Everyone should have a “bucket list.” On mine, you will find “swim with dolphins in a tropical paradise.” Last summer, I visited a luxurious resort right on a Mexican beach and I swam with dolphins! Below are tips I used for my magical vacation:
1. Create a vacation fund
Every month put some money into your vacation fund. Consider an automatic transfer and when you come across extra money (tax return, bonus, or inheritance), add it to your vacation fund.
2. Create a trip budget
- Transportation – airfare, rental car, parking, gas, taxis
- Lodging – room rate and hotel taxes
- Food – groceries, meals, drinks, and snacks
- Entertainment – tickets and fees for national parks, amusement parks, museums, excursions, and other events
- Gifts and souvenirs
- Currency conversion (if traveling internationally)
3. Travel discounts
Spend time looking for deals on hotels, airfare, excursions, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask for additional discounts before booking. Tell them you are shopping for the best deal and let them compete for your business.
4. Expect the unexpected
Flights get delayed, weather changes, credit cards get lost. Be aware and set aside 10 to 15 percent of your travel budget for emergencies or surprises.
You don’t want to spend the next twelve months paying for last year’s vacation, long after the fun has faded.
If you can’t afford a dream vacation this year, you can still enjoy summer! You can cut costs by taking advantage of attractions closer to home. Spending time with those you love without spending a lot of money may sometimes bring bigger rewards than an expensive splurge. With a little extra planning you can make your summer one to remember and make memories that will last a lifetime.