How to finance the perfect vacation without going broke

If you’re active on social media, you may feel like all of your friends are constantly taking fabulous trips to the Croatian coast or exploring the jungles of Costa Rica. That can make anyone envious, so if you want travel in your future (but don’t want to empty out your savings account), here are a few money smart ways to make it happen:

Build it into your budget!

Think of travel like any other regular expense. Estimate the cost of a trip and save a portion of that amount monthly in a separate savings account. For example, if you want to spend $2,000, you’ll need to save $167 per month for a year. If that seems doable, automate your saving so you can rest assured your trip won’t break the bank.


Research the off-season.

Travel prices follow the basic rules of supply and demand. It’s significantly more affordable to book a trip when everyone else isn’t traveling, so research your destination and evaluate the times of year when the prices will be more favorable for both hotels and airlines.

Budget for having fun.

Many people think about the hotel and the flight but often overlook other expenses like food, tours, car rentals, etc. These can add up fast and should be built into your budget so that you don’t come home with a huge credit card bill you can’t afford.


Plan for what you really want.

Think about the experience you’re looking for — is it educational, sightseeing, outdoor exploration, fishing, downtime on a beach? If you’re open to options, think about what may be more accessible or local. For example, is there a lesser-known beach town that’s in driving distance or a short flight away? If you don’t need to travel all the way to the Bahamas to have the experience you’re looking for, then you may be able to spend less or fit two trips in one year!