From a weekend getaway to the trip of a lifetime, or something in between, we would all love a boost in our vacation budget, right?. Here are five ideas to help fund your travel plans.
#1 – DIY Your Food and Beverage
Eating out may seem more convenient than preparing food at home, but it's not so easy on your wallet. Factor in those fancy creations from your local coffee shop, and your budget takes another hit. Eliminate just one large latte ($4), one lunch out ($10), and one restaurant dinner ($15) each week, and you'll save over $1500 in one year—That could be a significant increase in your travel allowance!
#2 – Make it Automatic
It's easier to spend money once you have it in your hands. "Out of sight, out of mind" can be an effective saving strategy. Have a small portion of each paycheck directly deposited into a separate account just for travel savings. If you're getting a tax refund this year, feed your piggy bank by having that automatically deposited too.
#3 – Maximize Rewards
Analyze your credit card purchases, and see if there are reward programs you might qualify for. Some offer points or miles, while others offer cash back, and you'll need to shop around to see which is the best option for your needs. Even if you prefer not to use credit cards, there are shopping rebate programs like Ebates, Ibotta, or old-fashioned paper coupons—Just remember to put those savings directly into your travel account!
#4 – Clean Out Your Closets …
… And your basement, shed, and attic! Take an honest look around your home and see what you can part with. There are lots of options for turning those neglected items into cash, including resale websites, consignment shops, or even community garage sale Facebook pages. As a bonus, you're earning money for travel and clearing clutter at the same time!
#5 – Deposit Early
Waiting until the last minute to book often results in limited choices and higher prices. Booking early gives you the best selection of flights, accommodations, and other options. Instead of requiring immediate payment for the total trip cost, most of the travel suppliers I work with allow you to place a deposit to reserve your choices—Sometimes as low as $50-$200 per person! The final balance won't be due until 6-8 weeks before you travel, and you can make smaller payments in between.