steps have you taken to save or be able to afford this luxury? Leave a comment below if you plan on following any of the steps above.