Presented by EMILY PROMISE CFP®, AIF®, APMA®, CRPC®
Most of us are dealing with frigid temperatures, snow and ice but are probably dreaming of white sandy beaches, sunshine and perhaps a fruity drink with an umbrella in it. It definitely is a great time to begin to plan for vacation! Here are some simple ways you can prepare for that getaway to ensure you enjoy it to the fullest when the time comes.
Begin by estimating your costs
To begin planning your vacation, you will need to research your desired destination. This will give you a better understanding of how much the trip will cost. Take everything into account including identifying the average hotel rate. Factor in transportation costs and determine how much you will spend on food and entertainment. Do not forget to budget in a little extra for emergencies, such as a flat tire or parking charges. Once you gather all your costs, you will see just how much you will need to go on vacation.
Create a realistic budget
Vacations are meant to be fun and relaxing, so do not go into debt going on one. Create a realistic budget that everyone can agree upon. Identify where you can cut costs. Maybe for lunch one day you pack sandwiches for your family instead of eating at a local café or chose to self-park instead of valet. Identifying where you can free up money will help keep costs down and will allow you to enjoy yourself during the trip and when you get back home!
Open a vacation savings account
Opening a separate savings account dedicated to vacations is a great opportunity to put money away for that special trip. Each week deposit a decided amount and do not pull the money out until the time comes to take that vacation. Fifty to one hundred dollars a week will build up in no time and you will end up with a nice chuck of change to vacation with. Though it may not be enough to cover the entire cost of your vacation, it will certainly help with your budget.
Identify expenses that drain your pocket now
Do you really need that $5 cup of coffee every morning before work? Buy the same brand of coffee and make it at home. Try cutting back on unnecessary expenses and we promise you will not miss them. Take those dollars you save and put them in your vacation account. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much your vacation budget grows once you cut out those unnecessary purchases.
Do some extra planning ahead of time
Before arriving at your vacation spot, plan your stay. Is there a tourist spot that you would like to visit? Or a well-known restaurant that you are dying to try? Look up coupons for that area on-line or call the local travel center to see if they have any discount deals available. This will prepare you ahead of the trip and save you a couple of dollars in the process.
There is always a ‘Staycation’ Option
Of course, if money is tight, or you prefer the comfort of your own bed, you do not have to travel anywhere to relax. Plan a ‘staycation’. Turn off your phone and become a tourist in your own town. Visit museums. Go to local parks. Pack a picnic lunch and a blanket and go out into your backyard for a fun dinner under the stars. Get creative and you might even enjoy being able to just relax at home without worrying about a budget.
No matter where you might go for your getaway, remember that budgeting is always a good idea and planning ahead takes the stress out of travel.
Stay warm this winter while enjoying planning for your upcoming vacation and always remember to consult with your financial advisor to work towards your travel dreams and goals as well as your financial future.
Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM to see what other expert advice we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.