Summer is coming, which means summertime trips are around the corner! Dreaming up a summer vacation is fun, but paying for it can often be the not-so-fun part. If you’re looking forward to a getaway and want to make the most of it without breaking the bank, we’re here to help.
We’ve highlighted 10 tips to help you budget and set yourself up for success. This list should help ease any budgeting stress before, during and after your trip.
1. CREATE A BUDGET & STICK TO IT
First things first, determine your total budget for the trip and break it down into categories such as transportation, lodging, food and activities. Make sure it’s a realistic budget for your financial situation so it’s easy to stick to throughout the entire vacation.
2. PAY UPFRONT
If you can, pay for your hotel and other arrangements in advance. Remember to use your savings, not your credit card! No matter how much fun the trip will be, you’ll kick yourself if you’re stuck paying the bills for months afterwards.
3. START SAVING EARLY
Once you know your budget, it’s time to start saving as soon as possible! Put away vacation money by opening up a dedicated bank account or download a money-saving app that automatically transfers money from one account to another.
4. CUT BACK ON EXPENSES
If there are certain things that you often spend money on, but you don’t actually need, consider cutting back on those expenses before your trip—think fancy daily coffees or eating out. Put this extra money straight to your travel fund so you can enjoy some extra special things on your vacation.
5. GET THE MOST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
Save some of your hard-earned money by looking for the best deals on travel and accommodations. Often, the further you book in advance, the lower the cost will be. Consider visiting places that are less popular and avoid going to destinations during peak season.
6. USE CASH WHENEVER POSSIBLE
Swiping a credit card for your entire getaway is a dangerously easy way to overspend. Whenever possible, use cash. Doing this will make it easier to ensure you’re sticking to the original budget you created before the trip.
7. DECIDE WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT
Make the most of your money by prioritizing what’s important to you. If you’re a foodie, indulge more on dinners out and less on your hotel. Or if location is more important to you, spend more on accommodations in a great neighbourhood and save on meals by buying groceries.
8. PLAN FREE & LOW-COST ACTIVITIES
No matter where you’re visiting, there are always fun activity options available that don’t cost a lot of money. Enjoy the great outdoors by spending time at a park, relaxing on a beach or trying out a hiking trail. With a quick Google search, you can look up free events or attractions in the area ahead of time.
9. USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Many cities have public transportation that is not only easy to navigate, but will cost less than renting a car. Choosing this as your way of getting around means you can spend more money on fun things to do at your destination, like splurging on dessert every night.
10. TRACK EVERY PENNY
This isn’t to beat yourself up about your spending after the fact. Instead, it allows you to get a sense of how much you actually spent on the trip. You’ll be able to better plan for future trips and you’ll have a journal to easily look back on your favourite restaurants and destinations!
Find Your Road Trip Ride!
If you’re taking off on a summer road trip this year, you’ll need a car to get you there. Birchwood Credit is here to help you find an affordable vehicle for all of your summer adventures, regardless of your credit score. We give you personalized recommendations for cars that best fit your lifestyle and needs. Buying a car shouldn’t break the bank and our main goal is for you to drive home in an affordable, reliable vehicle that you love.
Interested in applying for a car with us? Contact us to find out more.