Everyone wants a vacation, but they can be hard to plan for. After all, with so much going on in our day-to-day, actually setting aside a savings plan for a vacation can be tough, especially with how expensive a great trip can be. However, even if you feel like this is something that you may have missed the boat on, fear not, as it’s still possible to land that last minute trip without having to break the bank. Here’s how:

Know The Cost

If you’re going to be prepping for a last minute vacation, one of the first steps you need to take is knowing exactly how much you need to save. As noted by CreditDonkey, the average cost of a vacation comes out to around $1,145 per person or $4,580 for a family of four. While it’s possible to save for a vacation, it is going to take some strategic thinking. And if you’re looking to take on a vacation before the end of the summer, your first step should be to come up with your individual savings plan.

First, take a look at the average cost of a vacation per the location you’re trying to go. The earlier that you’re able to book, the more likely the price will be low, so be mindful of this as you plan out a date. Additionally, try to pad with more than you think you might need at first, giving you more flexibility to truly enjoy yourself. As your vacation is all about enjoying yourself, make the amount you save up all about giving you an experience you’ll remember for a lifetime.

See What You Can Do With What You Currently Have Set Aside

Depending on your current situation you might have some savings set aside that you can utilize for your vacation. Granted, I understand if that’s not the case, because as noted by GoBankingRates, 57 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account, which goes to show how you might be in a much more familiar company than you might think. However, if you can come off a percentage of your savings, then that’s a great starting point. I’ll note though that this is something you don’t want to go too much off of, as that puts you at the risk of not having enough in case you run into a rainy day (especially while away!).

Learn The Side Hustle

An excellent way to start garnering more savings for your summer vacation is by picking up a side hustle. According to CNN, approximately 34 percent of the US workforce is the gig economy, which with how popular services like Uber and Airbnb have gotten, this seems to make sense. Plus, with most of these jobs, you’ll be able to start earning money almost as soon as you pass the application. However, first, you have to find something that will suit your schedule.

The goal of the side hustle is to find something that you can maximize your time on for the least amount of work. For example, if something like Uber or Lyft is new to your town, then being one of the first to market can be advantageous. The name of the game here is ROI, which the more passive of income, the better off it’ll be, such as Airbnb. Brainstorm which items will be best for you, as this is going to be a crucial first step.

Rent A House Over A Hotel

A significant way to save on the overall bill of your vacation is by renting a house over a hotel. While the upfront cost is more significant (and you most likely have to get in early), as noted in Time, it’s a much cheaper option on cost alone across the board. Furthermore, with the addition of having a full kitchen, you can cut back on food costs tremendously by making going out to eat a special occasion. Take a look around to the rentals in the area you’re looking to book, because the sooner you lock them down, the better off your price will be.

Be Prepared For Last Minute Deals

Finally, one of the most significant factors in saving will be preparing for last minute deals, which can help cut your cost down tenfold. For example, as noted by Travel Agent Central, last minute deals are 16 percent cheaper domestically, and 36 percent cheaper internationally, which if you can land your hands on, then working things out from there will be a cinch. Try to set some alerts for different travel and booking sites, honing in on your perfect fit for the perfect price.

What are you doing to try to squeeze in some last-minute summer fun?

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