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5 Tips on How I Saved Money for an International Dream Family Vacation

Updated on July 14, 2017
Pam Morris profile image

Writing is my passion. I have an undying thirst and quest in the field of writing.Some eat, smoke, drink or use drugs when stress, I write.

When my family and I decide that we want to take an international trip, we immediately begin saving for at least seven months in advance. Because international travel is so expensive, and not to mention the increasing airline flight charges, a vacation itself can be a significant drain on a family finances. We thus came up with different ways to save enough money for the trip in advance. Here are five ways I made a substantial amount of savings for an international trip.

Sacrifice Now, Have Lot of Fun Later

The first thing we did mutually agree to cut back on our expenses for seven months so we could afford the trip and be able to have fun on the trip. This meant no eating out, no family weekend time, and no plan to do different things every weekend.

The family sacrificed on several things - like no sweets or junk food, making grocery bills cheaper; no unnecessary travel to save on gas expense; downgrade cable station channels like HBO, Cinemax, etc.; lower the cell phone plans to just a basic cell phone line.

Open a Vacation Savings Account

The entire family was serious about their effort to save and fund our trip directly, so we set up a vacation saving account. Each week I would deposit the money we saved by eliminating family weekend activities, cut down on groceries and other saving methods. For seven months I collected the money I saved from downgrading TV cable and cell phone plans, cut down in children’s allowance and the individual activities which my children gave up. I even wrote up a family vacation saving account plan on an excel spreadsheet to keep up with the total amount save each week and monthly.

Everyone should collect loose change in the trusty big change jar

Any loose change found or left over from purchases was placed in a big jar kept in a special place for the family trip savings. Each time the jar got filled before vacation time, I would empty it and take the amount to my bank to deposit it in the vacation savings account. I avoid the supermarket change machines; it takes a significant amount of your funds.
I set a budget and checked airlines websites

I sat down and put in place a one-year budget to know how much income was coming in and how much was going out. Then I began shopping airfare with different airline websites. Booking tickets in advance and buying directly from the airline can eliminate transaction fees charged by third party sites.

Monthly Expense

Since the entire family was serious about saving. To make sure we had enough money to enjoy our trip without having to spend over the money we plan to spend. I figured out our essential expenses. They were as follows:

  • Rent: $ 750
  • Utilities expense: $100 to 150 month
  • Monthly gas expenses: $50
  • Cable expense: $70
  • Monthly Food expense: $300
  • Family monthly social expense: $350
  • House & clothing expenses: $250
  • Total: $1,920

Since we have managed to watch our expenses, we saved at lease $750 per month. It depends on how we changed our lifestyle; we might be able to save a little more.

Changing My & the Family Lifestyle

I took a look at my spending and the family spending habit and knew that I had to cut back on several of our expenses. Cutting back when we were used to doing unexpected things on a regular was a big challenge like eat out and family night out, but we were committed, and we did cut our expenses.

Sudden cut back broke my heart like giving up my facial, manicure and pedicure. This was one of the time I felt pampered— I found something that made me feel attractive, an elegant women’s parlor with lots of inspiring women. It was hard to let go, but I did.

I even budget my grocery and clothing shopping. I begin planning by not purchasing expensive grocery and start keeping up with sales and even begin buying some generic products. I only buy clothing the family need during our saving expenses.
I stopped clothes shopping. I used to buy a dress or some type of cute outfit for myself at least twice a month.

I changed how the family ate weekly. Instead of taking the family out for dinner sudden night, I planned our weekly meals and cooked at home.

Moreover, most significantly, the entire family decided to give up everything from a family night out, social activities, school activities, it all ended. It made sense to everybody financially, and it was a huge sacrifice, considering that my family enjoyed doing things together, and the children love school activities, but we were all committed to saving.

Tips for Saving Money for an International family vacation

To plan a family vacation, the yearly incomes do not have to be $80,000 a year to afford and enjoy the trip. The most important thing any family can do when planning a family trip is to plan ahead and sacrifice to save.

It best to start planning and savings at lease six months in advance for the travel expenses. Make sure you are serious and do not touch it until you ready to travel.
Know your monthly expenses and cut back on all the unnecessary expenses. Figure out the necessary expenses you need to live and spend only for it. Make sure you save enough to enjoy the trip without making life unbearable to live when you return.

Saving money for a family vacation is a big challenge with the cost of living being so expensive. The family sacrificed a lot for seven months. Nonetheless, we made up for our sacrifices by enjoying a vacation that was like a dream come true.

After having the best time on my international trip, I would recommend every family to visit another country if they can afford to. I also recommend they do research as I did to find out the best rates and also follow my different ways of saving money. This way when you decide to visit another country, you will have memories, as I have, that will last for many years to come.

You will also be able to afford a visit to another country if you follow my saving tips because the vacation savings account and sacrifices brought us fifteen hundred and seventy-five dollars. Let me share a small piece of advice - if a family can save at least $1.37 in one day; it only takes $1.37 a day to get to $500 in a year’s time. With a proper budget, planning and determination just imagine how much a family can save for a fantabulous trip abroad.

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    • Pam Morris profile image

      Pam Morris 19 months ago from Atlanta Georgia

      Thank you so much for your reply and compliment. It was very hard at first, cutting back on luxury things that were a pleasure for the family. However, we were committed and chose to cut back. I guess that how we were able to cut back. Yes, you are so right the end result was so worth while we had a dream vacation so many laughable moments as we explore new adventures that gave us memories that will last a lifetime.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 19 months ago from USA

      International travel is a wonderful learning experience for children as well as a fantastic family adventure. Your tips on saving are excellent, and those savings certainly add up to a lot over the course of a year. They can be applied by anyone who wants to save for something special, or just cut back on expenses. You did a great job of getting your family on board for this saving spree, and I'm sure that the rewards of the international travel adventure was well worth it.

    • Pam Morris profile image

      Pam Morris 19 months ago from Atlanta Georgia

      Thank you for your reply and compliment. You are so welcome; it was my pleasure to share. I am euphoric it helps you; I hope it helps others.

    • CTDASRIGH profile image

      CHRIS THOMPSON 19 months ago from MOBILE, ALABAMA

      Great tips here! I've learned something with this hub. Thanks for sharing a wonderful information :)