This post is part of the M-Network group writing project on vacations.
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It's that time of year again. The kids are getting out of school, the weather is warm and it's time for the summer family vacation. If you haven't properly planned out your finances to cover the trip, you could find yourself accumulating additional debt. Taking your family on a vacation away from home can be expensive. You have travel expenses, lodging expenses, food and entertainment. If you plan on driving far from home, fuel costs could possibly be a big chunk of your vacation budget.
How can you make the family vacation easier on your wallet? Plan ahead and estimate how much your family trip will cost you. You can then save the funds in a special savings account. Keep this account separate from your other savings accounts and make sure the only funds you keep in this account are for your vacation. This way, you can easily tell how close you are to your target amount.
Once you decide on the when, where and how of your vacation; follow these 3 simple steps to make your vacation easy on your wallet.
1. Get the best price. Using websites like Expedia and Travelocity can help you save money by booking your flight, hotel and rental cars online thru their website. These travel sites also offer numerous package deals to help you save money.
2. Start Saving. If you haven't already saved for your vacation, you should start ASAP. If your vacation is going to cost you $3000 and you will take the vacation in 3 months, simple math tells you that you will need to save $1000 a month, if you haven't saved anything already, in order to have the funds you need to pay for your vacation in cash. If you can't afford to save $1000 a month, you may need to modify your plans to fit your budget.
3. Budget. If you've carefully planned out your vacation and have the funds saved to pay for your trip. Make sure you make and stick to a budget to be sure you don't spend more than you'd planned to spend. When you are planning how much to save, don't forget to add for unexpected expenses.
You've taken alot of time to arrange and plan your family vacation so be sure you enjoy it and make the best of the time you are spending with your family.