Promoted content

5 simple steps to budgeting your dream vacation

5 Steps to budgeting your dream vacation promoted content Bay Fed
Take note of Bay Federal Credit Union’s five steps to creating a successful vacation budget.
(Bay Federal Credit Union)

It’s great to get away from the daily grind, but budgets never get to take a vacation. The good news is that sticking to your spending plan and not racking up bills you can’t pay will actually make your trip more relaxing. When every dollar is accounted for and you know exactly how much money you have to spend on vacation, suddenly, the stress of how to pay for this getaway diminishes.

Making a vacation budget is not as difficult as it may seem. Here’s what you need to know about creating a successful vacation budget.

1. Set your budget

First, determine how much you can actually spend on your trip. It’s important to be as realistic as possible when completing this step or you may end up paying off this vacation for months, or even years, to come. Do some research on the location you want to visit, how much it’ll cost to get there, and the price for all accommodation and transportation needs. It’s also a good idea to look up local attractions to get an idea of how much these will cost. Make a basic list of these anticipated expenses and work with that number to set your vacation budget.

When setting your budget, be sure to consider any money you may have saved up for your trip. If planned well in advance, consider how much you can afford to save each month leading up to your vacation.

2. Plan your expenses

Once your vacation budget has been set and a general list of expenses outlined, work on setting an exact dollar amount for each expense category. Use the amounts you previously researched and write out your vacation budget so the individual expense categories total the same as your overall budget amount. If the total amount is way outside your affordable range, consider swapping out some expenses for cheaper, or even free, options. For example, choosing to use public transportation instead of renting a car, dining on street food instead of eating out at expensive restaurants, and booking activities in advance to save on admission prices.

3. Book in advance

Try to book as much of your vacation as possible in advance. Hotel stays, car rentals, tours are almost always cheaper when reserved ahead of schedule. Find the best deals on international flights 3-6 months before the departure date, and even earlier if traveling during peak times, like summer or during a holiday season. Booking activities and tours ahead of time will also leave fewer spending choices for the actual vacation when your willpower may be weaker.

5 Steps to budgeting your dream vacation promoted content Bay Fed
Need a few extra funds to book your dream vacation? Bay Federal has competitive rates on Personal Loans that can get you to where you want to go.
(Bay Federal Credit Union)

4. Track your expenses

When the purchasing begins, it is important to track your expenses to ensure you stick to your spending plan. When purchasing airline tickets, making hotel and car rental reservations, and purchasing extra comforts, be sure to record these expenses within your designated budget. Similarly, when on vacation, keep track of any additional spending. Budgeting apps, like Mint or YNAB, can make this much easier.

If you find yourself overspending in any category, look for last-minute ways to cut back on other upcoming expenses. It may be the difference between cutting out an expensive activity or cooking your own meal for quick, easy savings.

5. Keep a copy of your budget with you

Carry a physical or digital copy of your vacation budget to pull out whenever you’re faced with a spending challenge. The simple act of reviewing your budget will make it easier to stick to it as planned.

Choosing a budget-friendly vacation doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality or fun. All it takes is some careful planning, quick calculations, and the willpower to follow it. With these five tips, it’s possible to ensure your trip of a lifetime without stressing about the finances!

Need a few extra funds to book your dream vacation? Bay Federal has competitive rates on Personal Loans that can get you to where you want to go. Visit our website to find out more.

About Bay Federal Credit Union

Bay Federal Credit Union is a full-service, not-for-profit financial institution that serves over 86,000 members and 2,400 local businesses throughout Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey counties. With more than $1.6 billion in assets, Bay Federal is the largest member-owned financial institution in the region. The organization has been proudly serving its members and the community since 1957. Bay Federal is a certified Community Development Financial Institution, with a primary mission of promoting community development alongside their financial activities. Bay Federal has an award-winning employee volunteer program in which employees have given their own money and volunteer for numerous local schools, nonprofit organizations, and community events each year.

bay federal logo