There are things people can do on a daily basis to help them relax. They can meditate, they can get enough sleep, and they can ensure they get the right amount of exercise, but for most people, nothing is better than a vacation. Vacation allows people to go to a different environment where they are not reminded about the stressors they face in their day to day life.
Francine Lederer a clinical psychologist says that people should go on vacations to ensure they are able to put their lives in perspective. Often, when people come home from a vacation, they find they are more motivated to accomplish a goal than they were before they left and they find that what seemed to be a heavy weight before they went is nothing worth worrying about.
Once people understand that taking time off from their normal lives is beneficial, no matter how much they love their job and their home, the next issue is how to save for the vacation prior to going. It can be very difficult to save money for something that may be months, or even a couple of years in the future.
Here are five ways to save money for a vacation that don’t require you to spend too much time and effort.
- Decide how much money you need to go on the vacation, decide when you want to go, and have a set amount of money deposited into a special savings account every paycheck so you will have enough money saved in time for the trip.
According to American Express, the average cost for a vacation is $1,145 per person. The person saving for a vacation needs to keep in mind that if $1,100 is the average, half the people spent more on their vacationn. The goal should be to save enough money without having to touch real savings or other funds.
- Choose things to cut out of your regular budget for a few months. Take your lunch to work. Don’t eat out for a few months. Consider cutting premium channels off the cable or satellite packages. Most families don’t spend a great deal of time playing board games, but when they do they have a blast so these can be a great way to spend the extra time at home. Take that time you would have been out of the house dropping from $60-$80 for a family of four to eat at a descent restaurant, have a frozen pizza and play Monopoly. Your family probably won’t even think of it as a sacrifice.
- Check the interest rates on all credit cards. Many families have had the same credit cards for 10 or more years. Ten years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for the interest rate to be 12% for people with good credit ratings. Credit card companies are not likely to contact people when they lower their rates. New customers get to take advantage of those rates, but often, people who have been customers for a while do not realize they have an opportunity to decrease the money they spend on credit card payments. Paying less in interest can allow the card holder to pay more in principle, thus they can pay off other debt faster. Not only is this financially intelligent, it can also decrease stress by getting bills paid off faster.
- If you’re flying sign up for email and text alerts when they offer sales. You will need to know when you will be leaving for vacation, but if you do, you can find out when tickets are cheapest to save money of flying. Sometimes there are also coupons available that save a lot of money, and there are cash back offers for some gas credit cards that can make a trip easier to afford. Credit card points can often also save money on many of the things you purchase on the trip; food and other items. If you know you’re going spend more money than normal while on vacation, why not get some of that back through reward points?
- If you can, go on vacation during the off season. Some activities you will want to do while you’re gone can be as much as 30% cheaper during the off season. It is not uncommon to find 20% rebates for going to places off season. That is not always possible to do during school if your kids are of age, but it can save a lot of money if it is possible.
Saving for a vacation makes a lot of sense. It isn’t wise to use credit cards or otherwise borrow money for something that when the time comes to pay for will have already been in the past. Put your eye on the prize a few months and check out Royal Holiday to see how we can help you have a great time.