How to Fund Your Dream Vacation

      19 Comments on How to Fund Your Dream Vacation
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woman´s hand holding piggy bank by the beachThe average American paid about $1,180 per person for a summer vacation in 2012, according to a travel survey conducted by American Express. If you dream of going on vacation but have no idea how you would afford it, the following tips can help you save for a fantastic trip:

Bypass the Hotels

Hotels aren’t the only place to sleep while on vacation. Bed-and-breakfasts and condos are often less expensive, particularly those farther away from city centers. You may sacrifice on luxuries, but if luxury accommodations aren’t central to your dream vacation, consider these short-term rental options. You’ll get to know a neighborhood and experience the local flavor—maybe you can even live “Eat, Pray, Love”-style in a village cottage with servants and cooks.

Independent Traveler recommends vacation rentals for similar reasons, although not all will come with household help. Even in expensive locales like Hawaii, vacation rentals are comparable in price to nearby hotels and may offer more space and privacy. And while concierges aren’t servants, rentals that include their services are a nice bonus.

Cash in Your Stuff

You don’t have to wait for spring to do some spring cleaning. In fact, if you’re snowed in, empty out those closets and sort through your basement and garage to see what you could sell to raise your travel funds. In addition to eBay and Craigslist, most local newspapers have online sales pages, so customers can snowshoe over to see what you’re selling.

What about money that’s tied up? If you have money stashed away in an annuity or structured settlement that isn’t serving your needs now, consider liquidating your future payments. If a vacation is central to your mental health, consider it money well-spent. Structured settlement and annuity payments that no longer fit your needs, J.G. Wentworth observes, may be converted into a lump sum of cash now. You could then use the money to help fund your dream vacation.

Lastly, check your W4. Many people withhold too much money because it’s fun to get a big tax refund. But that refund itself becomes taxable income next year, so be smart and go through the worksheet. Put the extra cash in a savings account earmarked for your vacation.

Layaway: Not Only for KMart Shoppers

People of a certain age smiled at Kmart’s renewed Christmas ads for layaway. Layaway—making small payments to hold a purchase in your name—has had new life breathed into it, according to MarketWatch. For as little as $99, travel sites, airlines and even some retailers like Sears will hold a vacation for you on layaway. Many won’t even charge a service fee, although there may be cancellation fees.

Once you’ve made the payment commitment, you’ll be eager to pay for the big bonus at the beach or wherever your dream vacation awaits.

 

If money were no object, where would you like to go on a dream vacation?


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19 thoughts on “How to Fund Your Dream Vacation

  1. Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden)

    My dream vacation would be traveling to Australia and New Zealand (I live in the United States). It’s been a dream of mine since I was a child. Some of your suggestions are different. One observation – I haven’t necessarily found B&Bs to be cheaper, but if you have a good, knowledgeable host, their advice and local knowledge is priceless.

    Reply
  2. Jeanne Melanson

    How interesting! I did not know that you could pay for your vacation on layaway. Wow. That’s cool. I’m actually going on two vacations this summer. That’s not the norm, of course, but I won’t complain. I’ve been saving my money for them, so I’ll be ready when the time comes. Thank you so much for your input! Take care.

    Reply
  3. Scott

    My dream vacation is a couple weeks in the Ireland/Scotland area (ancestral heritage). Tough to find a time to go when the weather is decent AND the kids are out of school.

    Reply
  4. francenestanley

    You’ve given some great tips for saving money. I’ve almost given up hope about going on another vacation. But, I won’t sit in a heap and sulk. I’ve enjoyed some great ones. And you’re right. Luxury isn’t as good as you think it will be–in fact, you can get bored. I like your idea of staying in B & B.

    Reply
  5. Melissa M

    We booked a cruise for this summer with Carnival. They have a promotion going on until the end of the month where it is a $50 deposit per person and you can make payments on the rest up until a month before sailing. That is the only way we are able to do it and I am so excited!

    We also love to book a place to stay with VRBO or homeaway. So much cheaper then going through a resort or hotel.

    Another thing I do is save all my blog winnings that have to do with cash and gift cards and I use those on vacation.

    Reply
  6. peppylady (Dora)

    Not sure what my dream trip would be. My daughter in law works for an air line so I can get seat cheap.
    I would like to take a trip on a train.
    Thanks for stopping by and coffee is on

    Reply
  7. Jacqueline

    I like the good old cash in a jar method for saving for big purchases. I also had no idea layaway was available for trips! I have never put anything on layaway before, but I heard about the mystery people paying off people’s KMart holiday bills last year, so I may be a KMart shopper this holdiay season lol.

    Reply
  8. Ben

    Excellent ideas. I had no idea you could find places to pay for the vacation over time. I’ll be looking for those options now.

    Reply
  9. Bismah

    Great tips on budgeting for a vacation! I would settle for a bed a breakfast over a hotel to cut down on costs as chances are this will only be occupied for sleeping anyway.
    My dream vacation would be to visit my parents who are in Canada. I stayed there for one month almost two years ago. I miss them!

    Reply
  10. Rosanne

    Thanks for the tip on how to bypass hotels to make a vacation more affordable. A son of mine is doing that right now by using home away services for a more authentic experience

    Reply
  11. Wanda Bergman

    We love to travel and are always looking for ways to do this more cheaply. You’ve given some great ideas here.Thanks.

    Reply

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