If you have kids, spring break can be the perfect opportunity to take your family on a serious vacation. However, vacations come with expenses, and if you are not prepared, they can take you by storm.
But saving for your family trip doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Check out these 8 tips that will help you and your family have an amazing spring break on a budget.
1. Plan Early
Depending on the days of your spring break vacation, it might not be too late to catch some early bird deals on hotels and flights. Planning early will help you save on costs and more.
Knowing where you’re going and what’s needed to get there means less stress and a reduced possibility of extra expenses. So, plan what you can right away.
Create a list of items you need for your trip to be successful. Remember things like your camera, clothes, sandals, sunglasses, hat, and anything else you might need. This way you won’t need to buy similar items at the destination.
2. Create a Monthly Budget That Works
Creating a realistic plan and sticking to it can be tricky. The good thing is planning your spring break budget isn’t as difficult as it may seem. To create a budget, decide on how much cash you’ll spend while accounting for unforeseen costs.
It’s easy to go to one extreme and disregard all costs except bills and the bare minimum for food and living. Going to such lengths can quickly fall through, making it hard to stick to your plan.
Your ideal budget should minimize unnecessary expenditures but leave you sufficient funds to live your life normally.
Plus, a well-planned budget helps you figure out your family finances accurately by knowing exactly where your funds go each month. From there you can put extra cash away for your vacation.
3. Consider Alternative Destinations
This is one of the essential guidelines about saving for a trip during spring break. For example, choosing Panama City instead of Costa Rica is a great way to plan your spring break on a budget.
Different hotels and resorts offer different discounted rates during spring break. Always check with a property about new packages and discounts to save money during the trip.
Some resorts provide all-inclusive specials that can help you save even more. Be sure to check if a resort or hotel covers the cost of beverage, food, and activities. Keep an eye on at least two alternative travel destinations to figure out the best price.
4. Cook Your Own Meals
Restaurants charge about 300% markup on the food they serve you, so you’re paying for convenience and service. Eating out can be quite expensive and those regular dinners out can quickly add up.
Be sure to scout out some of the local supermarkets and load up on things that you can make where you’re staying. Choosing to cook with your family won’t only be healthier and save money, it can also be a lot of fun.
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5. Start with the Biggest Expenses
When creating your spring break budget, put the largest expenses first. That typically means hotel accommodation and airfare, but it might also include activities like scuba diving or guided tours.
Also, remember that going for accommodations with kitchen facilities, though slightly expensive, can make sense. You may want to fix most of your meals at home instead of eating out.
6. Keep Your Money Out of Sight
Watch what you spend your money on and don’t fall victim to impulse buying of tourist knickknacks. It’s hard to make good financial decisions when your credit card is in your pocket. We all know the temptation of seeing beautiful things you can’t resist.
Keep your card out of reach to avoid the temptation. It helps in ensuring you only withdraw enough money for your week’s spending. If you’ve got a little extra cash on hand, keep it somewhere you can’t easily access it.
Make sure all your family members are on board with reducing frivolous spending to create a collective habit.
7. Make Use of Multiple Savings Accounts
One of the best ways of saving for a trip during spring break is by using multiple savings accounts. Having a separate account for vacation spending can prevent you from withdrawing from your vacation funds.
If you set up automatic deposits into that vacation account and ignore it for a few months, you may be pleasantly surprised when you check it and discover that you’re halfway there.
8. Use Accountability Partners
Spending time with individuals who have similar goals and interests will help you stay on track.
You may have friends that are saving for big things like houses or retirement. Share your goals so that you can hold each other accountable could be the push you need. Also, lean on your family to make sure everyone is on the same page.
If you are planning a spring break on a budget, you can inspire each other to make moves that will add more zeros to your bank balance.
Saving for your upcoming spring break and tracking your expenses can take a bit of practice. Luckily, it’s not as tough as it looks. All you need is a commitment.
You may not have the most luxurious spring break, but you can be confident in all of your spending. The most important thing is enjoying the quality time you’ll have with your loved ones.
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