Budgeting for the True Cost of Vacation

Vacations can be easy to overspend on. While most people have an idea of what a vacation will cost before they leave, there are always extra expenses that come up. Maybe you eat out more than you budgeted for, or maybe a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arises. Vacations rarely cost less than what you expect them to.

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Because of this, it’s important to spend some time figuring out how much a vacation will cost. Here are some things to consider:

Travel – most travel costs are relatively fixed and you know what they will cost ahead of time. If you are flying, you will have already purchased your tickets ahead of time. However, be sure to include the cost of transportation to the airport, baggage fees and food while travelling. While you might have an idea of what travel will cost, there will be several costs accrued while you are actually traveling.

Lodging – this is another major cost that you will know ahead of time. However, you need to make sure there are not additional fees tacked on that aren’t included in the hotel rate. A common fee being charged these days is a ‘resort fee.’ Traditionally, these were only charged if a hotel has amenities you wanted to use like a gym, pool, etc. However, many hotels are making these fees mandatory, but don’t include them in the cost of the room. Depending on the number of nights you are staying, this could significantly increase the cost of your stay.

Transportation – once you get to your location, whether you are driving, flying or taking another form of transportation, you will need some kind of transportation when you get there. Often, this is a rental car. If you are renting a car, be sure to take gas into consideration. If you aren’t renting a car, budget money for public transportation or taxis. These can add up quickly.

Food – Budgeting for food can be tricky. It’s difficult to know how much each meal is going to cost. However, if you set a daily maximum you are willing to spend, you can make decisions on your food accordingly. Additionally, purchasing food from a grocery store for some meals can save you quite a bit of money. Be sure to look up ahead of time a few restaurants you are planning to visit to get an idea of how much a meal will cost. This can give you an idea for the price of food in the area you are visiting. If you know people where you are going, asking them can help as well.

Activities – no good vacation is complete without a few activities. Whether it’s some kind of an adventure, site seeing, shopping or whatever else comes up, these activities are often the most memorable part of your vacation. Be sure to set aside money for this and budget accordingly.

Once you have added up the true cost of your vacation, add 10%. That is going to be a good estimate for the cost of your vacation. This will help ensure you have enough money, even if you spend a little more than you thought.

Figuring out an accurate cost of your vacation will help you save enough money for your vacation. This will help you avoid going into debt on your vacation and can eliminate the stress associated with overspending.

If you are interested in learning how we can help you set up a savings account for your vacation, please give us a call at 800-835-3400 or stop by one of our branches. We are here to help you on your financial journey!