Trade Your Desk Chair for a Beach ChairAugust 23, 2019
While summer has begun to slip away, perhaps your vacation dreams haven’t set sail yet. The good news is, it’s not too late!
Whether you have a last-minute summer getaway on the mind, or you’ve started to hatch vacation plans for the chillier months, plan on maximizing your time away by making a financial plan that matches your vacation goals.
Large budget or small, make a plan
What do you daydream about when you imagine your ideal trip? Drifting on a sailboat in the sunshine? Skiing to a cozy hut in the mountains?
No matter your vision or the size of your budget, you can set yourself up for smooth sailing by thinking about approximate costs upfront. Having a sense of costs can prevent any significant surprises that may distract you from the ultimate goal — enjoying your free time.
Figure out your vacation costs – be as specific as possible
Once you have an idea about how much you’re willing to spend on your vacation and where you want to go, begin estimating your costs using these buckets:
- Accommodation (hotels, B&Bs)
- Transportation (flights, getting to and from the airport, gas, public transportation costs)
- Food (restaurants, groceries)
- Sightseeing/Entertainment (museums, tours, shows)
Even if you never make it to all the sights on your list or you simply prefer sightseeing on the fly, getting a sense of your destination’s prices opens up your options. For example, if you’re a museum enthusiast who visits Washington D.C., you’ll find that many of the museums are free, leaving more funds for your accommodations or dining.
Feeling overwhelmed by the number of variables to consider, or just feel like you’re missing something on the list? The internet is awash with travel budget calculators that can help drill down to the details, or you can talk to a financial advisor to help craft a plan that fits your vacation plans and financial goals.
Set things in motion with a savings plan
With a budget in hand, it’s time to make your travel dream a reality. Creating an automated savings plan is a simple yet highly effective way to get the ball rolling.
Here’s how you can get there. Knowing how much you need to save and how much time you have before your trip, estimate the percentage of your income you need to put away. Next, schedule a recurring deposit from your checking account into a linked savings account. Keep in mind that it can take time for a check to clear, so if you’re drawing from a paycheck, schedule the deposit a couple of business days after the check is deposited.
By taking the time to set up an automated plan, you can streamline the saving process, bringing you closer to your dream trip.
Vacations are meant to be fun, so let’s make sure you’re set up to make the most of your trip. Share your fun travel plans with us, and let us give you a hand by crafting a financial plan that will help you achieve your goals.