Whether your idea of a vacation is visiting your favorite amusement park for an adrenaline rush or relaxing on a sandy beach with a cold drink in your hand, everybody
deserves to enjoy a break from their everyday lives. However, affording your "dream" vacation isn't easy—especially when you have other financial obligations to take care of.
Still, with a little bit of foresight and careful planning, you can gradually begin saving for a well deserved vacation. And since planning and researching a trip can be a big part of the excitement and anticipation, it's never too early to get started!
Turning Your Vacation Dreams Into a Reality
You may want to begin by determining what type of vacation you'd like to take, especially as it relates to how much you can realistically afford to save. Setting a budget might not be the most exciting part of planning your vacation, but it's an ideal first step that will help the rest of your planning fall into place and go more smoothly.
Saving for Your Vacation
So, what are some practical ways to go about setting money aside for your vacation? Consider, for starters, opening up a dedicated bank/savings account specifically for your vacation funding. Having an account separate from the one you use for everyday spending will make you less likely to "dip into" your vacation fund; you might even consider setting up an automatic recurring transfer of money from your regular checking account into your vacation account to boost your savings. If you get paid bi-weekly, even scheduling a $20 transfer per paycheck will equate to $40 in extra savings each month—all without you having to lift a finger!
Cutting back a little on your day-to-day spending can also help you save up for your vacation. Packing your lunch and bringing it to work, instead of going out, can easily save you $5-$10 per day during the week, which is a savings of $25-$50 per week! That's money that can easily go towards a hotel stay, transportation, or even a little extra spending money for your trip.
Planning is Half the Fun!
Even if it will be months or even years before you have enough money saved for your dream vacation, you can motivate yourself to keep saving by planning out portions of your trip in advance!
Take some time to research some of the different activities you'd like to partake in during your vacation. For example, if you'd like to go on a cruise, why not look into different add-on excursions that will be available for you to participate in at each of your stops? Taking the time to research transportation options in advance is also a good idea. Setting up an airfare monitor, for example, can help you find the lowest rates on flights so you can take advantage of them when they become available. Even if you're planning on driving or taking another mode of transportation to your destination, it's never too early to plan out a tentative itinerary. The more planning and research you do, the better prepared you will be when it finally comes time to embark on your trip!
Making Every Day a Vacation
Feeling a little bummed that you won't be able to take your dream vacation anytime in the near future? Consider ways in which you can make your everyday life a little more "vacation-like" in the meantime. One of the best ways to do this is to break out of the routines you're most familiar with.
For example, if you're the type of person who generally works 9-5 during the week and then comes home to lounge around until bed time—consider going out of your way to plan something fun after work at least once a week. It doesn't have to be anything expensive or extravagant; taking time to meet a friend for coffee or even spending an evening hiking at a local park can be great ways to break out of your everyday routine while reconnecting with yourself and others.
When was the last time you acted like a tourist in your own town? If you have some free time this coming weekend, make it a point to tour your city as though you've never been before. Explore local museums, parks, and other attractions. You might be surprised at just how much your local area has to offer, and you'll likely feel as though you've taken a true vacation by the end of the weekend.
Everybody deserves a vacation every now and then—and you're no exception! The key is figuring out what steps you'll need to take to save for your ideal vacation. And, in the meantime, there are plenty of ways to keep your everyday life fun and exciting!