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June 06, 2017 | Posted in:

Summer Vacation vs. Sticking to a Budget: Yes, You Can Have Both

Don’t sacrifice the fun this June, July, and August.

Tips on planning a summer vacation without breaking the bank.

 
When setting your family budget, often the first thing that gets slashed is the summer vacation. However, if you perform a little research and planning, you can find simple ways to save and still keep your vacation on the calendar. Here are a few ideas.

 

Travel based on experience, not a set location.

Sometimes you just want to get away to recharge and the location isn’t the sole or biggest factor. If your heart isn’t set on a specific city, find a location that offers substantial savings over popular tourist destinations.

Manager Julie Strohlein, CPA suggests considering budget-friendly visits to our country’s National Parks. “The National Park Service offers free admission to all sites that normally charge an entrance fee on ten different dates during the year.” Click here for more details.

Get a ride instead of an airport parking spot.

Have a friend or family member drop you off for your flight. If you’re unable to make such arrangements, check the rates for Uber or Lyft as they may still be more cost effective than the airport parking lot. Some hotels that are near airports offer “park and fly” packages that may save you some money.

 

Get creative and flexible with your flying itinerary.

Many destinations have a number of airport options that are relatively close together. Find out if you can save by flying into the less popular airport. The day and time you fly can also save you money. Consider flying midweek. Fridays and Sundays remain the most popular days to fly, but choosing to fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday might give you a price break. Even adjusting the time of day of your flight can save you money. See if you find savings by choosing a flight time between 5 and 7 a.m. or after 8 p.m. It used to be that a round-trip ticket always produced the best deal, but this is not necessarily the case anymore. Experiment with one-way ticket options to see if you can find a better deal.

 

“Book” a guest room with relatives.

You don’t have to spend your entire vacation with relatives, but enjoying their hospitality for a night or two can do wonders for your vacation budget. They will likely appreciate that you included a visit to their home in your vacation plans.

 

Carefully budget your meal and food expenses.

Most airlines now charge for in-flight food options. Stock your carry-on bag with solid snacks to avoid high-priced snacks on the plane. When researching your destination, look for hotels that offer free breakfast options. Purchasing groceries on vacation instead of eating out is another way to save on meals. Consider a light dinner a few times a week to give you additional savings or to allocate more funds for experiences. When you do dine out, consider smaller neighborhood restaurants rather than those in high-priced touristy areas.

Another tip from Julie: “If you earn cash back on your credit card, save the points earned from your ordinary purchases all year and cash them in for vacation spending money just before the trip.”

These options may offer a bit of savings here and there, but added up, you could save hundreds by planning ahead and being flexible about your summer vacation experience.
 
Contact us for guidance and application to your individual situation.
 
 
The information contained in this newsletter is of a general nature and should not be acted upon in your specific situation without further details and/or professional assistance. For more information or for assistance with any of your tax or business concerns, contact our office at 856.667.4100.

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