How to Save for Your Dream Vacation

We have all gotten lost in the thought of embarking on a dream vacation at some point in our lifetime. Some people are lucky enough to go on theirs regularly, while others need to save and plan ways to achieve this goal. If you have been dreaming of lounging on the sun-kissed sandy beaches of the Bahamas or visiting the cobbled streets of Italy, you can successfully fund this dream with a little guidance.

Photo Credit: Day2505/Shutterstock.

Step 1: How much do you save? Understanding the numbers

The first thing to think about is how much to save. Doing the homework and punching the numbers should be your first task. As obvious as it sounds, you may be surprised at how many people play the guessing game here and skip this crucial task. Two things to do here include:

  • Tip 1: Doing your research: knowing where your ideal location is helps for better research; however, if you are not sure and you just want to go on a beach holiday, doing the right research is key. This also includes looking into expenses such as flights, accommodation, leisure activities, gifts, and any other miscellaneous items or trips. 
  • Tip 2: Set a budget: Making a realistic budget can help take the stress out of your trip. Think of the big and small things mentioned in this article about planning your travel budget, on the Wild Junket website. Consider expenses that aren’t always obvious, such as visas, travel insurance, or any vaccinations needed. Make sure your budget aligns with your personal preferences and lifestyle, and also add some extra to the side. 

Step 2: Dissecting your savings plan

Now that you have a brief idea of how much money you will need for your trip, you are one step closer to achieving your dream. A few tips on how to create your savings plan include:

  • Tip 1: Planning ahead: Starting to save early is a good idea. These could be the dates when you want to travel, so you can start saving weeks or months in advance.
  • Tip 2: Open an account: If you don’t already have a savings account dedicated to holidays, perhaps now is the perfect time for you to do this. Find out which one is the best option and will help give you more bang for your buck.
  • Tip 3: Set up an automatic transfer: If you do tip 3, then setting up an automatic direct debit for your savings to go into your savings account every month means you won’t forget to do it yourself. Think of it as a bill to be paid.

Step 3: Reduce your expenses and increase your savings

To help you save faster, consider limiting your expenses for the next few months so you can save more towards your dream vacation. Here’s how:

  • Tip 1: Cut out excess items: Reassessing your expenses may surprise you; you may find ways to cut unnecessary costs and find areas where you can limit your spending. Things like entertainment, eating out, or your subscriptions could be something to think about.
  • Tip 2: extra income: if you do have enough time set aside to save, perhaps taking on a second income could be beneficial. A part-time or freelancing job could add some extra money to your savings. You could sell items you no longer use or need.
  • Tip 3: Rewards and coupons/cash-back: Take advantage of cash-back options or rewards you may have gained over the years. Some credit card providers offer cashback, which can help you make purchases instead of using your savings. 

Step 4: Finding discounts and offers/deals

Smart travelers often know that finding early bird deals and discounts in advance can help them save tons on their holidays. Tips on how to do this:

  • Tip 1: Bookings: often flights and hotels have their ‘early-bird’ deals that they offer travelers and can be much cheaper than last-minute bookings. Take advantage of this and book ahead of time. Always keep a lookout for sales as well.
  • Tip 2: Flexibility is key: If you can be flexible with your travel dates, it’s highly recommended. This is mainly because most times you will find tickets during the week cheaper than weekend tickets. 
  • Tip 3: Compare prices: Tons of websites and apps can help you compare the prices of different things, from flight comparison websites to accommodation and car rentals, such as Skyscanner, Kayak, Money Saving Expert, and more.