8 ways to budget for your summer vacation

Summer is just around the corner and many couples and families are excited to take time off and relax in the sun. However, the financial obligations that come with summer vacations can be unsettling and cause more stress than they should. There are ways to save money here and there to ensure your toes are covered in sand this summer.

Planning a travel budget isn't the easiest thing, but there are ways to make your money-saving strategies work for you. Here are eight ways to budget for your summer vacation:

1. Cut leisure time expenses
With summer months quickly approaching, you need to save as much money as possible for your trip. The best thing to do is cut leisure expenses that would go toward a night on the town, a trip to a nearby theme park or another costly event. It's never fun to skip out on the fun going into the summer, but the more you can save on little vacations, the more extra cash you'll have to really enjoy a big summer vacation trip.

2. Research everything you want to do
To plan your summer vacation budget most effectively, you need to research every single thing you plan to do on your trip. Once you do this, you'll have a ballpark estimate of how much you need to save. For example, if you're planning a trip to the Florida Keys, you need to investigate the best and cheapest options for snorkeling, fishing trips, restaurants, hotels, driving expenses and other expenditures that will creep up on you faster than you think. Simply put, the more you prepare, the more likely you'll be able to save money.

Make sure you plan everything you want to do on your vacation so you have a good estimate on how much to save.
Make sure you plan everything you want to do on your vacation so you have a good estimate on how much to save.

3. Bring your own food
One of the biggest expenditures for those on vacation is spending money on food. It's a great experience to get a taste of local cuisine and enjoy a unique dining experience. However, the cost of breakfast, lunch and dinner can add up on a summer vacation in a hurry. Try packing snacks such a fruit, cereal and other items that won't go bad on a long trip. If you're flying, try to bring snacks instead of spending a lot of money on airport food and drinks. The more you can budget your food expenses, the extra cash you'll have on your trip.

4. Use a separate savings account
When you're putting money away all year long for your summer vacation, it's actually best to keep your trip's savings and your regular savings account separated. More often than not, you will lose track of what you actually saved versus what funds are actually in your checking account. It's extremely easy to visit one of our branch offices and open a checking account for your vacation funds. This way, you won't mix anything up and you'll know exactly how much you saved for your trip.

"It's always best to be flexible and stay up to date with deals and discounts."

5. Every penny counts
A fun way to save for your family's trip is to place a big change jar in your kitchen and label it wherever you plan on going. Encourage your kids to throw in a penny or two when they can and start your communal change jar. You'll be surprised how much in loose change you can save over a few months when everyone is involved. The $50-$100 in change you save could be put toward something fun at the end of the trip that your entire family decides on. Saving together can get everyone involved in the decision-making process for something fun to do with the money when you're on vacation.

6. Be flexible with where you're going
Another way to get the best deal is to be flexible with where you plan on going. It might be a good idea to sign up for daily deal sites and other travel emails to see what discounts you can get. You might be surprised how cheap a trip to a place you never considered could be. It's always best to be flexible and stay up to date with deals and discounts.

7. Stick to a budget
This might be the most difficult challenge, but you should try to stick to a predestined budget. When you are able to stay within your allotted contributions, you'll find that you'll meet your goal much quicker. Don't veer off path with your budget and stay on course to save.

8. Talk with one of our helpful representatives
By talking to one of our Landmark Bank financial specialists, you could find more ways to save and help plan your monthly trip. Your credit card could even have special discounts to assist you this summer.

For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.

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