5 Tips to Plan and Budget for Summer Travel
Summer is prime vacation season—and one not usually associated with the words “cheap" or “affordable." Kids are out of school, the weather is getting comfortable and travel providers have few incentives to offer discounts. A 2018 survey by Bankrate found that nearly half of Americans weren't going to take a summer vacation, and nearly one in four couldn't afford to go away.
That's unfortunate, because you might well be able to afford summer travel, if you budget for your trip and can save money on the actual experience. Whether for a road trip, a long weekend getaway or a full-fledged vacation, saving money for something you thoroughly enjoy will excite and motivate you to stick to your plan.
These tips will help you get on the road:
Trim the Fat From Your Regular Budget
If you think it's too late to save for this summer's vacation, you might be surprised by how much you can trim from your budget in two to three months.
Start by cutting out the extras. Analyze your spending so when you find a service or subscription you don't need (or may not even know you have), you can cancel. In the meantime, start automating your budget to uncover even more waste. Applications like Clarity and Mint can help you track your expenses and identify savings opportunities.
Start a Vacation Savings Fund
The idea of setting up a separate account for your travel needs is based on a proven principle—it will discourage you from taking the money out. All you need is savings and checking accounts you can link together. Then set up a recurring transfer from your checking to your savings account, and sit back and watch your vacation fund grow.
Look for Destinations with Summer Savings
Europe and seasonal beach resorts in the U.S. typically cost more in summer, but places that are considered off-season will likely offer deals. Prime season for Mexico and some Caribbean and South American destinations, for example, is the winter. In summer, you can expect fewer crowds and cheaper packages.
Take a Road Trip Closer to Home
We often seek thrills overseas, but the U.S. boasts stunning landmarks, endless vistas, quaint towns and world-class cities that might be located right around the corner—or a short drive away. Road trip apps and web-based planners like Roadside America, TripSavvy and My Scenic Drives can help you create an itinerary and execute a wallet-friendly road trip tailored to your interests.
Book a Vacation Rental Instead of a Hotel
Vacation rentals from Airbnb, HomeAway, FlipKey and other sites can offer a better alternative to hotels even if you travel solo, but are especially cost-effective for families or groups. You can cook a few of your own meals and save on restaurant food, while getting to stretch out in more space than in a hotel. Plus, you might even be able to bring your pet, avoiding the cost of boarding or a pet sitter.
Whatever travel plans you may have, start budgeting now and building your itinerary, and soon you should be ready to take that much-needed break.
All content provided in this blog is supplied by Andy Shuman and is for informational purposes only. Barclays takes no position as to the views, and makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.