Top Ten Summer Vacation Tips
| Kathy Patty, FPQP®
Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner. Here are my favorite tips to help you plan a budget-friendly vacation.
- Know how much can you afford and set a budget. Put a little back each month into a savings account automatically.
- Research, research, research. Check the Internet for lower-priced airfares and hotel accommodations, and read the offers carefully. Take advantage of your credit card points or discounts. Search for discount codes online or ask about discounts when booking.
- Consider shorter trips or exploring the tourist spots where you live.
- Pay upfront – Pay for hotels or airfare upfront. Book them early or right before you go to get the best deals. If you are driving, determine a realistic gas allowance if you’re planning a road trip, and put that money aside.
- If you’re going to go on a road trip, get your car tuned up. Check the condition of your vehicle’s tires, belts, battery, and spark plugs a few weeks before hitting the road. Maintenance is less expensive than emergency road service.
- You can save money by packing thoughtfully. The “I’ll buy it when I get there” philosophy can be an expensive one.
- Save on meals. If you are traveling by car, pack that cooler with drinks, snacks and lunches and take things from home you already have on hand, like paper products. Take advantage of the hotels that offer complimentary breakfasts. If you want to go out to eat, try to eat earlier. Lunch menus are usually priced lower than the dinner menu for the same entrée.
- Cut back on some activities. Don’t try to see every tourist attraction while you’re on vacation. Every town has free things you can do, look them up and enjoy not spending money.
- Track your spending along the way. Know how much you have spent and how much you have left to get home!
- Have fun! Some of the best vacations I had as a kid were the simple things in life. Sitting around the fire and roasting marshmallows or camping in the back yard and catching fireflies.
Do you have questions about financial planning or investing? Send your questions to our Knoxville certified financial planners!