Oklahoma Centra Credit Unio Logo Small

How to Budget for Your Summer Vacation

Going on a family vacation is one of the best ways to reconnect with each other and create memories that last a lifetime. If you’re getting ready to plan a summer vacation for your family, there are a lot of things you need to consider. Where are you going to go? Will you need to request time off work? Will your kids need to take time off school or camp? And, most importantly, what is your budget for a vacation?

When thinking about vacation expenses, you may be asking yourself, “how much should I save for a vacation?” and “should I take out a personal loan or use credit cards?” These are all great questions, and while we can’t help you decide where you should spend your vacation, we can help you budget for a vacation with these tips below.

How to Budget for a Vacation

How Do Auto Loans Work

Just as you would with any item you're budgeting for, we suggest making a spreadsheet beforehand and doing your research in advance. Some good steps to take include:

1. Set a budget you’re comfortable with.

Decide how much money you’re comfortable spending on your family vacation and start regularly adding to the savings account meant specifically for your vacation. The average amount spent on vacation for a family of four is $6,232. Be cognizant of this when setting your budget and know your limits.

2. Consider off-peak travel times.

To save extra money on airfare and hotels, look at traveling during off-peak times. Different destinations have peak travel dates, so you’ll be able to find a destination that works for you when you want to travel without breaking the bank. Plus, you’ll encounter smaller crowds.

3. Try underrated travel destinations.

Going to a popular tourist destination is going to cost more money, so think outside the box and look for places that are less frequented. This will also give you a more unique and budget-friendly vacation to look back on.

4. Watch for price drops.

On most airline websites, you can create an alert to let you know if the specific trip you’re looking at has a drop in airfare. Booking your trip on a weekend has been shown to save you money, but traveling during the week is cheaper. You'll also want to avoid waiting until the last minute to book your flights, as last-minute travel is always more expensive.

5. Book a package deal.

Many booking sites, like Priceline and Expedia, offer discounts if you book your flight and hotel together. Check different locations and dates to get the best deal on packages.

6. Use rewards and discounts.

If you have travel rewards with a credit card, make sure to utilize those. You can also look for discounts on travel and activities by looking at the local newspaper and websites of the location you plan to visit and seeing if they have any offers available.

7. Create a daily spending limit.

Create a daily spending limit while on vacation. One great way to stay within that limit is to balance eating out versus eating in, or to find less expensive restaurants to dine at if you plan to eat out all the time.

Funding Your Vacation Expenses

Now that you've outlined your budget and determined how to stretch every dollar further, it’s time to look at how to fund your vacation. While you can utilize credit cards for your vacation, we suggest getting a small personal loan to cover your vacation expenses.

Credit cards are best when used for smaller expenses that can be paid off faster, and loans are better for larger expenses that take longer to pay off. If you want to add some cushion to your budget, a loan will be a better option. The other benefits of getting a personal loan are:

  • Lower interest rates. Most personal loans have much lower interest rates than credit cards.
  • Fixed interest rates. Most personal loans also offer a fixed interest rate, which means you’ll always know how much your monthly payment will be.
  • More budget friendly. A personal loan is a lump sum upfront, where credit cards give you access to a more continuous flow of money. As such, it removes the temptation to overspend and allows you to stay within your budget for vacation.
  • Flexibility. There are a variety of personal loan amounts and repayment terms that you can choose from, so you can get a loan that works within your budget.

If you're considering getting a personal loan to help fund your family vacation and cover your vacation expenses, contact us today. We’ll find the best option for you and set you up to have the best trip possible.

Back to Top