Are you planning on saving for a family vacation? Do you have a bucket list destination that you absolutely want to visit with your family? The first step in saving for a family vacation is to know approximately what the vacation will cost so that you can know how much to save. Figure out where you want to go, how much time you want to spend on vacation, when you are going to go, and what you’ll do, and then develop a plan to save.
Developing a Family Travel Budget
Once upon a time, when you booked or researched airfare, you could easily compare prices. That time is gone, and with many airlines now charging for bags and inflight services, you really do have to do a bit of analysis before deciding which flight is the cheapest. Hotels are also starting to charge additional fees, which can make budgeting difficult. You can still find the full rates – you just need to do a little additional work.
When booking or researching airfare, you should think about your optimal flight experience. Do you need an assigned seat? Some airlines charge for that “luxury”. Are you checking bags? Southwest allows you to check two bags for free. That can really save you a lot of money if you have lots of luggage. Some airlines also charge for exit row seats while others do not. When looking at hotels, look for additional fees like parking, resort fees, internet access, and fitness center charges. You should also make sure that the hotel cost and airfare includes taxes. For budget purposes, you just need a general idea of what the costs will be.
When creating your family vacation budget, don’t forget about other expenses. Be sure to includes pet care costs while you are away, transportation to and from the airport, rental cars, attractions and park tickets, and meals while on vacation.
Saving for Your Family Vacation
Once you know how much your family vacation will cost, just divide the cost by the number of months you have to save, and put that amount away in a separate account each month. Make sure you choose an account with limited risk, since it’s going to be a short-term account. Save consistently each month.
Booking Your Family Vacation
As you save more money and start to get closer to your vacation date, you’ll need to book your vacation. Now is the time to make sure you get the best rates, by looking at some travel deal sites and playing around with the dates of your trip. If prices have changed, you may need to make some adjustments, like cutting the amount of days you are traveling for. Once you are booked, finish saving, and enjoy your vacation! Read more of our family travel deal tips here.