Pack your bags – it's time for a vacation! As popular travel destinations re-open their doors to tourists, many people are looking forward to setting sail on cruise ships, exploring international sights and cultures, and even going on postponed honeymoons. But the reality of inflation could block some dreams of a long-awaited getaway. Like everything else, travel prices are higher than last year, making it more challenging to afford a change of scenery.
Instead of canceling plans, remove financial obstacles by following these three simple tips to save for your next vacation.
1. Search for travel discounts.
Lower the cost of your next vacation by reducing the price tag before you make your first reservation. Browse travel websites for low-cost airfare and hotel stays, and be sure to do some research through travel websites to uncover the best days and times to book travel, which can change each year.
Flexibility can also help you score deep discounts. If you're willing to adjust your schedule by traveling during your destination's shoulder season, you can take advantage of lower room rates. Hotels and resorts may also offer perks (e.g., free meals or on-site amenities) to fill guest rooms that would otherwise remain vacant. Speak with the front desk to learn about unadvertised specials.
2. Calculate the total cost.
When you know how much your vacation will cost, it's easier to plan the best way to save for your adventure. Divide the total cost by the number of months until your trip to determine how much you need to save each month. To reach your goal faster, consider earning some extra income with a side job or saving money by eliminating unnecessary expenses.
If it will take you years to save for the trip and you want to travel in the next few months, modify your trip expenses by reducing the number of days or cutting back on planned activities.
3. Set up an automatic savings transfer.
Make saving for your vacation a priority by setting it on autopilot. Schedule automatic transfers from your checking account to a designated SAFE Flexible Savings Account each payday or once a month. Treat the transfer like a household bill that must be paid. If you don't prioritize saving for your next vacation, you'll likely have little leftover each month to reach your savings goal.
There's no need to cancel vacation plans due to rising travel costs. Instead, give yourself time to save for the trip, and the only thing you'll need to worry about is whether you packed enough sunscreen.