Vacation Planning: Finances
You may be wondering why I didn’t start the vacation planning series with finances. Well that’s because, I am going to say if you are looking to take a vacation, then you are confident that you can afford one. You should also already have a good idea of what you can afford. This is more about planning your vacation expenses, and not budgeting for it.
Related Post: Vacation Planning: When and Where
Step 1 – Know Your Budget
You should already know about what you can afford for a vacation. We are not trying to find money in your budget for a vacation, but planning to make sure you covered all of your expenses.
Step 2 – List Your Adventures
Make a list of all of the excursions you want to go on. Then go to each excursions website and checkout their admissions cost. Make sure you break the cost down by child, infant, adult, and anyone who is eligible for a discount (such as military), or your numbers will be off.
Just like with the hotel, the off-season usually has lower admissions prices for attractions.
I would not recommend booking everything on-line ahead of time. If there is something that may sell out if you do not book it ahead of time, then definitely do! By not booking everything ahead of time, this gives you a little wiggle room. Maybe you forgot to account for an expense. Maybe something ended up costing more than you anticipated. It’s always nice to have an area you can pull that money from.
Plus there is always the possibility, especially with kids, that you may find out you overbooked! I am keeping excursions to one extra thing a day. But I have not booked everything in advance, because come day 4 I may find that we are tired, and don’t want to go do anything.
Grab Your FREE Attractions Planning Printable Here
Step 3 – List Your Expenses
Now that you know how much your adventures are going to cost, make a list of ALL of your vacation expenses. Things like:
- Car Rental
- Each attraction
- Include both food you will pack, and any eating out you plan on doing.
Don’t forget to account for any indirect expenses:
- Car tune up before you head out
- Including an oil change
- And checking your wipers
- Buying clothing for your vacation
- For us, my kids are all due for summer wardrobes this year, I will just have to make sure I allow for this before vacation. This cuts my summer shopping time frame down by about a month.
- Pet/House sitter
Also know where you are willing to cut expenses. Are you over budget? Is there an attraction you wanted to do, but could live without?
Related Post: Why Our Youngest Is Not Going On Our Family Vacation
Step 4 – Know Where The Money Is Coming From
This is the time to verify that you know where the money for your vacation is coming from:
- Are you going to use your income taxes?
- Are you going to put away X amount out of every paycheck?
- Do you have savings you will use?
- Do you have money taken out of your checking every week and put in a vacation savings?
- Are you expecting a bonus check?
You just want to make sure that your plan for both your money and your trip match up.
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