I’d like to go there one day. Something we have all said and said again. Well how about doing it. Think about being at the vacation destination whether that is sitting on a white sands of Caribbean or hiking the trails of the Rocky Mountains. Go and enjoy! Well this article is about how to plan for next year’s vacation with the grandkids, hopefully without the stress and strain of financing it through credit cards. Now is the perfect time to start thinking, planning, and implementing the actions to achieving next year’s vacation.

Open a dedicated savings account
One of the first steps to take in planning for next year’s vacation is to open a dedicated savings account. Setting your vacation money aside from your regular operating account is important to tracking the progress of your saving to reach your goal.

Make it a family project
Experts say the more you can involve the kids the more enjoyable the vacation will be because your kids will feel a sense of accomplishment and appreciation. Brainstorm with your grandkids about simple ways to save throughout the year.

Turn on auto pilot
The very best way to save money is to have it withdrawn from the top before you ever get to see it. This method allows for a consistent way to hit your financial goals without much painful sacrifice.

Set a travel date
Start setting your dates now. Especially if you are in work environment that requires time-off request bidding, you can get your date in as early as possible for approval. Setting your date also gives you something to look forward and build excitement along the way.

Make necessary sacrifices
Giving up a $2.50 coffee every day for a month is $70. If you were to do that for three months—that’s $210 toward airfare or some other vacation expense. Cutting back on eating out each week could add significantly to your vacation fund. For example, if you go out at least twice a week and spend $10 each time, you could save an additional $40 a month or $120 over a three month period. Remember the key to this approach is to make sure you put that money sacrificed immediately into your vacation savings account. (If you keep in your pocket, you will easily spend it elsewhere)

Determine the estimated costs
Do your research on pricing all of the areas you will need to spend money to make the vacation happen. Airfare, housing, car rental, daily food budget, tourist attractions, gifts, transit, and tips are key areas to consider. Keep in mind most major cities have discounts on tourist attractions if tickets are purchased early. (also investigate if a City-pass is being offered)

Shop early for airfare, housing, and car rental deals
The early you can start shopping early for the most expensive items of vacation like airfare, housing, and car rentals. Airlines will begin raising airfares 30 – 60 before the summer travel season. You might want to consider on non-peak travel times of the year.

Be open to alternative travel strategies
Thinking outside of the box can be a very adventurous and fun view of how to plan your vacation. Today, you don’t have to stay in a hotel. Home-sharing sites like Airbnb are providing great alternatives to hotels at 1/3 to ½ the cost depending of which city is your destination. Instead of renting a car, consider utilizing the transit system for getting around. Check out and compare prices and times traveling by train and bus.

Cut out or delay extra expenses
IF you are wanting to achieve a certain goal for your vacation fund and the desire to purchase your fifth big screen TV is on sale—consider delaying the purchase until either you hit your goal or wait till after you return from your vacation. Remember that TV will be on sale again and probably at a better price because you waited.

Sell unwanted stuff
Selling unwanted stuff can be like hitting two birds with one stone. You getting rid of stuff you have stopped using or never used thereby cleaning out your of clutter. It’s also a way to generate money from an unexpected source which is almost like winning the lottery.

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