Need a Vacation? 5 Tips on How to Save Money for a Dream Family Vacation!
Vacations are created to relieve stress or for relaxing and family fun, but it’s difficult to relax and enjoy a trip when you’re always stressing about how to pay for it. Therefore, 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.
International travel is so expensive, and not to mention the hotel rates, but the most costly part of any trip is the flight, so I start looking for the cheapest one to be found.
A vacation itself can be a big financial drain on any 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: To start the first thing we did as a family was mutually agree to cut back on our expenses for seven months. This was the beginning stage so we all could afford the trip, then be able to take a break from it all, see another part of the world and enjoy time together as a family.
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 a basic cell phone line.
I open a Vacation Savings Account: Most of Us doesn't have a budget for vacations, but the entire family was serious about their effort to save and fund our trip directly. Primary we all understood when you take the time to budget and save, it makes your lifestyle a lot easier, so, we set up a budget and open up a vacation saving account. Not to mention cutting back on unnecessary expenses helps to figure out how much money can be really saved each month.
Therefore, each week I would deposit the money we saved by eliminating family weekend activities, cut back on groceries cost and other saving methods. For seven months I collected the money I saved from downgrading TV cable and cell phone plans, reduction in the 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 saved each week and monthly.
Everybody added all 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 for airfare with different airline websites. Booking tickets in advance and buying directly from the airline can eliminate transaction fees charged by third party sites.
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
- Utility 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 least $750 per month. It depends on how we changed our lifestyle; we might be able to save a little more.
Changing 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 cost. I begin planning by not purchasing expensive grocery and start keeping up with sales and also begin buying some generic products. I only purchase clothing the family needs during our saving expenses.
I stopped active clothes shopping. I used to buy a dress or some type of cute outfit for myself at least twice a month. Now I only purchase what needed or when a clothing item needs an upgrade.
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 least 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 costs. Figure out the necessary amount 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 suggest they 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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© 2016 Pam Morris