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Vacation! Vacation! Vacation! Something we all look forward to, right?! I put up a post not too long ago that provided money saving tips for traveling, if you missed that, you can read about it here! That post primarily focused on how you could possibly make your vacations more affordable. Most of the feedback that I got was that, a lot of people struggle to fit a vacation into the budget altogether. So, while they loved ideas on how they can make their vacations more affordable they also wanted some tips on how they could budget and/or save money in a way that allowed them to take a vacation in the first place! So, I’m going to share with you some last minute ways to save for your family vacation. Spring break and summer are right around the corner! If you need help coming up with ways to plan your next family vacay, you’re in the right place!

Alright, let’s talk about it! Here are some last minute ways to save for your next family vacation:

Create A Spending Plan

This has to be where you start first. How much do you want to spend for vacation? If you don’t know how much you’d like to spend, then you will have a harder time narrowing down where your destination should be. You have to start here. One thing you’ll learn about me from reading my blog posts is, I’m all about budgeting. Create a goal for yourself and then put a budget in place to make sure you get there. You have to be very specific AND realistic with your spending budget. You have to think about plane ticket costs if you’re going to fly, gas if you’re driving, hotel costs, food costs, souvenirs, costs for any admissions to events, parks, museums, etc. that you plan to visit, and parking costs. Once you have an estimate of each of these things, total them up so you can see exactly what you need to save to reach that goal. If the number is way to high, look back on your list and see where you can cut back. Continue to cut back until you reach an affordable spending limit for yourself. Again, if you missed the previous post Money Saving Tips For Traveling, check it out because it provides you with an easy way to budget for eating out and souvenirs! If you find that method works well for those things, you can also use that for other aspects of your trip! If you continue to try to cut back and you just can’t get that number to something that is reasonable and affordable for you, think about taking a few long weekend trips (Friday-Monday) throughout the spring and summer instead of one week long vacation. That will help you break up the amounts that you’re spending at a given time and can be better worked into your budget.

One of the easiest ways to budget for your family vacation is to open a separate savings account for the family’s vacation fund. This will allow you to keep those vacation funds separate from the other household funds. You CANNOT borrow from it! Anything that you put into this account has to stay there!

Create A Savings Vision Board

Vision boards are helpful because they are an eye-catching display of your goal! It’s a lot harder to avoid sticking to your goal when you’re looking at it every day. Keep track of your weekly and monthly progress as you work towards reaching your goal. This helps you and the kids stay on track towards the goal. Set milestone celebrations along the way for the family! Fun things like this can make reaching the goal even more fun! Since saving seems like such a chore sometimes, this is a way that you can make it more fun and enjoyable for everyone!

Cut Back Where You Can

You might have to sacrifice now so that you and your family can have fun later. Do you have any household expenses that you can cut back on in an effort to make your vacation happen? For example, you could cut back on your cable bill and stash that money in a savings account for your trip. Once vacation is over, you could always get your cable account back to normal, or you may realize that you didn’t really miss it after all. Maybe consider cutting back on cable and getting Hulu or Netflix. Both are available for significantly less than cable or satellite.

Also, think about what items you have that are non-essentials. Where can you cut back there? Are the kids in any programs that you can cut back on for a couple of months? Do you have gym membership you can cut back on? Do you spend a lot of money unnecessarily? Do you eat out a lot? Think about some of those things and cut back on those extra costs. Eating out less will allow you to save A LOT! You’d be surprised how much money is being spent when you eat out here and there. Put that money into your vacation fund instead! Is it hard for you to cut back completely? If so, try to focus on restaurants that have nights where the kids eat free and make those the nights that you go out. You could even focus on restaurant deal nights, like Taco Tuesdays, when tacos are only $1! Another route you could take is eating dinner at home and maybe go out for deserts, which would be a lot cheaper than purchasing the whole meal.

Another way to cut back would be to have one week a month where you don’t buy any groceries! Spend this week eating only what you have in the house. Maybe ask the kids to help you plan meals with what they are able to find in the pantry. This can be a fun activity for the kids! Who said dinner needed to be a home-cooked meal every night? I eat sandwiches for dinner all the time! Cereal is actually one of my favorite things to grab for dinner too!

Save Your Tax Return

Another thing you could potentially do if you’d like to plan a vacation is save your tax return! It’s that time of year, and it can be the quickest way to jump start the savings for your vacation fund! Make sure you are disciplined enough to stay away from the vacation fund and do not use any of this money for anything else. If you create the vision board, that can be very helpful in holding you accountable, especially when you have listed how much money is in the fund, because if you take away from it, the family will know.

Don’t forget to check out Money Saving Tips For Traveling before you go! If you try any of the above tips, comment below and let me know how it worked for you and where you plan to take your next vacation!

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