To many people, there is that one vacation each year that they so look forward to.
Whether it is going on that first-ever cruise, meeting up with family members for a long-awaited reunion or even just spending a few days with immediate family camping, that all-important vacation seems like it will never get here.
That said the biggest concern oftentimes is making sure one will have enough funds set aside to take that big trip.
With that being the case, how do you go about making sure that saving money for that special trip will not be an issue?
Practice Smart Financial Moves During the Year
In order to best position yourself so that you do not have to worry about finances before, during or after your big trip, remember these tips:
- Budget – First and foremost, budgeting during the year will go a long way in helping you accomplish your vacation goals. While today’s economy has certainly proved challenging for many consumers, you do not have to be the one who puts off a trip due to financial struggles. Set aside a little money each month in a vacation savings account. If you do not have the required funds to take that ideal vacation this year, consider doing a smaller trip then, allowing you to continue building for the big trip you want maybe next year;
- Planning – You can’t expect to take a big trip without doing any significant planning. Unlike one of those let’s just pick up our stuff and go out of town for the weekend getaways, major trips deserve major planning. For example, Brazil travel would involve making sure you have your passport and visa in place, looking into any shots you may require (especially if venturing into the countryside), and becoming somewhat up to speed on the local culture. Among the items you want to have a handle on would be the local language (Portuguese) and the currency (Brazilian real). Whether head to see Brazil’s nightlife in Rio or planning on hitting other South American hotspots, be a good planner;
- Preparation at home – If you are planning on being gone from home for a week or more, be sure to have your home ready to go too. This means making sure someone can watch the residence while you are away. One of the few downsides to being away for longer than a weekend is that you have to account for things such as caring for pets if necessary, taking in the mail, newspaper delivery, your lawn etc. if gone for a couple of weeks. Don’t leave things to chance, especially given the fact that home break-ins typically spike when people are away (summer months for example). Be sure to have a family member, friend, neighbor etc. care for your property while you are gone;
- Don’t advertise you are away – In today’s social media world, vacationers love to post comments and/or pictures of their getaways on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc. While this can be exciting, it can also be setting oneself up for potential trouble. More and more thieves are scanning social media, looking for that individual or family advertising they will be gone for a week or more. Be careful not to literally extend an open invitation to such criminals to come into your home. Wait until you have returned home from your trip to post about all the fun and excitement you had;
- Avoid breaking the bank – Finally, as much fun as you want to have with this well-deserved getaway, avoid breaking the bank in the process. One of the easy traps to fall into is getting out the plastic while on vacation. Before one knows it, they have a sizable credit card bill with which to deal with. As part of your planning for your trip, be sure to set aside some “entertainment” money along with costs for your airfare or cruise, hotel, rental car (if needed) etc. This will allow you to lessen the chances that you will accrue a sizable debt. The last thing you want when returning from a well-earned vacation is worrying about your financial situation.
So, have you been saving up enough money for that special trip?