How to Budget an Economic Vacation Trip


A vacation needs to start long before the family packs their suitcases. Your monthly budget needs to include your yearly vacation. Saving money all year makes vacation time easier than waiting until the last minute.

Using a credit card on vacation is fine, even good, if you have the money to pay the bill in full when it comes in. Reward cards can be an excellent source for discounts. They can range from a free magazine, to a free hotel night, to cash. Take advantage of these offers only if you are financially responsible enough to pay the bill afterwards.

Another option is the promotional free interest credit cards. It is possible to take a vacation and pay on it monthly when you return, without paying any interest. The only way this option can work for you is to pay it off in the allotted time, or preferably early.

Always treat a credit card like cash. When you take a vacation, primarily using a credit card, it is easy to whip that card out. You cannot lose sight of the fact that you have to pay it back. If you think of your credit card as cash, you will find yourself passing on luxuries and useless items you cannot afford.

Other types of cards are widely used in the travel industry today. Airlines and hotels market their own promotional loyalty cards. Research these offers carefully. Most offers are free, but a few of them charge a yearly fee. Memberships that require a yearly fee may cost you more than you gain. Explore the initial sign up bonus that the cards offer. Bonuses and redemption rules vary with each card. Although other options exist, the most popular are free nights, airplane flights, cash, and the option of applying it toward your existing credit card balance.

If you have more time on vacation than money, consider looking at a time-share proposal. Time-share companies target tourist destinations to market their time-shares. Drink some coffee or a soft drink, have one of the free snacks, look at their condominiums, and listen to their sales pitch. Then walk out the door with some free nights lodging, entertainment tickets, or cash. Be warned though; if you tend to cave in to high-pressure sales tactics, do not try this method as a way to save money. Repeat; do not go. If you walk out with a monthly payment on a time-share, your rewards are not exactly free.

Utilize all the coupons and free offers available in the vacation area. Almost every age group is a potential target, so there is usually some chance to save money. Restaurants are probably the principal users of this promotional system of marketing. The offers vary and at times, it may mean eating a little earlier, or a little later, but the savings can be substantial. Take advantage of the buy one get one free offers. The largest group of restaurant offers is kids and seniors.

On top of these money saving offers, if you drink water with your meal, you will see your food expense cut drastically. The days are gone when drinks in a restaurant are virtually free. Restaurants realize that the majority of people know the price of their meal, but almost never look at the cost of the beverage. How many people notice that a dollar taken off an entrée has mysteriously appeared on the cost of a beverage?

Do not buy snacks and drinks at convenience stores. If you purchase these items every time you stop for gas, you will be astounded at how much money it costs. Take your own snacks and keep an ice chest in the trunk for beverages. You will reduce the amount spent on these items by at least half, if not more.

This post was written by

jason – who has written posts on Budget Clowns.
Father of three and married to a lovely women. Always looking for ways to save money, and invest it properly for my children's future.

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