Going on vacation is awesome.
You can get away from your day to day routine and obligations – and experience new sights, sounds, and, often, better weather.
But, it’s also pretty costly.
According to American Express, the average cost of a vacation for an individual in the United States is $1,145, or $4,580 for a family of four.
Transportation, luggage, travel insurance and accommodation costs all add up. And when you don’t have much cash to begin with, going on vacation can seem like a bit of a pipe dream.
But, there are actually many things you can do to get the cash you need for your trip.
And, these things are pretty simple too.
Whether it’s a Cruise, beach, Los Vegas, Disney, or any other vacation, there are a few simple steps you can take to save enough money for your next vacation – much sooner than you think!
So, here are our best tips for saving up for your vacation.
1. Start with a Vacation Savings Account
When you’re saving up for a trip, the first thing you need to do is open a savings account.
Having one account and trying to keep vacations costs and regular costs can be tricky – which is why you need a savings account.
A savings account gives you one place where you can put all of the money you save for the getaway.
Once you’ve put money into the account, don’t touch it until you need to purchase stuff for your trip.
A savings account only makes it easier to save cash, but it also helps you to keep track of how much you have so far.
Choose an account that you can check online too, so that you can keep up with how much you’re saving. With a savings account, you’re much more likely to stay within your budget.
2. Transfer Money Automatically
Putting money into your savings account sounds easy – in theory, but in reality, many people struggle.
The temptation to spend their earnings is too high or they simply forget to fund the account.
So, to make sure that you start building up your savings, set up an automatic transfer. Whether it’s $100 per month of $2 per day, setting up an automatic transfer, which goes out at regular intervals, is a super easy way to build up your savings.
Before you realize it, you’ll have hundreds of dollars saved and ready for your vacation.
3. Do The 52 Week Challenge
The 52 Week Challenge is a fun and unique way to save cash.
It’s also super simple. For 52 weeks of the year, you save money. The amount you save corresponds with the week you’re on. So, in week one, you’ll save $1 and in week eight you’ll save $8 and so on.
By the end of the 52 Week Challenge, you’ll have saved $1,378. That’s a pretty impressive amount to add to your holiday savings account!
This challenge is pretty customizable too. So, don’t be afraid to double the amount of money or the saving period.
4. Vacation Change Jar
The change jar is a classic money-saving tool for a good reason – it works!
So, be sure to utilize one for your vacation.
Each day, when you come home, put any change you have into the jar. And don’t touch it! You can then use it to buy stuff for your vacation.
5. Look out for Deals
Did you know that you could get a discount and others deals on flights and hotels, just by signing up to a few newsletters?
Many hotels, airlines, and other travel companies send out special deals and offers through emails.
So, sign up to get email alerts and you can discover some great savings.
6. Make Money from your Car
A really simple way to make a little extra cash is through your car, surprisingly.
One of the best ways to do this is rent out your car.
All you need to do is apply to one of these websites, fill out some details about your vehicle, provide proof of ownership and set a time when your vehicle is available for rent.
If the company accepts your vehicle, they’ll do the rest of the work. Your vehicle is much more likely to be accepted if it is in good condition and fewer than ten years old.
The amount of money you can make varies, but according to GetAround.com the average car owner makes about $6,000 per year from renting out their vehicle.
7. Generate a Side Income
Why not earn a little extra cash on the side of your regular job, and put it towards a vacation?
Nowadays, there are plenty of ways, both offline and online to generate a side income.
You could offer simple services, like sign holding or website testing on Fiverr.
If you love reading books, you could get paid to write book reviews, by sites like The US Review of Books.
There are plenty of side jobs you can do offline too, like babysitting or cleaning cars.
Many retailers offer part-time and seasonal jobs too. So, keep a look out for opportunities.
You might have to give up a bit of your free time in the process, but working a side job can help you reach your vacation fund goals much sooner.
8. Sell Your Stuff
If you’ve got some stuff lying around your house, then why not sell it?
You’ll clear out your house a little and make some cash from stuff you weren’t really using anyway.
There are tons of websites, like eBay and Craigslist, where you can post your old stuff for sale.
You could also use apps to sell your stuff.
9. Get the Most out of Your Credit Card
When they’re used well, credit cards can be a great money-saving tool.
Many credit cards offer cashback on all purchases – meaning you can get money back on everything you buy!
Many also allow you to collect airline miles for spending too. So, if you rack up enough, you could get your flights for free.
10. Quit the Gym – You Don’t Need It Anyway!
Working out not only gets you in shape, but it’s also great for your health – which is why, whether you’re going on vacation or not, you should do it. Most people think that to get a good workout, they need to go to the gym.
But, that’s simply not true.
You can have a great workout outside of the gym – and save yourself some money.
Work out at home – do a few body weight exercises, run up and down the stairs a few times, or get up and down off of the floor ten times – using your hands as minimally as possible.
Or, get outside, find a hill and walk or run up and down it a few times. Anything that requires strength and gets your heart rate up will get you in better shape.
You don’t need the gym.
If you insist on going to the gym, at least use these apps that will pay to exercise.
11. Take Advantage of Coupons and Cashback
Before you make a purchase, always check to see if there’s a coupon for what you’re buying. Nowadays, there are tons of great coupon sites that make it easy to find coupons on just about anything.
Amazon offers a great selection of discount coupons, which you can virtually clip.
It’s also a good idea to take advantage of cashback sites. You can put the money you save towards your trip.
12. Limit Trips to the Grocery Store
Rather than heading straight to the grocery store to pick up supplies for dinner, think about what you already have in your kitchen cupboards.
Most people don’t realize how much food they have in already, so they waste money buying more at the grocery store. Try to eat what you’ve already got in your house, rather than buying more stuff.
13. Save Cash on Outdoor Equipment
Vacations tend to be pretty costly anyway. But, if your vacation involves outdoor activities, like skiing or snowboarding, it can be even more expensive.
A great way to save money on equipment, like skis, is to purchase it from a thrift store or a yard sale.
Websites, like eBay and Craigslist, are also great places for finding discounted equipment.
And remember, you can always sell this equipment yourself after your vacation and make some, if not all, of your cash back.
14. Consider Travel Grants
An effective way to save some money for vacation is to consider travel grants. If you’re a writer, an educator, or have any other skill, you might be qualified for a travel grant.
These grants generally pay for your expenses, and sometimes, your accommodation.
Check out this primer for finding and applying for travel grants.
Check out this post for finding and applying for volunteer vacation grants.
15. Cut Back on NonEssentials
Most people spend money every month, or even every day, on things that they don’t really need.
Do you really need to go to Starbucks every morning for a coffee before work, or could you have a cup at home?
Do you really need both cable TV and Netflix, or could you just stick with streaming?
Think about what you really need in your life, and cut out the non-essentials. Then, put whatever cash you’ve saved into your new savings account. You’ll be surprised by how much cash you can save, just by cutting back a bit.
16. Make Money on Your Vacation
Ok, this tip won’t save you money for the Vacation you’re on, but you can use the money towards you next trip.
“How do I earn money on my vacation?” you ask?
17. Research Is Your Friend
When planning a vacation, research is the key to saving money. Always do a comparison of flights online using sites like SkyScanner to get the best offers.
Check for travel deals and coupons to save on travel and hotels.
And, consider visiting places in the off-season. Prices are normally much lower, and there are fewer tourists around – meaning less crowds!
Also, research lesser-known destinations, and consider vacationing there instead – you’ll save money.
If you’re longing to go on vacation, try out some of these money saving techniques – and you’re sure to get the funds you need much faster.
Remember, start saving early and stick to your budget and you’re sure to meet your travel fund goals!