Going on vacation is always stressful financially, unless you have never-ending amounts of money. Budgeting for a vacation is important. You can’t just magically throw together an amount and then travel on that. Budgeting for a vacation is a super responsible thing to do, no matter what anyone tells you. Here is how to budget for vacation.
Start Planning Where You Want to Go
When you’re budgeting for a vacation, you really need to know where you will go. This is so you can start planning. There are lots of options for a vacation. You can stay close, go far away, or even travel overseas. Start thinking and planning for where you want to go.
There are tons of places you can choose to go, but here are some ideas.
- Head to an unpopulated beach area, so you can actually enjoy going to the beach.
- Choose the mountains for a change of scenery
- If you like touristy places, choose a place like Gatlinburg or Branson.
Wherever you want to vacation, just make sure it’s a place that you can afford!
Plan for how many people will be going
There is a huge difference between planning a vacation for one person and planning a vacation for the whole family. Part of budgeting for a vacation is knowing how many people will be coming along for the ride.
Sometimes the more people you have going with you on vacation, the cheaper it can be for everyone. You may be able to share the cost of lodging, if you can get enough people to go with you every month!
Start creating your vacation budget
After you have put a little thought into who will be going and where you will be going, you can start creating your vacation budget. If only vacationing were simple and you didn’t have to think about financing. Just keep in mind by setting a budget, you’re protecting yourself from overspending and having financial regret later. A quick read over an expert guide or two will tell you it’s not worth it.
- Know how much you want to spend. They say vacations should be 10% of your actual income. So, if you make $40,000 – your vacation should cost $2,000 – $4,000.
- Plan for what you will spend daily and not just for lodging and food. You should also account for activities that you will do on a daily basis.
- Account for the smaller things too. Like trinkets and stops to get ice cream. You want to plan for everything, big and small.
- Skip the nonsense. When you go on vacation, you don’t have to buy everyone a souvenir. You’re on vacation to relax and forget about your worries, not bring everyone home a gift.
Decide if you’ll fly or drive
Probably one of the most important parts of planning a vacation is whether you will drive or fly. Flying isn’t always something you can avoid if you’re leaving the country. However, if you’ll be staying in the USA, driving is usually a possibility. Here are some things to consider when you’re figuring out the cost of driving.
- Will you rent a vehicle or drive your own?
- How much will it cost in gas if you drive to your destination?
- Will you put a lot of wear and tear on your vehicle if you drive it yourself?
Plan accordingly for food
Have you ever eaten out, while on vacation? It’s expensive. Food is one of the things people forget to budget for, while on vacation. Sure, you can cook your own food, but not everyone wants to do this.
Before you head on vacation, look on at the places that are available to eat where you’re going. Sign up for emails and text messages, so you can get the deals before you head on vacation.
Eat at the places that offer you the best deals on your food! It’s okay to splurge while you’re on vacation, but stay on budget.
It’s always good to have an idea of what you will spend!
Start planning early
The earlier you plan your vacation, the better! When you start planning early, you can save up more money!
Plus, when you have more time to plan, you tend to make less mistakes, financially. Start planning 6 months to year in advance to help you budget the best!
Enjoy your vacation
Please remember that budgeting isn’t about not spending money. It’s about planning for what you will spend. Hopefully, this article will give you a little bit of insight into how to plan for a vacation, but not go broke in the meantime.
There are places that everyone on a budget can vacation to. The most important thing is that you enjoy your vacation!
What do you think about budgeting for a vacation? Do you plan on having a budget for your next vacation? Let us know in the comments!