Saving for your vacation – Get more travel for less money

by Washington Federal Team on August 24, 2012

Going on vacationFor most of us, money always seems to get tight just when we’d like to let loose. Time off from the office is usually in short supply and vacations are not always easy to budget for.

Fortunately, there’s a few easy ways to make a special trip more accessible, particularly if money is your main obstacle.  Getaways can be economical and saving is easier than you think. Here are four quick tips to get you started:

1. Save for your vacation over time.
Accumulating the cash for a trip can take time. Consider this: setting aside $20 a week for an entire year would leave you with more than $1,000 to put towards an amazing vacation. Washington Federal has one option to make this even easier, consider automatic transfers through our online banking system. An automated transfer will allow you to save without thinking about it.

2. Set aside even more by eating in.
Grabbing a $7 lunch each day at work ends up costing you an extra $35 each work week. For half of that cost, you could buy food at the grocery store. The additional $18 each week adds an extra $936 per year to your vacation budget. Bring your brown bag from home.

If you routinely take your family out to eat once a week, you’ll likely spend at least $40 per outing. Skip one night out every month, and have a family game night at home instead. That equates to $480 saved in a year.

3. Compare vacation rates and shop smart.
Congratulations! A few minor changes to your spending habits have led to a substantial fund, but don’t stop saving now. Several travel sites are available to help you research your ideal trip. Travel companies frequently offer specials (seasonal discounts, group deals, etc.) on getaways which can help you to stretch your hard-saved dollars. Here are a few sample vacations that can be found for less than $500:

For the two of you:
- Caribbean cruise for two gives you fun and sun.

For everyone:
- Yosemite Park is a beautiful, nature-intensive vacation for the whole family.

Going solo:
- Groupon Getaways offer some great options. Along with other deal sites, solo thrill seekers can find the vacation of a lifetime for 60-70% off. All-inclusive packages for stateside spas and resorts sometimes go for $250 or less, and deals on beach retreats are plentiful during the cold winter months.

4. Strike when the iron’s hot.
If you’re ready to vacation sooner rather than later, take advantage of last-minute deals. Prefer to plan ahead? Some vacations can cost less when you book them well in advance. Do the research, and when the time is right, you’ll know that you’ve saved enough to make the vacation happen.

Enjoy the trip, and then share your photos with us on Facebook!

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