5 Creative Ways to Save for Your Next Family Vacation
One of the biggest challenges for families looking to travel can be saving up for that big trip. However, establishing your travel budget by saving is critical and the tips you’ll find here ensure less stress before, during and after your trip. Despite what society touts, going into debt for a family trip is not ideal, but saving is often painful. Here, you’ll find the top 5 creative ways to save for your next family vacation – and it won’t hurt a bit.
Start Saving Now With These 5 Creative Saving Methods:
1. Review Your Household Budget
Our first tip on our ways to save is to identify areas in your budget that you can shave, even temporarily. Put EVERYTHING extra toward your savings goal for that trip. Yes, we mean everything. Anything “extra” you have left over from your budget that month, put it in savings. Getting used to the process is critical. Making it a habit will make this easier as time goes on.
WAYS TO SAVE TIP: It might hurt a little not having that Starbucks latte every morning for two months, but cutting out this small splurge can save you up to $300! (Yes, some people really stop at Starbucks every day…) What do you spend money on that is unnecessary? Cut it out with the goal of traveling!
2. Pay in Cash as Often as Possible.
Yes, it’s weird but this is #2 on our ways to save. So many of us no longer carry cash, but several studies have shown that this form of payment actually reduces the amount of money you spend. Believe it or not, paying in cash triggers a pain receptor causing you to think twice before buying. Credit cards don’t show this same psychological reaction and therefore, people tend to overspend. When you overspend, you can’t build your savings, and this is slowing your progress on that family trip.
WAYS TO SAVE TIP: After paying in cash, deposit all change into a savings jar/bank. Paying with a $10 for a $5 item? Put the $5 in change into your jar/bank. It’s surprising how quickly this adds up!
3. See What Options Your Bank Has for Savings Plans.
Many banks have a fun and creative tool to help you save without the pain. This option is like paying in cash and depositing your change as outlined above. But for those that need a bit more accountability, this option could be the one for you.TIP: Our bank, Wells Fargo, has a plan called Way2Save. Every time we use our debit card, they round the purchase up to the nearest dollar. The difference is put into a separate account. We also have a monthly automatic transfer to this account. At the end of the year, we’ve “saved” a pretty good amount without even realizing we’ve done so!
4. Do You Already Have Credit Card Points?
If you already have credit card points, these count as savings. (It is assumed you will use them toward your trip.) However, don’t start accruing points until you’ve completed your budget and are out of debt first.
WAYS TO SAVE TIP: Find a credit card with flexible travel points for the most options when it comes time to redeem for your trip. Often, your points can be used for cash back, hotels, airfare, and sometimes even tours/experiences depending upon the card!
5. Join a Survey Company
If you have some extra time on your hands (the average American adult watches 33 hours of television per week according to Nielsen statistics), join a survey company to earn some extra cash for your trip. There are many companies that will pay you for taking surveys and although you won’t get rich, you’ll add to your trip savings fund with minimal effort. TIP: Taking surveys requires responding honestly and does take time, but you can easily earn $100 or more per month depending upon the company you join.
Don’t forget, this is a family affair. You cannot save for the trip alone. If your entire family isn’t on board with the plan, it WILL NOT work. Having a shared goal really helps and creates accountability. Take a few minutes with your partner (and children if they are old enough to participate) and do the following to find ways to save for your next family vacation:
- Review your budget and identify areas to trim unnecessary spending.
- Next, adjust your budget based on these decisions and discuss your savings plan.
- Set a savings goal so everyone knows what success is!
- Write this goal down! Put it on the bulletin board, the family command station by the door you pass daily, on your bathroom mirror, at your computer or workstation (home or office) – somewhere where you will regularly see it. It will remind you of how much you want to save. In addition, this will also keep your focus front and center.
- Tell someone your savings goal! This increases your chance of successfully reaching your goal to 78%!!!
- Put everything you have left over at the end of each month into savings, in addition to the goal you set in your budget.
- You’ll be really surprised at how quickly your savings adds up!
For additional ways to save and travel more often with your family, check out the e-book “Travel Deeper, Travel Wider, & Travel More Often – Together” by Cat Holladay. You’ll be on the road to successful trips that won’t break your budget in no time!
Cat Holladay, The Compass Is Calling | October 25, 2017
Cat Holladay is a freelance writer, blogger and photographer focusing on family travel for every budget. She has been quoted as an expert by The Washington Post, The Simple Dollar, RVing Planet, Creative Travel Guide, Digital Travel Guru and more. She is the founder of www.thecompassiscalling.com. After more than a decade as a VP and operations manager in the corporate world, she stepped back to focus on working to live, not living to work. She now spends her time traveling the US in an RV with her husband and their 4-year-old son – writing and photographing about family travel and budgeting along the way. Follow Cat on her blog, and on Facebook and Instagram.