Now that your taxes are complete, you may feel you are ready for a vacation. Well, it’s actually a good time to start planning if you want a summer getaway.
Vacation budgets mean less stress
Too many people wait to start planning their vacation. Planning without a budget can cause higher costs, more stress, and an overall disappointing experience. If you can start your planning sooner rather than later you will ensure a fun, relaxing retreat.
Below are five categories or steps I recommend considering when planning for a vacation. They don’t necessarily need to be completed in any specific order; however, answers to certain questions may have an impact on your overall plan.
Step One -Vacation Buddies
First, who will be joining you on this getaway? I think this is the most important task. Determine who you will be vacationing with – significant other, kids, college friends, extended family or a mixture. Understanding this will guide you through the other steps in the planning process.
Step Two – What Kind of Vacation?
Second, what are you going to do? What do you want out of your vacation? Perhaps you want to take a “big” trip or maybe several “mini-vacas” makes more sense. You may even decide to do a local vacation, also known as a “staycation”.
Step Three – Where to Go?
Third, specifically where do you want to go? Perhaps it’s a country, city or an event. The answer to this question may lead to additional questions, such as what activities do you want to do. Perhaps you want to travel to a country and go on a long, planned hike or maybe you would prefer going to the coast and lay on the beach.
Step Four – Vacation Time and Accommodations
Fourth, when do you want to travel and for how many days? This is important do determine so you can get a jump on the last question addressing travel and accommodations. It can also prompt you to research the expected weather for the area you want to travel as well as special events/festivities that may be occurring during the time of your vacation.
Step Five – Vacation Budget or Fund
And fifth, how? How much are you willing to spend? How are you going to get to your chosen location? If you are spending the night, what are your accommodations going to be? It’s never too soon to start a “vacation fund”. Create a budget and figure out how much you need to contribute each month to have that amount ready before the vacation date arrives.
Travel and accommodations are the biggest items to address and the sooner you start researching for the best deals the better. Keep in mind you may be able to utilize mile rewards versus paying cash but remember the number of points needed is based on the dollar value of the ticket and ticket prices can go up as the plane fills, so booking early is important.
We all hope vacations are about relaxing and enjoying special time with family and friends. I want you to return from your vacation well rested, with great memories and less stress. Plan today so your retreat tomorrow is exactly how want it to be.
If you’re unsure as to where to begin, or you have not created a financial plan with vacations budgeted into your plan, consider requesting a consultation with me for productive savings ideas and assistance with getting started.