Last updated on September 8th, 2023 at 08:45 am
Are you dreaming of a lush, tropical vacation but need help saving enough money? If you’re looking for how to save for vacation or tips to make your money go further, you have come to the right place.
Saving money for that dream vacation you’ve been longing for might feel a bit overwhelming. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive into the essential tips on how to save for a trip that you never thought you could afford.
We have compiled a list of tips to help you budget and save for your next trip and tricks to reduce your spending when on vacation without sacrificing luxury.
Saving Money for Travel - 17 Tips To Save Enough Money for Your Next Big Trip
You can save for a luxury tropical vacation with some planning and money-saving habits. Here are a few of our best money saving strategies tips for your next vacation:
Set a Travel Budget
Decide what’s most important to you when traveling. For example, budget hotels are an option for saving money, but they’re not for everyone. You can cut back on airfare to enjoy more luxurious accommodations.
You must choose a cheaper vacation destination if a nice hotel and comfortable airplane seats are non-negotiables. Even a luxury vacation rental in Costa Rica allows you to enjoy the best tropical living without breaking the bank.
Consider the following factors when building your vacation budget:
- First class vs economy airline tickets
- Length of trip
- Number of travelers
- Car rentals, taxis, and train tickets
- Dining out
- Activities & Guided adventures
- Spontaneous expenses
Make sure you divide your savings goals by the number of travelers, so you know how much each person is responsible for saving.
Create a Savings Account for Vacation Savings
Once you have a good idea of your travel budget, you’ll know how much to save. Cut down your household’s discretionary spending and redirect any saved money into a vacation fund. Even better, set up an automatic transfer to your new vacation bank account.
After a few weeks of putting money away in your vacation fund, you’ll know how much you can spend on your trip.
You’ll forget all about the budget in your day-to-day, and within a couple of months, you’ll have a nice amount of savings waiting for you to book a getaway. You can also use this money to put down deposits on your villa, airfare, or guided adventures.
Monitor your bank statements to know how much money you have saved each month. Consider putting your funds into a high-interest earning account to earn on your savings, helping improve your financial situation while barely lifting a finger.
Travel in the Off-Season
If you’re looking to plan the getaway of a lifetime for your next trip on a budget, consider traveling in the off-season. All countries and travel destinations have a less busy, less expensive season.
Traveling during your intended destination’s off-season means you can save money on airfare, hotels, and transportation costs. In many cases, you can even save money on other expenses, like group outings or tours.
If your travel dates are flexible and you’re willing to travel outside the summer or holiday months, you could save a lot.
Even if you don’t want to travel in the cooler months or can only get away during the busy summer, you can still book your flights and hotels on the less busy days. Flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday will help you save money since more people begin and end their vacations on the weekend.
You can also start tracking airlines to learn when prices increase and decrease to ensure you and your family get the best deal.
Google Flights is an excellent tool for planning your upcoming vacation and staying within your vacation budget. Simply input your destinations and dates, and it will shop around for the best deals on plane tickets, considering fees and other costs. Use the tracker to monitor price changes, and when you find a deal you can afford, use rewards credit cards to purchase reservations. This online tool not only helps you save extra money for your vacation fund but also assists in purchasing big ticket items without breaking the bank.
The same goes for hotels. Booking your hotel or vacation rental on a Sunday and checking out on a Friday will earn you the best prices. You could also book a hotel in a cheaper neighborhood to pay less. All these factors should be taken into account when deciding on vacation destinations.
Cut Back On Household Expenses
Cutting back on expenses allows you to save more money. While you may not be able to reduce certain costs, like rent or utilities, you can limit spending money on variable expenses.
This includes groceries, entertainment, and subscription services. Each morning you skip a coffee and move that money into your travel savings account.
Try to reduce as much unnecessary spending as possible. You don’t have to give up your social life to save the money you need for a vacation.
Pack your lunch at work and indulge in an appetizer when going out with friends rather than splurging.
Take the time to go through your closet to uncover new items that you haven’t worn in a while. This may reduce your temptation to go shopping before your vacation.
If you quickly add up all the subscription services you likely have, you may be spending a lot of money.
Getting rid of cable is one of the easiest ways to start your fund. Pick one or two streaming services you’ll likely use most frequently. You could also rely on YouTube or the internet to stream free videos.
Cut the gym membership and, instead, take your workouts outdoors. You can hike and bike with friends rather than paying for a monthly gym membership.
Cut back on your utilities. Invest in a programmable thermostat to allocate less on heating and cooling. Turn off the lights when no one is home, and make sure all doors and windows are properly closed and sealed to help reduce utility costs.
Avoid Going to Restaurants Before Your Vacation
One of the most effective money-saving strategies to boost your vacation fund is to avoid going to restaurants before your upcoming vacation. Eating out frequently can put a significant dent in your monthly budget, leaving little money for your vacation savings plan. Instead, maximize your savings by practicing restraint and forgoing the luxury of restaurant meals. Opt for home cooking and shop at the market using coupons to cut down on costs.
Eating at home not only helps in saving a considerable amount of cash but also allows you to divert that extra money towards your vacation account. Determine a certain amount you usually spend on restaurants and, instead, deposit that cash into your vacation savings account. This extra income can be used to afford big-ticket items, cover fees, or simply have more cash to splurge during your vacation.
Remember, every bit counts when you are working towards a savings goal. Even seemingly small changes, like opting for home-cooked dinner instead of eating out, can accumulate into a substantial sum over time. Start planning now, exercise a little restraint, and watch your vacation fund grow. This simple yet effective travel tip will get you closer to your dream vacation without stretching your bank account. Continue reading to learn how.
Use Your Tax Refund
Apply some or all of your tax refund to your savings goals if you want to travel without increasing your cash flow or affecting your household budget. Filing your taxes earlier can also ensure you get your tax refund before booking a trip.
Even if your tax refund doesn’t cover the total cost of your dream trip, it can help offset some of the costs, making it more affordable and doable.
Track Your Spend Money On Your Trip
Keeping track of how much you spend on your trip can help you plan future travels. This also gives you an idea of any areas of improvement for sticking to your budget.
Identify how much you can invest in different categories. For example, you may already know how much you have to pay for flights, but later, go back in and add any extra bag fees, airport food and drink costs, or transportation to and from the airport you paid.
Tracking your actual expenditure also allows you to make any necessary changes in the future. For example, you may book a flight to a hotel a little further from where you plan to stay to secure a cheaper rate.
Yet, after traveling, you find that you actually pay more since transportation to and from the further airport is more expensive.
You might opt for a cheaper hotel to avoid all-inclusive fees, but then find that you and your family pay more in dining out each day than you would have if you booked the luxurious, all-inclusive resort instead.
Take Advantage of Travel Rewards Credit Cards
Some credit cards are designed to offer travel benefits and perks. These credit cards can offer you car rental discounts, free airline upgrades, or guaranteed early check-in or check-out.
Additionally, many travel rewards credit card companies are willing to offer a sign-up bonus for spending a minimum amount within a set period of time.
Opening one of these credit cards months before your planned travels and charging your usual monthly bills can help you rack up enough credit card points to cover your airfare.
Even better, if your travel credit card has a Priority pass, you can await your flight in the comfort of an airport lounge. Many lounges have free beverages and snacks, which can save you a lot of money compared to the high costs at the airport stores.
Just make sure you pay off your credit card each month. You don’t want to pay high-interest costs to earn travel points. Putting all your travel expenses on a specific credit card can also make tracking how much you pay easier.
Another benefit of travel credit cards is that they often have some insurance coverage. For example, depending on your credit card, they may cover damages to a rental car or trip cancellation.
Book Economy Air Fare to Avoid Paying Too Much Money
First class is more comfortable than the tighter confines of economy seating. However, booking a vacation to a closer destination allows you to save money with economy tickets, and you only have to tolerate the smaller space for a few hours.
Keep an open mind about compromising.
Consider booking premium economy versus first class to save a few hundred dollars while still enjoying the extra leg space. Booking a flight with one more layover can also save you money if you’re willing to take longer to reach your destination.
Tracking your flights ahead of time can make it easier to benefit from flight deals. For example, if you want to travel to Central America, set up a flight alert for your intended dates and track the flight prices.
Cut Back on Travel Entertainment
Think of how to save money on vacation? one way is to cut back on your purchases while on vacation can also make a dream vacation more realistic. Limit your activities to a few key ones that everyone wants to do.
Cooking your own meals in your vacation rental is an excellent way to cut costs. Check out the local corner store to get an idea of the meal types you can make. You could also stock local ingredients and cook breakfasts in your villa to reduce costs.
Seek free things to do by asking the locals where they spend most of their time.
You can also limit your family’s spending on souvenirs when on vacation. Instead of filling your suitcase with trinkets that will sit around your house, try to capture more photographs.
Sell Personal Belongings You No Longer Use
Most of us have an abundance of items in the household that we no longer want or need. Organize a garage sale to free up some space in your home while also earning extra money. Apply any extra cash you earn to your vacation savings.
You can also use places like Facebook Marketplace to sell unused items in the household to those in your own neighborhood.
Plus, the more comfortable you get using these online buying and selling websites, you may also use them to purchase items you need.
If your lawn mower breaks down, consider buying a used one rather than going out and getting a brand-new one. Buying used can help you save thousands, which is a lot of money you can apply to your travel fund.
Larger-ticket items are even better, as they can earn you more money. If you have an unused car sitting in the driveway, consider offloading it for extra cash.
Invest in Travel Insurance
Travel insurance may seem like a waste of money, but it can save money if you have to cancel your trip for any reason. Make sure you research your insurance options to choose the best option for you and your family.
Insurance may cover trip cancellation, medical evacuation, missed connections, trip delay, or baggage coverage. The insurance coverages can save a lot if anything goes wrong during your travels.
Invite the Whole Family
Inviting a few family members on the trip can also help everyone save money while enjoying valuable bonding time. Renting a large villa and inviting grandparents or aunts and uncles can make it easier for everyone to enjoy a dream vacation.
Choosing something right on the beach or with access to your own pool also helps control travel costs. You and your guests will find that you allocate so much time enjoying the luxury villa that you don’t spend as much money on other activities.
Look Into Renting a Car
Ride-sharing may be the easiest way to get around, but renting a car may be more cost-effective. However, remember that you may need a separate driver’s license and insurance when it comes to international travel.
Ensure you have the proper documents and licenses before arriving at the car rental to avoid any expensive fines or penalties.
Some cities may have free public transportation, an even better way to save money. Learn how to navigate these transportation systems ahead of time so you can easily find your way around the new city.
Take advantage of any airport transportation services offered by the rental you choose.
Earn Extra Money Through Gig Work
Boost your travel savings through gig work in the few months before your vacation. The great thing about gig work is that you can make money in your spare time. You can put in extra hours when you have the time and not work when you don’t.
House and pet sitting are also exceptional ways to earn more money. Offer to help a friend by watering their plants or checking on their house when away for a discounted rate. Your friend gets to save money by not having to hire someone, and you can put away a little more toward your planned vacation.
If you’re crafty, you could also turn a hobby into some extra income. Sell your paintings or hand-crafted jewelry on Etsy or Facebook Marketplace.
Book Longer Stays
Some vacation rentals offer discounts for longer stays. Find out if you can save money by booking a longer stay. This allows your budget to go further, and you get to enjoy more rest and relaxation. While saving, it’s crucial to remain motivated and track your progress. Set milestones along the way and celebrate each achievement. Sharing your travel goals with friends and family can create a support network that encourages responsible traveling.
Remember that saving for a vacation isn’t solely about cutting costs; it’s also about making intentional choices. Prioritize experiences over material possessions. Allocate your funds towards activities and excursions that will create lasting memories. By adhering to these principles and staying committed to your goal, you’ll be better equipped to make your dream vacation a reality.
All-inclusive may be more expensive on the surface, but it can actually save you a lot in terms of daily expenses. The extra expenses on a trip can quickly add up, causing you to spend more than you intended.
An all-inclusive vacation with covered meals and drinks can make a big difference when it comes to staying on a budget. An all-inclusive vacation is often a more suitable option for a couples vacation than a family getaway.
Make sure you choose an all-inclusive with the amenities most important to you. Consider amenities like housekeeping, laundry services, or a personal chef.
The cost of a personal chef can be extremely affordable when you compare it to how much you and your crew would spend on dining out within a specific period.
Rent a Villa on Vrbo or Airbnb Instead of Staying in A Luxury Hotel
When planning your next vacation and asking yourself additional ways of how to save money for a trip, one travel tip that can greatly contribute towards your vacation savings account is to opt for renting a villa on Vrbo or Airbnb instead of staying in a luxury hotel. Luxury hotel stays often come with hidden costs and unexpected fees, such as resort fees, that can substantially inflate the cost of your vacation. This could prevent you from reaching your savings goal, as you might have to dip into your savings account or checking account for extra money.
Renting a villa not only allows you to avoid these unnecessary expenses but also presents an opportunity for further savings. For example, having access to a kitchen enables you to cook your own meals and save on dining out. Shopping for groceries and preparing meals can significantly reduce your food cost, freeing up cash for other purchases or experiences during your trip.
Additionally, Vrbo and Airbnb often offer great deals on accommodations. With a bit of advance planning, you can discover beautiful locations at a fraction of the price of a luxury hotel. Keep an open mind and search for different ideas and locations to determine the best deals.
One of the many benefits of renting a luxury villa is the privacy you will enjoy compared to a hotel. Other than the staff, your and your family will enjoy all the amenities and accommodations to yourself.
Remember, small ways of saving, such as avoiding resort fees and cooking your own meals, can accumulate into significant funds that can be directed toward your vacation. Don’t underestimate the power of savings by choosing alternative accommodations!
Work on the Trip
If you work a remote job, you may be able to continue working while on vacation. This allows you to earn money while exploring a new destination.
Plan to go with other travelers who can also work remotely so that you can match schedules. While working during the day on vacation may not be ideal, it’s an excellent option if it’s the only way to make your dream getaway happen financially.
Additionally, you’ll save money by spending more time in the vacation rental during the day.
You could also spend your time blogging or sharing your travels with others, which could eventually turn into a money-making business.
Other ways to earn while traveling include affiliate marketing, graphic designing, computer programming, or working as a virtual assistant (VA).
How Much Should You Be Saving for Travel?
Financial experts recommend following the 50/30/20 rule when creating a household budget. This means that 50% of your net income should be spent on necessary items, like rent and utilities.
30% of your net income should go to things you want, like travel or shopping. The other 20% goes toward your savings. It’s usually a good idea to continue saving money in addition to your travel savings.
If you can reduce your necessary spending to below 50%, you have more to allocate toward travel. If your household bills take up most of your spending, saving up for a vacation may take longer, but it’s still possible.
Hopefully we provided some helpful information on how to save money for vacation. Feel free to adopt the advice from this article to tweak your spending habits and amp up your budget. That way, you’ll be able to treat yourself to all those travel escapades while you work your way towards that fancy vacation to Italy you’ve always wanted to take or the beach trip to Costa Rica you’ve been dreaming about!