You need a vacation so badly you can taste it. You daydream about it. You hear ocean waves crashing or smell crisp mountain air whenever you think about it. However, when you look at your bank account you hear a different crashing—this one is the sound of your dreams hitting the floor. You can’t ever make it happen on your salary, right? Wrong! You can do this! You can have your dream vacation in five easy steps:
1. Create a Vacation Budget
The first step is to know how much this dream is going to cost. Make a list of every vacation expense you can think of, from flights and accommodation through to meals, local transport, leisure activities and more. If your estimate exceeds your savings balance, fast cash loans with low interest could get you on a plane and to your dream destination now, without the long-term pain of exorbitant credit card repayments.
2. Do a Little Research
One key to establishing a realistic budget is to research your dream destination. Research currency, lodging, tipping expectations and transportation options to ensure that your budget accurately reflects your future expenditures.
3. Create a Vacation Timeline
As you are performing your research, check the timing of the tourist season. If you are genuinely struggling for funds, consider traveling at the end of tourist season. Off-season or end-of-season rates are usually drastically reduced.
4. Create a Vacation Savings Fund
Now that you know when you want to travel, and how much it will cost, you can work backwards. Take your total budget figure and divide it by the number of paychecks you have until your desired departure date. Can you afford to save that amount each paycheck?
If yes, your best bet is to set up a recurring transfer from your checking account to your savings account for each paycheck. If you don’t see the money, you won’t think about spending it.
If not, review both your current monthly budget and your vacation budget for frivolous expenses.
5. Maximize your Money
Don’t give up hope if your dream vacation budget seems unattainable. There are some tricks you can try to maximize your vacation money. First, check Google flights. Plug in your planned dates and start playing with times nearby until you find the best deal on airfares.
Next, look in your wallet. Ensure that your preferred credit card awards miles or points you can redeem for travel. Pay all your bills with that credit card so that each dollar you spend can be redeemed for a vacation expense. A caveat; this only works if you pay the credit card off each month.
Third, review your lodging options. Instead of staying in a hotel, consider staying in hostels. There are plenty of resources online that can help you think through the pros and cons of hostels and hotels.
Your dream vacation is within your grasp; you just need to apply the right tools. Start with a realistic budget based on research. Add in a few tricks to stretch your money as far as it can go. Transfer funds to savings before you have the chance to spend them and you will be on your way before you know it!