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Build your vacation savings for travel with smart saving strategies.

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Dreaming about a bucket-list vacation, but not sure where to start in turning that dream into a reality? With the right planning and financial strategies, you can set yourself up to take a trip that’s been on your bucket list.

Start saving now!

A picture of father and son adding coins to savings piggy bank

One great way to set yourself up for success while saving for your dream vacation is to, well… start saving now.

Don’t wait until just a couple of weeks or even a few months to start tucking funds away. The odds are you’ll only be able to take the vacation you’ve always wanted if you get the jump on making a savings plan sooner rather than later.

Plan your trip ahead of time and pin down big costs, like airfare

Naturally, you won’t be able to save up to a target amount if you don’t know how much money you need for your vacation.

To that end, be sure to plan your trip extensively ahead of time. Go over all the destination hotspots you want to hit, all the hotels or resorts you might want to check out, and any major fluctuating prices, like the cost of airfare.

In fact, airfare is a great example of the kind of cost you want to pin down ASAP. Airline prices increase the closer you get to the departure date, especially for international travel. So, schedule your time off, book your vacation time, and get your plane tickets paid or reserved as soon as you can. These days, lots of airlines allow you to reserve plane tickets at current prices for a certain amount of time before buying them, giving you crucial time to save.

One other factor to consider in your early planning is that availability may be limited and prices will increase with demand. So, start planning as soon as possible.

Open a savings account for your vacation

Now that you’ve started saving and have a target amount in mind, start leveraging smart financial tools like a dedicated vacation savings account.

Even if you already have a savings account, opening another bank account at your primary financial institution can help you save money in a more direct, disciplined way. If opening a dedicated account at your bank is difficult, plenty of other financial institutions offer savings accounts specifically designed for things like vacations, college expenses, and more.

Like saving for retirement, with a dedicated vacation savings account, you’ll be able to funnel money directly to your vacation fund with each paycheck. Set up your account to automatically take a percentage out of your incoming deposit every payday, and you won’t even have to think about how much you’re saving!

Be sure you pick a savings account that’s worth your time. Try to find one with a high APR (so you get a better return if you end up saving for more than a year) and online budgeting tools, like the above-mentioned automatic transfer system.

Get a cashback rewards credit card

A picture of a girl smiling by the pool

Cashback rewards credit cards are some of the best modern financial resources you can use, and not just for saving for a vacation. Some cashback rewards cards now let you earn points or cash back credit against all purchases wherever you use the card.

Gone are the days of cashback cards limiting you to rewards points from select retailers or restaurants exclusively. In fact, many top travel-themed cash-back cards can now net you up to as much as 4% cashback (or higher!) on airfare, foreign dining, and more.

Getting a cashback credit card before your trip means you’ll always have a way to pay for things you need on vacation, too – everyone needs a good emergency fund while away from home in case their cash gets lost or stolen.

Plus, a cashback credit card can let you lower the total amount you need to save to go on vacation in the first place. Just make sure you’re able to pay off the credit card at the end of your vacation with smart debt repayment strategies.

Need to save more money ASAP? Find a side hustle

Uh oh – you’ve done the math, figured out how much you need to save compared to how much you bring in every month, and it doesn’t look good. You just won’t have enough stashed away in time for your vacation.

Don’t panic yet! There are two big ways to meet your vacation fund goals at this point. The first is to increase the amount of money you bring in.

Even if you’ve been doing a stellar job at work, odds are you won’t be able to just ask for a raise. But you can get extra money by using what millions of Americans have already tried: a side hustle.

Whether you want to turn your car into a moneymaker via Uber or another rideshare company, moonlight as a programming freelancer, or something else, a side hustle can help you earn more money before you go on vacation. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even find a fun second career in your hustling!

Cut down on unnecessary expenses

Instead of increasing your income, you can decrease how much money you spend with your current budget.

Take a hard look at your daily expenses and see where you can make some cuts. Chances are, you’ll find at least one area where you could be saving a little cash every month. That cash can then be funneled to your vacation savings account.

Apply for a travel loan

After saving up and cutting down extra costs, you might still wonder if you’ll have enough saved up by your departure date. Fortunately, you can guarantee that you’ll have the funds to make your dream vacation a reality with a travel loan.

Fixed-rate offers like Regional Finance’s travel loans help you relax and enjoy your vacation destination without keeping a running tally of purchases or worrying about running out of funds. Then, once your vacation is over, you can pay back the loan over time through fixed monthly payments.

The information and materials provided on this website are intended for informational purposes only and should not be treated as an offer or solicitation of credit or any other product or service of Regional Finance or any other company. This website may contain links to websites controlled or offered by third parties. We have not reviewed all of the third-party sites linked to this website and are not responsible for the content, products, privacy policy, security, or practices of any linked third-party website. The inclusion of any third-party link does not imply any endorsement by Regional Finance of the linked third party, its website, or its product or services. Use of any third-party website is at your own risk.

References accessed on April 25, 2021:

United Airlines – FareLock

Experian – How Do Cash Back Credit Cards Work?

Forbes – Side Hustles Are Helping Many Close the Income Gap in the Pandemic

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