There you are on some sunny beach in the Bahamas. Maybe you are enjoying time at the home of a certain Mouse in Orlando, FL. Perhaps you are on a mountainside enjoying winter sports. Whatever vacation you choose. Preplanning, prepaying and putting some “fun” money aside helps to make your trip all the more enjoyable.
I mean who can really enjoy a restful vacation knowing that it is on borrowed time and money. Knowing the moment you return home you will be socked with the consequences of your carefree vacation in the form of more debt, larger credit card bills and more stress. All causing you to need another vacation.
After just getting back from a family vacation I realized how much better I felt knowing I would not return home to a new mountain of debt. A- little preplanning and prepaying went along way to making this vacation so much more relaxing. Here are 5 ways I saved and prepaid to fund a vacation.
Check out discount travel sites
I have done this on numerous occasions to compare cruises, hotel and flight prices. In most of the cases I have been able to find a lower price through these sites and many offer the same perks as if you booked direct. Some of the sites I have used are VacationstoGo.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity.com (still my go to for airline tickets.)
Pack food for breakfast and lunch instead of eating at a restaurant
This is something an idea I have used when traveling to Disney World. Disney food is just so expensive so instead of eating at your resort or in the park. Save some money and get some fruit and a pack of donuts from 7-11(ok maybe not the healthiest option but you get the idea.)Pack some snacks and waters so you don’t have to pay $3 for a 16 oz bottle of Poland Springs.
When traveling in Savannah we took advantage of the parks that were available and let our kids play while we relaxed. While in Canada we spent time walking through many of the beautiful streets admiring the architecture and landscaping. You can explore places like piers, docks, marinas, and beach which in most cases will be free of charge.
Paying off your trip before you leave saves you in the long run
It is not really a vacation if you find you are adding on more debt to go on the trip. Every purchase will become an added stress. Each dinner out you will need an antacid when the bill comes. There is a feeling of comfort and contentment knowing the trip you are taken has already been paid for. In my view, if you can not pay for it or must use a credit card to fund it, that is and indication you have some saving to do. Likewise, when your trip is paid of you have a better tally of where your money is going then if you used credit. Using credit makes it far to easy to overspend and throw take a YOLO attitude while on vacation.
Before you go find areas you can cut and put it towards your trip
Several years ago I was introduced to a site called “Couponing to Disney.” This enterprising mom put the money saved from couponing towards funding her trip families trip to Disney. You don’t have to be a couponer to follow this example. If you can shave $50 from you family food budget, put that towards you trip. Skip going out to eat a few times and sock that money into a savings account for your trip. With a little planning and some sacrifice, you could have your vacation fully funded and stay within your spending budget.