For many families, a summer vacation is a yearly tradition that children and parents look forward to throughout the year. It is a time when members of the family grow closer to one another, relationships are strengthened, and memories are made. The only downside to a family vacation is the cost. If you are concerned with how you will afford this year’s summer vacation, consider each of these five ideas to finance your trip.
Make Financial Sacrifices
If your biggest savings goal is an upcoming summer vacation, then sit down with your family and your budget and decide together how you can make some sacrifices over the next few months in order to afford the vacation. Set aside nonnegotiable expenses like rent, utilities, and groceries and then see how much is spent each week on meals eaten in restaurants, shopping, or trips to the movies. Ask each member of the family to make a sacrifice, whether that is no longer ordering pizza on Sunday nights or skipping the morning latte at the coffee shop. The amount you save from these sacrifices just might help you finance the entire summer vacation.
Automatic Monthly Transfers
If you find it difficult to set aside money each month for your vacation, consider opening up a separate bank account just to save for the trip. Set up an automatic monthly transfer of $100 or whatever amount will help you to reach your goal. Create this account six months before your trip or have it in place throughout the year–that way you are always saving for the following year’s trip.
Consider a Loan
If you are simply unable to save up enough for a family trip but it is very important to you to have these memories with your loved ones, then consider taking out a loan to cover the cost of the vacation. There are several different loan options available, so be sure to carefully consider each before making up your mind. Payday loans are often the fastest and easiest option, but they come with high interest rates and fees. Try to avoid using home equity when taking out a loan, as that could potentially put your home in jeopardy down the road.
Use Credit Card Points and Rewards
A few months before your trip, consider which of your credit cards gives the best reward points, cash back bonuses, or any other rewards that might come in handy as a way to finance your trip. Try to use just one credit card over that period in order to consolidate points onto one card. Some credit cards even offer airline points, a great way to get flights to your vacation destination. If you get cash back for using your credit card, set aside all of the money earned and put it in a vacation savings fund to finance your trip.
Contribute as a Family
One way to set aside money for your family’s summer vacation is to ask everyone in the family to make small contributions each week to a communal fund. Adults should make significant contributions by reducing their spending, but children can also learn more about saving by contributing 10-25% of their weekly allowance as well.
Each of these five ways to finance your summer vacation can help you to afford the perfect family trip this year.