Can you feel it? Summer is so close! The living is easy and school is out of session – it’s the time of year when most people hit the road and go on a trip. As we make our way through spring, you may no longer be dreaming about your summer vacation, you’re planning for it. With the promise of warmer temperatures come days spent at the pool or at the park, and enjoying ice cream cones. For many, summer translates to time spent outdoors with your friends and family.
With travel restrictions and social distancing measures still in place, your summer vacation plans may look a bit different than previous years. You may be scaling back your plans and have decided against traveling to faraway places, but there can still be plenty of adventure and fun to be had closer to home. Either way, an affordable getaway can be yours! Here are a few key tips to keep in mind while planning your summer vacation.
How to Budget for a Summer Trip
First, decide where you want to go. Brainstorm with your family and friends and try to come up with concrete plans as soon as you can. Take the time to research your destination and look at the visitor website which can provide ideas for affordable lodging as well as activities. With a little savvy planning, you can have a wonderful trip and create lasting memories without draining your savings account.
During the planning phase, you may want to make regular contributions to your savings account to get a head start on paying for your getaway. Use this calculator to figure out just how much you should save to reach a monetary goal for your summer plans. With these tips to build your savings faster, you won’t have to worry about being strapped for money when vacation time comes.
Economical Ideas for Travel Fun This Summer
Get creative! Things are certainly different this year and you may have to think outside of the box for ideas that will satisfy your wanderlust.
Be on the lookout for vacation deals in areas that interest you. Travelzoo, Expedia and Priceline are all great sites where you can search for travel deals, near or far, including flights, hotels and car rentals.
Check out your credit card for offers that may earn you points or miles for future use. Choose to drive to your summer destination instead of flying. If you are going to stay overnight, opt for an Airbnb instead of a traditional hotel. Airbnb properties may cost less than hotels, have more space, and often feature access to kitchens, so you can cook a few times instead of eating out at expensive restaurants for every meal.
Opt for a "staycation" and do day trips. Take the time to visit state parks, museums or landmarks in your area, or enjoy the natural beauty of nearby beaches or lakes. It's a great way to relax and you can save a significant amount of money by not paying for overnight accommodations.
Key Tips to Budget and Save Extra Expenses
Wherever your summer plans bring you, you’ll want to manage and track your spending. The top three expenses on a vacation are transportation, lodging and food. With research and planning, you can keep all of those in check and have a little extra cash for the “fun stuff”.
Remember to be realistic. Flying to Europe may not be in the cards this year, but you can use this time to start saving for a post-pandemic trip by opening a vacation savings account. In the meantime, there are plenty of low-cost, even free, family activities to keep everyone happy. Read our blog 5 Summer Budget Tips for Families for more tips and ideas to plan a fun summer getaway.
While this summer may have some setbacks, there are a myriad of opportunities to relax, unwind and enjoy time with your family and friends. You don’t have to break the bank. A budget-friendly vacation that yields a lifetime of memories can be yours with a little bit of creative planning. Read our other blogs for helpful tips to budget and save in order to reach your financial goals.