A weekend vacation is a great way to shake up your routine and explore without needing to use too many vacation days or miss important deadlines at work or school. Although they may be shorter than a normal vacation, weekend getaways can often be just what you need to reset. They also happen to be financially accessible to a wide range of individuals. If you’re trying to budget for your weekend vacation, here are five tips to get you started.
1. Plan Ahead
As soon as you know you would like to take a vacation, you should begin tracking prices. This is especially true if you are searching for airfare, as these costs can vary dramatically depending on the day. Once you know what the average price is to travel to your destination, keep your eyes open for a sweet deal.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to have your vacations mapped out far into the future. At the beginning of the year, make a note of when and how you’d like to use your vacation days. Scheduling this time far in advance—even if it is a rough schedule—will help you stay alert to low fares and money saving options for your trip.
2. Consider All Transportation Options
When many people think of a vacation, they assume a flight will be the easiest way to travel. While plane travel can be convenient, it can also be more expensive than driving. If your travel time is flexible, but your budget isn’t, consider taking a bus or train. It will likely be much cheaper and may give you an entirely different perspective on transportation.
3. Cut Down on Monthly Bills
One of the easiest ways to budget is to cut down on expenses you may be using without realizing. Assess where you could be saving money each month by looking at your bills. Are your utility bills too high? See where you could be cutting back on water and energy use and save this money for your upcoming trip. Do you never watch cable? Try to pare down on your TV options and opt for a streaming service instead. You could even save money by canceling subscriptions that you have no use for anymore (think: magazines, newspapers, etc.).
4. Automate Savings
Another way to save even more money is to automate your savings. There are several helpful apps that will set up a convenient schedule that works with your budget. Once the system is in place, the designated money will be moved from checking to savings without you ever needing to think about it. This tip works best for those on a stable income, but it can be suited to a wide range of earning situations.
5. Eat In More
One of the most exciting parts of any vacation is getting to eat out at all of the amazing restaurants. To help you save money for all of your meals on your trip, consider cooking some or all of your meals at home in the weeks leading up to the vacation. The same goes for your daily coffee, juice, and any other food item you tend to purchase somewhere else. By making it at home, you’ll save money that can be easily put towards your vacation. Though this change is small, it can really add up over time.
A weekend vacation is an experience that everyone should be able to afford. Fortunately, with just a few simple changes to your spending and saving habits, you’ll be well on your way to making your dream destination a reality.