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Smart Budgeting For Summer Vacations
A toy plane, passport, and jar full of money labeled “Travel” sitting on a map.

Summer is the perfect time to unwind and explore new places, but without careful planning and consideration, vacation expenses can quickly spiral out of control.

Budgeting and saving money for vacations allows you to ensure you can enjoy your getaway without financial stress, whether you’re dreaming of a luxurious beachside retreat or a budget-friendly weekend adventure.

While we can’t help you beat the heat, the associates at Landmark National Bank are here to assist you as you navigate the process of planning trips and other major expenses. This guide will provide helpful summer saving tips and ways to save money for vacation.

Start by Evaluating Your Financial Situation

Before you dive into vacation planning, take a close look at your personal financial situation. Assess your current savings, monthly expenses, and upcoming financial commitments, then determine how much you can realistically allocate to your vacation without jeopardizing your financial stability. Setting a clear budget from the beginning will help guide your planning and help you avoid overspending.

Plan Out Your Trips and Destinations

Once you have a budget set, start planning your trip. Consider the destinations you want to visit and the type of vacation that suits your budget. Premium beach resorts, weekend visits, and scenic road trips all require a different budget, so research potential costs like accommodations, transportation, food, and activities. Then, create a rough itinerary and cost estimate to see how it fits within your budget.

How to Find Travel Deals and Discounts

Finding the best travel deals is crucial for staying within your travel budget, as you can save a lot of cash by planning wisely. Here are some summer saving tips that can be extremely helpful:

  • Book in advance. Early bookings often come with significant discounts on flights, hotels, and activities.
  • Be flexible with dates. Traveling during non-peak times can result in lower prices for flights and accommodations and even shorter lines.
  • Use price comparison sites. Websites like Priceline, Kayak, and Expedia compare prices across multiple platforms to find the best deals.
  • Subscribe to deal alerts. Sign up for newsletters from airlines, hotels, and travel deal websites to get notified of flash sales and discounts.
  • Consider alternative airports and accommodations. Flying into smaller airports or staying in vacation rentals instead of hotels can be more affordable.

Maximize Travel Rewards Benefits

Travel rewards programs can help with saving money for a vacation, specifically when it comes to things like flights, hotel stays, and car rentals. If you frequently travel, consider signing up for a travel rewards credit card that offers points or miles for every dollar spent.

Additionally, loyalty programs from airlines and hotel chains can provide perks like free upgrades, early check-ins, and complimentary breakfasts. 

Man putting a coin into a pink piggy bank concept for savings and finance

Ways to Save Money for Vacations

Saving for vacation ahead of time can help ease the expenses that come with traveling. Consider setting aside a small portion of each paycheck to go toward your vacation fund. You can also identify unnecessary expenses that you can cut out to spare a few bucks as well.

If you’re looking to save up quickly, you can consider picking up a side hustle like DoorDash or selling unused items on Facebook Marketplace.

Plan a Road Trip

For budget-conscious travelers, road trips offer a flexible and cost-effective way to explore the country. Plan a route that includes affordable accommodations like campgrounds or budget motels, and pack your meals and snacks to avoid the high cost of dining out. National parks, small towns, and scenic byways often provide beautiful and inexpensive travel experiences.

Explore Nearby Cities and Parks

Travel doesn’t always mean going far from home! Exploring nearby cities, parks, and other attractions can be just as rewarding, and there are likely many hidden gems near you. Day trips, weekend getaways, or short stays can provide a refreshing break without extensive planning or expense, not to mention lower transportation costs.

Travel off the Beaten Path

Popular tourist destinations tend to be more expensive. Instead, consider less crowded, off-the-beaten-path locations. These places often offer unique experiences at a fraction of the cost.

Research emerging travel destinations or lesser-known spots in your part of the country, such as remote state parks or historical cities rich in culture. You’ll enjoy a more authentic experience—and save money at the same time. 

Tracking Your Expenses While Traveling

Maintaining a budget while on vacation is just as important as planning one. Track your expenses daily to ensure you stay within your limits–apps like Credit Karma and Rocket Money can help.

Keep receipts and note down every purchase, as this will help you be mindful of how much you’re spending while also helping you avoid fraud. By being mindful of your expenditures, you can enjoy your vacation stress-free. Your Landmark mobile banking app will track all of your debit card transactions as they happen, and allow you to take control of your travel plans.

Get Trusted Financial Advice From Landmark National Bank

Proper financial planning is as you’re saving for a vacation. Landmark National Bank offers personalized financial advice to help you manage your savings and spending effectively.

Whether you need assistance with setting up a vacation fund, choosing the right credit card, or handling your overall finances, our associates are to help.

Contact Landmark National Bank today or locate a branch near you to ensure your financial health is in check for your next adventure.

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