The sound of the waves crashing on the shore…a cold drink in hand…a beautiful sunset over the water…
Ahh yes…Summer is so close, I can practically taste it!
After a spendy spendy Spring, I’ve been brainstorming ideas for how we can trim our expenses here and there, so that we can really enjoy our trips over the next few months We’re headed down the shore next weekend to get the season started (please let it be sunny!), and we’re pretty sure that we’ll be booking our tickets to Europe in the next week or so. Saving up without touching our emergency fund is my number one priority. Here are a few simple ways to save for summer travel that we’ll be using:
Start a Dedicated Savings Account
One of the easiest ways to start saving for a specific goal is by opening up a dedicated savings account. You could set up automatic transfers from your checking account, taking away the effort of moving money around, and ensuring that money goes right into the fund from every paycheck.
Personally, I like to use my PayPal account when I want to set money aside for something specific like travel, but there are many other options out there. If you have a checking account with a bank, you can usually open a savings account to go along with it.
Open a Rewards Credit Card
I mentioned a while back that travel hacking was something I wanted to get into.We’re going to be buying plane tickets to Europe, which costs a pretty penny for 3 people, so I could easily hit the spending limit to get bonus miles on a Barclay card. Then I could put the rewards towards a trip next summer (I’m already planning on Vegas for our 5 year wedding anniversary!)
If your credit score is good, you could give this option a try. Many bloggers have written about the free trips that they score through credit card churning, so it definitely is beneficial to anyone responsible enough to use credit wisely.
Cut Back on Spending
Thank you, Captain Obvious. This one is a no-brainer: if you need to save money, try cutting your expenses where you can. Cut back on things like ordering out, going to restaurants and spending on non-essentials. That’s the kind of crap that drives me nuts- seeing that we spent a little here, and a little there, on nothing worthwhile. Note to self: Stay away from the Dollar Tree!
I have a few gift cards sitting in my wallet for restaurants and movie tickets, so we’ll be using those for entertainment in the coming weeks. We haven’t ordered pizza or cheesesteaks in a while, which is good. Although now that I mention it, a buffalo chicken cheesesteak would be heavenly…
Plan Ahead, Be Flexible
Although we won’t be flying until September, M. has been pricing airfare to Europe for weeks now, and he’s been finding some good deals. Luckily, we have some flexibility with our vacation dates, so we can pick the cheapest flights. If you can be flexible on things like arrival and departure dates, connections, and the airlines that you’ll fly, you open up a lot more options.
Waiting until the last minute can backfire, because there could only be a few seats left on a flight. You can end up at the mercy of the travel gods and be forced to deal with long layovers, inconvenient connections, and higher prices. Not my idea of a vacation.
Another thing I did was purchase amusement tickets online for rides at the boardwalk in Ocean City. They ran a 1/2 price pre-season sale, and I was able to order them right online and have them mailed to our home. We saved money, and now we won’t have to worry about spending that cash and paying full price once we arrive.
Fill a Change Jar
Sure, this probably won’t net you a ton of cash, but every little bit helps! We don’t spend cash very often, so it takes a while to fill a whole jar, but we just started on a second one. I’m excited to take those coins that we’ve been tossing in for the last 10 months and see how much we’ve saved. I’ll cash them in before one of our beach trips, and then we’ll have a little extra fun money to play with.
So, have any more tips to share on saving for summer travel? Planning any upcoming trips?