Highlights of today's show:
- It's the time of the year to take vacations
- How vacations can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you fund them
- Tips to save money while on vacation
- Tips to save money while planning vacations
- The best vacations are the ones that don't follow you home
This weekend is Memorial Day weekend in the United States. It's the day we celebrate those who lost their lives in serving our country in the armed forces. It's also the unofficial start of summer, which can mean only one thing . . . vacation season!
According to a recent survey, 77% of US households are planning on taking a summer vacation this year. I'm all for that as one of the reasons why I teach this stuff is to put yourselves in position to enjoy your money. But with that being said, the best vacations are the ones you can relax and enjoy and not have to worry about it following you home. On today's show we give tips on how to save money during vacations as well as how to save money planning vacations.
Tips on saving money while on vacation:
- Bring your own food and drinks-One of the best ways to bust your budget is by purchasing food and snacks while on vacation. It might not seem like it, but those $5 snacks each time you get gas and those $20 lunches add up quickly. If you are driving while on your vacation, a great way to curtail that is to pack a lunch or two and bring your own snacks so you don't bust your budget.
- Have a staycation-The staycation has become popular in the past five years or so and for good reason. It's a great way to take a vacation while not breaking the bank. While you may not travel for your vacation, you still get a chance to get out of your routine and do something in your home area that you have always wanted to do but never had the time.
- Find local establishments-A great way to save money is to check the local paper or website of the city you are traveling to and find some good non-mainstream things to do that don't cost a lot. There are a lot of great local attractions out there; you just have to find them. In addition to finding local entertainment, I have found Tripadvisor to be a great resource to find good local restaurants
- Travel with friends and family-Traveling with friends or family allows you to both spend time with those you care about and save money at the same time. It can help you save on transportation and shelter.
Ways to save money while planning a vacation
- Go in the off-season-Obviously there aren't a lot of things that are off-season in the summer. But if you decide to go early or late in the summer you might get a good bargain.
- Plan your flights-A good way to save money on flying is to purchase your ticket as soon as you know you are going. Another way is to fly on Tuesdays. Tuesday is the slowest day for flights so you can easily save $100 or so if you adjust your schedule.
- Start to save in advance-You want to have a big vacation? Then start saving now. For example if you want to take a $2,500 vacation save a little over $200 a month for a year and you'll have it, but if you only have four months to save you might be only able to save between $1,000-$1,500 at best.
For more information on vacations please visit the following resources:
- My experience in paying for a vacation
- Traveling is nice, but spending time together is most important
- Family Fun on a budget
In addition, I finally have created a newsletter for JW's Financial Coaching. This newsletter will be published once a month and will have exclusive content, allow you to learn of new products and features from JW's Financial Coaching first, and let you know about other good personal finance information around the net. You can register for the newsletter here, and in addition to receiving the newsletter, those who sign up will receive a free download of the "JW's Manifesto on Money." This is a 20 minute audio recording sharing my views on money including the topics of spending, debt, saving, marriage and money, where money fits in your life, and how you can win with money. I'm excited to share the manifesto with my newsletter subscribers.
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