Planning your upcoming holiday doesn’t start when you’re browsing through travel activity guides and organizing your itinerary. It begins much earlier when you are still in your regular work routine. These weeks and months preceding your vacation are crucial because this is when you can create a budget and set aside money to curate your ideal itinerary. Here are five essential tips on how to best plan and save for your vacation.
1. Prepare An Emergency Allowance
The importance of insurance has probably already been drilled in by that family member or friend with the terrifying travel story or perhaps your doctor, travel agent or even commercials. You may not realize that claiming insurance isn’t always immediate, and some emergencies will require cash upfront. So, be prepared to incorporate an emergency fund into your travel savings.
If unforeseen circumstances have stunted your savings, consider small, interest-free money loans as an alternative to a credit card or using payday lenders to supplement your travel fund. You do not want an emergency to turn into a debt trap when you’re back home.
2. Avoid Impulse Purchases
Your vacation is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and your travel companions or family if they’re coming along too. Think about this when a gorgeous window display or a deal at the shops feels tempting. Create a checklist for every single item you will need for your holiday and work out what you own and can borrow. Then, commit to making absolutely no new purchases until you jet-set off. You can spend those extra savings on things like a sunbed to cabana upgrade, a guided tour, extra spa session or room service instead!
3. Pick Up A Temporary Side Hustle
We are lucky to live in a time where picking up a job on the side is easier than ever. You don’t even need to commit too much of your spare time to extra work if you’re savvy. For example, if you have a car, you could pick up rideshare or delivery jobs on your way to work or a few hours a week. Any smartphone user can install freelance and gig economy apps to outsource their skills to those in need.
4. Go Alcohol-Free
Before you try to justify your alcohol consumption because of how “minimal” it is, consider how much better your celebratory champagnes, local beers and wines or party beverages will be on your vacation after being sober for a while. But delayed gratification is secondary to the cost savings. It’s no secret that alcoholic drinks in bars and restaurants have incredibly high price-markups. If you’re a non-drinker or wish to take your savings a step further, consider activities and indulgences you’re looking forward to on your holiday and cut them for a while. You might temporarily suspend eating at restaurants, buying street food, theatre and art tickets, massages or desserts.
5. Be A Budget Vigilante
To stay on track with your vacation savings plan, keep focused on the delightful holiday ahead. Once you’ve set your budget, remain committed to it regardless of the circumstances. You may want to create a separate savings account with restricted access until your departure date or entrust your credit cards to your significant other or a friend to hide.
If you’re a frivolous spender, these five steps may be challenging. Remember, it will be worth the extra effort when you are unrestricted by finances during your vacation. Now to get started on that itinerary!