It’s truly restorative to spend some time in the sun, the snow, or to just experience a new lifestyle by taking a quick getaway. But when you’re kicking back in the Bahamas or lapping up all the lights and sounds of the Tokyo nightlife, the last thing you want on your mind is money. Discover the top 6 steps to help you save up for your next holiday and turn your travel dreams into a reality.
Regardless, holidays come at a cost, and you don’t want your money to be lost. So doing the heavy lifting beforehand – like picking out the right credit cards, bolstering your savings, and comparing airfare and accommodation rates to find the best deals – will make life in Phuket a total pleasure.
Steps to Help You Save Up for Your Next Holiday
Here are six steps that can help you save up for your next holiday. First and foremost, consider exploring new destinations and comparing prices to find the most cost-effective options. Next, plan your trip according to the season, taking advantage of off-peak periods for potential savings. To keep your finances on track, create a detailed budget that outlines your expenses and savings goals.
Consider New Places & Prices
If you’re dreaming of blue lagoons and plenty of palm trees, you don’t have to fly out into the dead centre of the Pacific. That’s the nice thing about islands, they’re everywhere. Depending on where you are, there’s bound to be islands that are more accessible and thus, will be less costly to travel to than other island getaway destinations. So why not travel to these more accessible locations?
New Caledonia is closer to Australia, Mauritius is closer to Africa and Europe, and the Caribbean is closer to America’s east coast. The same goes for European escapes and jungle jaunts. If you check your city’s direct flight paths, you might find the perfect place for a nice price (and during a better travel window too).
If you’re going to snowy Scandinavia, you’ll want a coat, or even a couple of coats. And whether you buy your blazer in Breiðhatóftir or back home, you’ll want to plan for it. The same goes for suitcases, and weight limits, and the mix of mittens and mugs you’ll bring back as souvenirs. The weather has a big effect on what you’ll need to bring, what you’ll want to buy, and how many coffees you’ll drink. So you can keep your travel costs lower by either packing for that season, or perhaps even just travelling during a different season.
If you’re flexible with which season you visit, plan for the off-season, where flights are cheaper and lines are shorter. Then, once you’ve got a firm grasp on what you’ll need and when you’ll need it, you’ll be able to begin packing smart, which can also help you save big bucks on your next getaway.
A budget is the blueprint for your holiday, so it pays to know what you can expect to spend at your selected travel destination. For instance, if you want to navigate to New York, you check the accommodation in Albany, the cuisine costs at Crown Shy, and the cost of flight tickets to John F. Kennedy. The more specific and detailed your budget is – whether you’re planning down to the day or the hour – the more accurate your savings goals will be.
Some of the easy-to-forget expenses are transport (will you take taxis or the train?), souvenirs (who’s on your gift list?), and pre-flight expenses (vaccinations, visas, and various amenities). If you’re not the type for a checklist and day plans, just work out what you’re wanting from an average day – three meals, taxis to the beach, a ticket to the movies, and an ice cream for everyone – and you’ll have your post flight prices prepped. And to take the heat off when those unexpected expenses arise, just add a 10% allowance on top.
When you start saving for your holiday, it is important to keep this money separate from your ordinary funds. It’s a good idea to open a savings account so that you can keep your savings separate while also earning money from a variable interest rate (every little bit helps!).
Whether you have six months to save for your Singapore sightseeing, or nine weeks for Nanjing, you’ll want to separate your savings by payday. Breaking your budget up by the number of paydays you have left before your trip can help you estimate just how much you should be putting away every week, fortnight, month, and quarter.
If you’re paid more sporadically, you can go by fortnight or by month, but the more milestones you have, the less room you have for error. If you realise that the milestones and your savings don’t match up, however, it might be time to replan for another location, season, or perhaps it may even be time to go hunting for some travel discounts.
If you use a credit-card that just so happens to offer travel-based rewards, then why not leverage those rewards points to put towards your next holiday? After all, a juicy 80,000 points is enough for a return flight for one to half the world, and the bonuses only go up from there. Alongside this, some credit-cards may be able to offer you complimentary travel insurance, which allows you to save even more on your next getaway.
For those of you who don’t have credit-cards, however, then it may be worth signing up for one that does offer these travel-based rewards. Just make sure that you do so well in advance to allow you ample time to rack up some points before your trip. Be sure to also read the fine print so you’re fully aware of all the terms and conditions surrounding your credit-card and its accompanying rewards program.
Impulse purchases can be a fickle thing. Some days you just need a pick-me-up – for the shopaholic that might mean a new belt, and for party people that might be an extra drink at the bar. Although it can be argued that life is just a big string of impulse buying, there are actually ways that you can cut down on excess spending without denying yourself some retail therapy when you may need it the most.
In fact, if you know your weaknesses when it comes to impulse purchasing, you can work out a thrifty alternative. That might mean buying that belt secondhand, or holding pre-drinks parties before going out. You don’t need to suffer to save. Noticing where you spend your money and where you’d like it to go is all that’s necessary. And you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how nicely your savings begin to add up by making this tiny change.
Finally, there are guides, and apps, and communities that’ll help you learn to save, so don’t feel like you need to figure out your financial management without using any reference points. If you want to compare credit-cards and airline point bonuses, there are sites and forums for that too.
There are even websites where you can compare your insurance rates, your gas and other utility service providers, and even your grocery shopping habits.Wherever you’ve found a fault in your finances or a point of potential improvement, then it’s highly likely that someone else has found it too and they’ve made plans for it themselves. All you have to do is study their methods wherever you can find them and implement these savvy saving habits into your own life.
All in all, switching to money saving mode doesn’t mean eating beans and canned fruit all day long. And once your budget is built, and your plans are in place, there’s not a lot of work left to do except stick to the plan you’ve laid out. Many experts suggest using a low 1% of your annual income on holidays keeps them easily manageable, and almost unnoticeable – but that’s not a hard and fast rule either.
If you want to spend way more on your holidays you can. The “50 30 20” rule recommends spending 50% on your basic needs (i.e. rent, bills, food, etc.), 30% on your wants, and 20% goes towards your savings (your long-term savings, that is). So if all you want is a little time skiing in Switzerland, you can spend a juicy 10% or more! Finding the right balance for your next holiday budget is really entirely up to you. Incorporating these steps to help you save up for your next holiday will put you on the path to turning your vacation dreams into a budget-friendly reality.
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