Even though spring is upon us, snow is still piling up in parts of the country. Summer vacation may seem far away, but now is the best time to start saving. Whether you want to get away to a secluded beach or spend a week in the heart of the city, the expenses of a trip add up quickly. Follow these tips to start saving toward your dream adventure.
Do Your Research
The Internet makes it easier than ever to compare vacation costs and plan the most affordable trip. If you have a destination in mind, research the off season and tourist hot spots so you can avoid paying a premium on your visit.
Be flexible, and focus more on an overall experience instead of a particular destination. For example, you can spend a small fortune on a rental stay in Malibu, or you can still get the beach experience for half the cost by staying in a lesser-known location.
If your date is also flexible, check out traveling fares for different days of the week. Delaying your trip by just one day can often result in significant savings.
Save on Entertainment and Luxury Spending
One of the best ways to save for a vacation is to cut your entertainment and “luxury” spending for a few months. That doesn't have to mean forgoing fun, it just means that you stop paying for things you can get for free. Instead of having a weekly date or trip to the cinema, head to your local library for free DVDs. If you love to unwind by reading your favorite magazines, switch to an online subscription to save. Forgo your gym membership and hit the hiking trails for a free workout. With a bit of creative thinking, there can be a free or less costly alternative to nearly everything you spend your entertainment or luxury funds on.
Stop Unnecessary Food Expenses
You know the type – the precut veggies, the bottled water, the cafe stop on the way to work and the to-go meal at lunch. You can easily spend a small fortune on these little conveniences without even realizing it. To save for vacation, cut your own veggies, buy an aluminum water bottle, brew your own coffee and pack a brown bag lunch for one month. Once you see how much you save, you'll be inspired to keep the change going!