How to Start a Vacation Fund and Save Money

Traveling can be expensive, especially when you have a large family. For most, traveling is also improbable unless the details are carefully planned well in advance. If you want to enjoy a family vacation in the coming months, it’s important that you start a vacation savings fund now, and find ways to save along the way.

Establish a Dedicated Savings Account

The first step is to establish a dedicated savings account that’s specifically reserved for vacation funds. This targeted-savings account should stand alone, so that it’s not easily spent on other things throughout the year. It’s also important to schedule automatic transfers so that money is effortlessly sent to the account each week or month. By making it automatic, you’ll be less likely to “forget” about the transfer.

5 Ways to Find Travel Deals and Save

Once you have your savings account established, there are two goals. First, you want to find travel deals that allow you to reduce the vacation’s overall cost. Second, you want to save money throughout the year by cutting expenses and transferring the difference into your dedicated vacation fund. Here are some specific tips for accomplishing each of these goals.


  • Stop eating out. The average American family spends somewhere around $225 per month eating out at restaurants. This includes dinners, quick snacks, coffee, and everything else. In just four months, that’s $1,000. Can you stop eating out for a few months and instead buy all of your meals and snacks from the supermarket? If so, you’ve just given your vacation fund a huge boost.


  • Round up your bills. When it comes to saving money, some families need more structure than others. One good way to ensure you’re saving money each month is to round up your bills and save the extra. For example, if your water bill comes in at $36, go ahead and round it up to $50 and stash the extra $14 in your vacation fund. If your mortgage is $967 per month, act like it’s $1,000 and save the additional $33. Over the course of a few months, you can put away a few hundred extra dollars.


  • Search for off-peak destinations. The best way to secure a cheap vacation is by traveling to destinations during their off-peak season. Not only can this save you money on flights, accommodations, and even food, but it also means you don’t have to fight the massive crowds that are often present during the busy tourist season.


  • Be willing to schedule last-minute. When you’re looking for an affordable travel deal, you may have to be a little more flexible than normal. This could mean narrowing your list of potential destinations down to two or three places and then waiting until the right deal comes along for one of them. If you have a large family, you probably don’t want to wait to schedule last-minute flights, but this can be a cost-effective strategy if you’re a flexible couple with relatively few constraints.


  • Sacrifice now, enjoy later. Sometimes you have to sacrifice comforts and luxuries in the present to enjoy a great vacation in the future. This could mean eliminating superfluous expenses like going to the movies on the weekends or ordering a $5 coffee each morning on the way to work. Think about all of the things you spend your money on and consider cheaper alternatives. The solutions to the two examples mentioned above would include renting Redbox movies and brewing your own coffee at home.


The moral of the story is that every dollar quite literally adds up. Over the course of a few months, you may be surprised to discover how simple it is to save a few hundred or thousand dollars for a nice vacation. Use these tips to get started – and don’t be afraid to get creative!


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