How to Budget Your Spring Vacation
When you learn how to budget, getting lost will be your only problem.
The spring is a great time for many families and individuals to get away. The weather is just starting to get warmer but maybe isn't quite warm enough in your own area, making it a perfect time to see other parts of the world. However, before you even plan where you're going or what you're going to do, you need to budget. The question for many is how to budget for that spring vacation. Here are some great tips to get you started.
What Costs Factors Are Involved?
To start with, you need to think about all the cost factors for your vacation. The most obvious ones include your place to stay, your travel to and from your destination, and the food you will eat. You'll also need to consider the activities that you will do while you're away.
However, there are other miscellaneous items that you need to budget for. Some of these include the clothes you'll wear, your suitcase if you don't have one (and any extra cost for luggage allowance if you're flying) and toiletries. There are many little things in the build up to the vacation that people forget about.
It's also worth thinking about any costs for things going on back home. You will still have some electrical use for your fridge and freezer (unless they're emptied and defrosted before you go) and you may hire someone to house/dog sit while you're away.
Be Realistic with the Numbers
When you're crunching the numbers for your vacation, be realistic. The last thing you want is to push your family budget so much that you're holiday puts you in debt; even if it's just a tiny amount of it.
Start off by seeing just how much is available in your income to save for your vacation. That will give you the end amount that you have to spend, instead of hoping that you can save up to a set amount in a short period of time. If you have money saved up for a holiday, consider using that but avoid touching your emergency fund.
Don't let money worries get in the way of enjoying your spring vacation.
Work on the Most Expensive Needs First
Your accommodation and travel are going to work out as your most expensive needs, so book and pay for them first. There are some hotels that will want a credit card on file and you'll settle the bill at the end of the stay. While that can be advantageous right now, make sure you have that amount needed set to one side ready for the time the bill is due.
Shop around for the cheapest options, including whether you should drive or fly and all your accommodation types in the area. You may find that staying slightly outside of a city and travelling in each day works out cheaper than staying in the hotels within the city limits.
Once you've budgeted for your more expensive options, it is time to work on the food and activity. Set yourself an allowance with the remaining money you have for both.
Plan Your Activities Ahead
Look at the things you can do in the area. You'll be able to plan activities with the help of the internet now, and that helps everyone involved in the vacation do something they love. You'll be able to check ticket prices and find out locations to make sure money is set aside for travel. There will be plenty of free and cheap things to do if your budget needs that.
There's no need to worry about how to budget for your spring vacation. Planning now gives you enough time to save up a little money, and there are plenty of places to soak up some sun and enjoy your time off.
Alexandria Ingham is a freelance writer with experience in technology, travel and personal finance.