Summer Vacation Budgeting

For many people, summer is a time of taking a much needed vacation. In lean economic times, it can often seem difficult coming up with the money to go on a vacation. However, even in difficult economic times, when you plan a reasonable and achievable budget, you can still go on a fun and relaxing vacation without breaking the bank. Below are a number of tips to summer vacation budgeting:

1. It is essential to plan for a summer vacation. One way of planning an affordable vacation is to create a realistic budget. It is always better to start planning your budget several months in advance of the vacation. You should consider such expenses as food, travel, gas, entertainment activities, and accommodations. Once you have created a budget you should look for ways to cut down on the costs of each expense. As well, you can start setting money aside each month and put it in a summer vacation fund.

2. Decide where you can afford to spend your vacation and how will you get there. If you are on a tight budget, look for fun destinations in your region. You can take advantage of Google maps to estimate mileage so you can budget for gas. If you are traveling by plane, it is important to book early to get a cheaper fare. There are many discount airline and travel sites that offer discounted flights and cheap vacation packages. These sites will often offer special deals of the week so sign up for travel deal email alerts.

3. Look for discount coupons that will help you save money on your vacation. You can often find discounts or special promotions on travel sites or businesses and attractions sites in the area where you are planning on visiting. You can also search for coupons online for rental cars, hotels, and tourist attractions. There are special coupon code websites that allow users to look for specific coupons.

4. When traveling, you can save money on food by packing snacks and beverages such as crackers, veggies, fruit, cheese, chips, juice, water, milk...etc. It will help keep you and your family from eating too much unhealthy junk food during the vacation. You can also save money by staying at a hotel that has a kitchenette. You can prepare your own meals which will drastically cut down on your food costs. If you do eat out, buffets and family restaurants can be quite inexpensive.

5. The costs of staying in a hotel can take a big bite out of your vacation money. If possible, choose a destination where you can stay with family and friends. You will find that you will save a considerable amount of money.

6. There are many cheap activities you and your family can enjoy at your vacation destination. For instance, take in a museum, cultural event, beach, hiking trail at a national park, etc. Check the destination to see what cheap and free attractions are offered.

The recent economic decline has resulted in financial hardships for many families. Many families have had to make cut backs in order to maintain their budgets. Fortunately, families can still have a fun and relaxing vacation if they take the time to save for the trip and look for cost cutting methods to make the vacation much more affordable.

Adriana Noton is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of financial topics including credit card debt. For more information about personal finance and credit counselling, is a tremendous resource on the topic for Canadians.

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