"" Writer's Wanderings: Financing Your Vacation Trip

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Financing Your Vacation Trip

There is a cable company commercial circulating in our area where a young girl comes home from school each day and puts her change from her lunch money in several jars to build funds to be able to change cable companies. The bottom line of course is that the advertiser will help you out of your old contract. I haven't found too many travel venues willing to help finance travel though. While of course there are deals to be had you still have to come up with the funds to pay for your trip. So let's see how we might fill those piggy banks.

Do your homework.

As I've said before, research your trip before you go. Half the fun of travel is the anticipation and the preparation. If you know where you're going start looking into how much it will cost to get ther
e, to stay there, to eat there, and to see and do the things available there. What did we do before the internet? We relied on lots of travel books. Now those books are online as well as prices for hotels, air/train/rental car travel, and even the cost of restaurants. Many have their menus on line for you to peruse so you can even get an idea of how much meals will cost. Put it all down on paper and then decide what is a reasonable bottom line amount you can live with and begin working toward that.

Be frugal with home entertainment.

Let's face it, we all enjoy going to the movies, buying popcorn and soft drinks but that gets expensive when you add up the cost for a family. Try an in-home movie night with a rented DVD, microwave popcorn and your own soft drinks. That big amusement park can make a real dent unless you find free tickets. Why not try a neighborhood festival instead? Try some outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, biking, etc. that don't cost anything. There are probably tons of free events going on all around you that will keep the family interested especially if they know that they are saving for that big vacation time.

Find some other sources of income.

This doesn't have to be a second job or mortgage. This can be a way to get the kids involved by having them volunteer to pet-sit, mow lawns, etc. to earn some spending money for their trip. My daughter-in-law each spring has a yard sale where they sell old toys, outgrown clothes, unneeded household items, etc. The kids also make and sell cookies and brownies. They put it into a summer fun fund and use it for their summer activities.

Save your pocket change.

It's amazing how much that can add up. I know nickels and dimes don't seem like much--until you put them all together.

Drink cheaper coffee. 

I am convinced that there is something more than caffeine in Starbucks drinks. How else do you explain those who just can't give it up. If you must, try some less expensive versions of your favorite drink or at least cut back on the size. Your waistline will thank you as well. Take that money saved and put it in the travel piggy bank.

Save a little each day or week.

Determine how much you can save from your income each day or week and put it aside in a special account if necessary to keep you from dipping into it. Discipline will deliver an ample vacation fund for your travel needs.

Dream vacations are possible.

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