Essential Budgeting Tips When Planning Your Vacation

If the thought of planning your vacation around your finances has you sweating more than Mark Zuckerberg during his testimony before Congress, you might assume a summer holiday is off the table. While limited funds will certainly change the way you vacation, they don’t necessarily mean you can’t take a trip. You can take your holidays without busting your budget when you plan with the following tips in mind.

Temper fantasy with reality

It’s easy to get carried away with the fantasy of your trip when you’re first starting to plan your vacation. Like imagining what it would be like to visit Sir Richard Branson’s personal island. What seems like harmless daydreaming about the “what ifs” can unintentionally ruin your vacation. Even if they’re fleeting thoughts about how the rich travel, you’re subconsciously comparing luxury travel plans to your budget ones. These ideas can sour the reality of your own trip, so keep your expectations firmly grounded in reality. Save your creative daydreams for how you can stretch a dollar abroad.

Budget carefully

When it comes to any goal involving money, a budget is an essential addition to your plans. It’s the only way you’ll know how much you can realistically afford to spend on your vacation without jeopardizing your future. It’s also a fantastic resource for those looking to uncover extra cash to fund their trip.

Until you make a budget, you may not realize you’ve been paying data roaming charges for the past five months on your cell phone bill. Or maybe it’s not until you’ve tracked every penny that you realize you spend a lot more on takeout coffee and lunches than you thought. Eliminate these unnecessary purchases and reroute the money into your travel fund.

A budget can also expose other problem areas in your finances. A budget that fails to set aside savings for an emergency fund is problematic at any time of the year not just around your vacation. An emergency fund helps your face unexpected bills and repairs.

Let’s say you come from your trip to find your basement has flooded and insurance won’t cover water removal. Would you know how to pay for these repairs if you didn’t have savings? If the answer is “no”, then it’s time you research how personal loans and lines of credit can work in your favor.

While retail banks are a popular choice for assistance, they don’t always offer help that fits your urgent schedule. A flooded basement needs immediate care, which only online lenders like MoneyKey can offer. Online lenders have eliminated many of the complexities that can slow down traditional cash loans issued from the bank. They offer quick payday loans online precisely so that people facing time-crunches can get the help they need. In most cases, a lender like MoneyKey can issue an online payday advance one business day after they approve a loan.

Take the time to research your options by comparing the rates, terms, and conditions of the available advance loans. When you find your back-up before an emergency happens, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress!

Give yourself time

Spontaneity is the spice of life, but when it comes to your vacation, it’s a budget-buster. Waiting until the last minute to book flights and accommodations can leave you stuck paying inflated prices on airfare and hotels. For domestic flights, CheapAir.com suggests booking your tickets 54 days in advance. For international airfare, there isn’t an easy answer. Fares change according to algorithms outside the industry experts’ direct control. Flash sales can happen automatically, giving you few chances to guess the cheapest time on your own.

You can still tap into savings by using flight apps like Kayak, Skyscanner, and Kiwi. These programs aggregate the immense data supplied by the flight industry and present the cheapest flights for your travel times in one place, saving you the time and effort of hunting down these prices on your own. There are similar apps like Jet Setter and Hotel Tonight that do the same thing but with cheap hotel rooms.

The bottom line: take the time to plan

When it comes to seeing the world on a budget, you need to be organized. Take the time to think through your trip logically, so you can plan a vacation that won’t compromise your finances whatever they may be.

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