Taking time off to relax and recharge from our busy, technology-driven lives is important. What’s the best way to start planning and saving for your next vacation?
Treat your vacation like the financial goal that it is, and think about these questions:
Scrolling through your friends’ vacation pictures on social media can make you feel like you are missing out on some great adventures. How can they afford it when you are having a hard time just paying the bills? Before you start budgeting for your dream holiday, make sure that the vacation you are planning is realistic for your financial circumstances. Even if you can’t afford a vacation this year, it’s something you can plan for as your financial situation evolves.
Travelling does not have to mean staying at an expensive hotel or resort. Using Airbnb® can be more affordable than a hotel, especially if you’re dividing the cost with friends. Another affordable option is arranging a home exchange or visiting family and friends who live abroad. The length of your vacation will also affect the cost. A short getaway closer to home will be less expensive than a week or two out of the province or country. Make sure to budget for food, entertainment, transportation, and shopping. Lastly, if your budget does not accommodate expensive air travel or accommodations, consider lower-cost options like renting a cottage within driving distance, camping or even a “stay-cation.”<
Knowing when you intend to travel will help you budget. Some destinations can be expensive during the high season but much more reasonable during low seasons. Your travel dates will also determine how much time you have to save for your vacation. Divide the cost of the holiday by the number of months until departure. Then set up an automatic transfer to a separate savings account allocated for the vacation. Automating your savings takes self-discipline but helps you ensure that you are making regular contributions to your vacation fund. Before you know it your vacation will be fully financed, and you will be off on your well-earned holiday!