Lounge chairs and umbrellas in the sand at the beach

Everyone deserves a vacation, however, sometimes it can be hard to earn one. Yes, for many of us, it seems like a daunting task being able to afford travel, with how much debt we might have or the dedication to saving. However, with a little bit of financial planning and some savvy research, you too can have the vacation you’ve always wanted by the summer. Here’s how:

Know Your Budget

Despite how great it can be to get lost in the idea of what type of vacation you’re going to have and where you’re going to go, one of the first things you should do is create a budget and stick with it. While that might sound harsh, if this is something you’re going to accomplish, then saving will have to be a top priority.

To give you a rough idea on cost, according to Travel Agent Central, the average vacation is around $1,978, which if you’re looking to go abroad or across the states, could be significantly more. Take a glance at some research tools, to find out what the average cost of transportation, lodging, food, and entertainment is. Doing this now will be what dictates what your goal is going to be for savings.

Consider A Balance Transfer

If credit card debt has been bogging you down from the vacation you really want, then looking into a balance transfer might not be a bad solution. This is essentially consolidating your current credit cards into one that has little to no interest (depending on how quickly you can pay it off). And if you want to knock out your credit card debt in a way that can save you big, this just might be your strategy.

Start out by looking at cards with little to no interest, as these are going to reduce the amount you have to pay significantly. Additionally, come up with a budget as to how much you can contribute each month, with an eventual payoff date. Even if you can’t pay your credit card debt off entirely by your travel date, you’ll still have the peace of mind that you’re much better off financially.

Look Out For Travel Deals

Another important aspect of saving on your vacation is the type of deals that you can find online. No matter if you’re lucky enough to snatch up a last-minute deal, your ability to shop around will eventually bring you to a price that’s right for you. Because as noted by Ice Portal, with 85 percent of online travel bookers checking every source before making a decision, it’s easy to see why.

While this process might take months, keeping up daily with any deals may allow you to save tremendously in the long-run. Additionally, setting alerts or notifications from travel sites might help you land something for a bargain, even if it means changing your plans around. And finally, there’s plenty of time, so don’t settle for something just because it was cheap. Go for what you really want, even if it means you have to wait.

Start Cutting Unnecessary Expenses

One thing a lot of us would probably admit is that we overspend on the things we don’t need. Whether that be ordering one too many takeout meals or splurging at the mall, everyone’s got some sort of guilty spending habit, which might be what is harboring you from a vacation.

According to CNBC, the average American household spends approximately $3,008 on going out to eat each year alone and half of that could be an excellent start to a vacation. See what expenditures you might be able to cut back on or eliminate to reach your goal of going on your dream vacation.  

Get Yourself A Side Hustle

If you’re really looking to go all out on this vacation, then picking up a side hustle could be an excellent opportunity. No matter if it’s driving Uber, hosting an AirBnB, or even freelancing, the gig economy makes up approximately 34 percent of our workforce, which you should consider taking part in.

Look around to see what gigs you might be able to pick up on the side. While some might sound small, even just an extra $50 or $100 bucks a week to set aside could make a difference in the type of experience you’re going to have. Trust me; the sacrifice will be worth it in the long term.

What are some ways you’ve been able to budget a vacation?

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