For those of you who do not know me I have a
obsessive, controlling, "A type" personality. I love to plan things, sometimes years in advance! The thing that I love to plan the most? Vacation getaways!
I think it is really important for each person to get away once in a while. It doesn't always have to be an extravagant vacation but just getting around from your normal routine can really "de-stress" you.
There are so many different kind of vacations you can take.
- Day trips
- Weekend trips
- Extravagant trips
The list can go on and on but there is one factor that does play a role in any type of getaway....MONEY!
As easy as it is to charge your vacation and pay for it later, there can be more satisfaction in knowing that once your vacation is over you don't have that debt hanging over your head!
Here are some things that Ryan and I do in order to save up enough money for our trips, big or small:
1. Every week Ryan and I EACH take $20.00 out of our bank accounts and put it in a small plastic baggie designated for vacation fund. After doing so for a year we save over $2000.00 in cash for a trip.
2. Change jar! We have a change jar in the shape of a frog that we call our "Vacation Froggie". Yes, we can be dorks. Every time we find change or have some extra change it goes in that frog! When it gets full we roll it all and to the bank it goes for cash! The last time we rolled our money we had $240.00. If we roll our change 4 times a year we would have $960.00.
3. Thank you Air miles! I have been saving air mile points for as long as I can remember. This summer Ryan and I really wanted to go on a getaway during our holidays. However, with major house renovations we were not sure if we would be able to do so. After checking my air miles we discovered that we could get 2 nights free at a Hilton hotel and $50.00 worth of gift certificates for supper! We were so excited that now we can have a small trip to Gananoque without having to break the bank account.
4. Reduce, re-use and RECYCLE! I don't drink a lot of pop but Ryan loves his fuzzy drinks so why not get some money back for it? We always save our pop cans and once a bag is full you get $12.00 at the store. I know it doesn't seem like much but add that up as well as what you get on beer cases and there is some spending money for your vacation!
5. Get a deal! When considering going on a vacation consider the timing. Is it their peak season when it is more expensive? Try going on the "off" season when there are sales and reduced room rates. This does not have to be like that commercial where they are getting attacked by bugs because it is the off season althought that one still cracks me up! For example, right after Christmas, around New Years is considered "off season" for down south. You can find great deals, and seat sales for all inclusive resorts at this time.
6. Plan and budget. If your vacation is not to an "all inclusive" location then you have to find your own entertainment and eating facilities. You need to seriously consider the amount of money it is going to cost for food, tours, entertainment and shopping. Be realistic and don't UNDER budget your trip. Once you have this number then you can work towards it.
7. Consider your currency rates. If you plan on travelling somewhere that requires you to use a different currency then exchange when it is low and back away when it is high!
8. Let's face it ladies, if we are going away we want to add some special pieces to our wardrobe. This can be very costly! If you are going away somewhere warm in the winter it can be very difficult to find cute "summery" pieces in the winter! At the end of August/beginning of September you can walk right past those back-to-school rakes and right to the sale items where they have slashed the prices on some awesome summer clothes. Take inventory of what you have and what you will need for your trip at this time. No use buying something you won't wear.
9. For a day trip, pack a picnic. Picnics can be fun, romantic and a real money saver! If you are spending the day at the water park pack all your drinks and food. If you are expecting a long drive then bring your own snacks so that you don't even have to go into a convenience store. Ryan and I have been able to really enjoy some beautiful parks when enjoying our our packed lunches. It gives us some peaceful time to unwind without the hustle and bustle of a busy restaurant.
10. Lastly, be creative and do your research. Sometimes the best ways to unwind are right around where you live. A trip to the museum, local beach, airline seat sales, camping, hikes, last minute deals, road trips, local attractions, the list can go on and on. A little bit of research can go a long way. You might be able to find cheaper loop holes and local events that you might be interested in.
Happy Vacationing! 23 days until mine starts! Woo hoo!