Every person can budget for the type of vacation that they deserve to take. The average cost of a domestic Vacation is $581 (4 nights) and the average international vacation is $3,251 (12 nights). Obviously, you can create a trip for any budget but we are going to stick to these numbers for the moment. If these seem huge and completely out of your reach then the goal here is to stretch your view to a longer term. You can afford anything with enough time and enough budgeting. By saving $20 a month every month you would have over $10,000 in 10 years. Now whether or not you could bring yourself to spend that money at the end of that period is another thing.
My wife and I go on a big vacation every year based on a simple budgeting strategy… $10 a pay check from each of us. $10 might seem like a large amount for some of you, but for a $400 paycheck, that $10 twice a month is 5%. For perspective, if you ate a happy meal twice a week y
ou would be spending $32 a month (8% of your paycheck). We do this even when there isn’t a plan in place for a particular vacation. Doing the same will give you $1,040 a year, well above the average domestic vacation cost and within a year or so of a 12 day international vacation.
Where does the $10 a pay check go?
This is a great question and extremely important. You can’t just decide to save the $10 a paycheck (or whatever number works for you) and leave it in your account to accrue over time. The problem is that you don’t see the money build making you more likely to keep following the budget and giving you easy access to the money to spend. What I have found to work best is to use a jar to collect the money so you can see it build and you get a thrill at seeing it fill up your container. Another way to do this is to set up a special bank account and have automatic withdrawals from your main account every paycheck. GET YOUR VACATION MONEY SEPERATED.
Stretching your money.
In order to get the most for your money and make your vacation the best it can possibly be then you might want to consider using a travel agent like the folks at ehabla.com. These professionals know the ins and outs of when the best time to travel is, how to avoid the secret fees and costs that can pop up on vacation, and the must see and do things where you are going. They can also help you make the best budget so that you don’t end up owing more than you thought you might at the end of your spectacular vacation.