Simple steps to maximize the fun and help minimize the financial stress.
Vacation time seems a long way off until suddenly it arrives—and that’s when prices can be the highest and the trip becomes painfully expensive. By planning ahead and using smart online tools, you can save up and cut costs. And that makes the whole trip a lot more enjoyable.
- Check your time frame. The key is to start saving early: Eight to 12 months ahead is good. Now you can breathe. If it’s too late, have fun nearer to home this year and start planning now for the big trip next year.
- Set a budget. Talk to your travel companion or —if it's a family vacation—your kids about the things they like most on vacation. Figure out how much these things cost and work from there. Divide by time ’til lift-off. $5,000 sounds like a lot, but it’s $96 per week over a year.
- Use travel-buying hacks to get your budget where you need it to be—price alerts, hotel aggregators, regional airports, off-site car rentals and lots more. We’ve collected some great ones in this tip sheet.
- With that budget as a goal, find ways to save money across your everyday life. We gathered apps and other money-saving family strategies in this short article.
- Check out our online tools like Savings Goal Getter to track your progress toward the big trip.