Planning a fun-fueled vacation for your entire family can be exciting. However, it can also bring on some stress if you’re the one planning a vacation and making all the arrangements. In addition to accommodating everyone’s wants/needs, you need to also consider what your budget will be, a timeline, and an itinerary.
January 26th is National Plan a Vacation Day, which is intended to encourage families to start planning their vacations earlier in the year! In 2020, plans changed time and time again due to the ongoing pandemic. While families should still be flexible with their intended 2021 vacation plans, many are thinking ahead and are getting started planning some family fun now.
Beginning the vacation budget and planning process early will allow you to think ahead and create a vacation that’s best for your family and your bank account. To help you get started, we have highlighted some practical steps you can take to make sure you have a relaxing and fun vacation on a budget, without breaking the bank!
Think About Your Budget First
It’s no secret that vacations often end up being more expensive than anticipated. When you take into consideration transportation, hotel stays, activities and meals - all of these things can add up quickly, and many people are surprised when they go way over their intended budget.
However, when you determine a budget upfront, you can head into your vacation with confidence and ease, as you won’t worry about spending too much money. To get started on your budget, first determine how much of your savings you’re willing to spend and how much money you will need to save up for this vacation. Taking into consideration your monthly bills and expenses, and how much you have left over at the end of the month, find a savings goal that you’re comfortable with.
We know that setting a budget for vacation can be difficult to determine. However, remember that everyone’s budget will look different. With 2020 being as stressful as it was, 2021 may be a year to stay local or to do something that is closer to home, alleviating some financial stress while also taking time to relax. It can be tempting to spend an exorbitant amount of money on these occasions, but remember that you want to enjoy your vacation without putting more financial strain on your everyday life.
Finding the Best Places to Travel in 2021
Once you have your vacation and travel budget nailed down, begin researching the best location for your vacation. While there are many COVID-19 restrictions in place, families have still been able to find creative ways to go on family vacation and spend quality time with loved ones. To avoid being in airports while traveling in 2021, many families opt for road trips or chose to adventure more locally. Wherever you decide to go, keep your vacation budget in mind. If a travel location is a little outside of your intended budget, it may be something to set aside and revisit for next year.
How to Start Saving For a Vacation
We know, it’s only January! You may have plenty of time to save, but starting the process early and saving for a vacation is crucial in making sure you hit your goals. A great way to do this would be to map out how much you would need to save every month leading up to your vacation, so you know whether you are on track or not. For example, if your vacation time is in May, and your set budget is $1,000, you have roughly three months to save that $1,000. This means, in order to meet your goal, you would have to save about $334 dollars every month for the next three months.
Knowing your goal and making sure you’re staying on track will help you in the long run, and will certainly set you up to have a fun and stress-free vacation.
Find Vacation Packages & Deals for Activities
One way to cut costs is to be on the lookout for deals, such as all-inclusive vacation packages. There are many websites that offer discounted prices for activities in vacation areas. You may even find greater discounts in the off season! While it may be difficult to pinpoint your exact itinerary, shopping around for deals is an awesome way to save money and still have fun.
At Blackhawk Bank, we know that planning ahead and budgeting for the future can be a tedious and stressful process. However, we are here to help you. Whether you are saving for vacation or a long-term goal, we want to make sure you are set up for success. Are you ready to learn more about how Blackhawk Bank can help you reach your financial goals? Contact us today!
AVP Senior Marketing Specialist