June 23, 2021

7 Ways to Save on Family Vacation


Whether you’re dreaming of the ocean, a mountain trail, or an open road- adventure is calling and you should go! After being cooped up at home for so long, it’s time to get out, explore, and plan a vacation getaway this summer.

But first, you need to work out the financial details. According to a CreditKarma survey, 42% of Americans have gone into debt to pay for a vacation and younger generations are leading the category. How are you going to pay for your getaway? How much can you realistically spend? Where is the money for your vacation going to come from?

Don’t let your eyes get too big for your wallet. Ideally, a plump vacation fund that’s fed throughout the year is the way to go. Unfortunately, we often don’t think about how to pay for our vacation until it’s a few weeks away.

Treating yourself to a getaway doesn’t need to break the bank when you plan ahead and stick to your budget. Use these vacation saving tips to help you plan the perfect getaway while staying within your budget.

1. Set aside extra money

Consider running a yard sale featuring all of your forgotten treasures and use the profits to fund your trip. Cancel unnecessary subscription boxes and set aside that money for the vacation. If you receive a bonus at work or a tax return, save that money for your trip. A part-time or seasonal job is another option if you have the time such as driving for a ride share app or grocery delivery.

2. Set up a savings account

Some financial institutions offer designated savings accounts for large purchases or saving for a specific event. A separate, dividend-earning account will hopefully make you less tempted to dip into the pot for regular expenses. Skip eating out once a week and put that money into the account. Set up an automatic transfer from your paycheck to save a little bit at a time.

3. Timing is everything.

Be a savvy shopper. There is an ideal window for buying everything, and booking airline flights is no exception. Flight prices generally fluctuate until departure day, but Travel and Leisure says the average sweet spot is 76 days before your travel date. However, depending on the season and upcoming holidays, you may want to plan even further ahead for the biggest savings.

If you don’t want to be busy checking prices all day, sign up for emails from a savings alert site like Google Flights. Let them know which dates and locations you’re interested in, and they’ll let you know when a flight goes on sale so you can book your discounted tickets before they’re sold out.

4. Clear your cache.

Hotel and airline sites use cookies to determine what you’re shopping for. They’ll see which days you’re searching for and raise their prices accordingly. Beat the system by clearing your cache before every new search so they can’t read your browser history. You might see as much as a 50% drop in prices when searching with an empty cache!

5. Never pay full price

You can score a deluxe vacation without the deluxe price tag — all it takes is a little research. Check out this TravelChannel list of sites for amazing deals and deep discounts for local eateries and entertainment centers. Also, if you’re traveling with kids, don’t forget to look up restaurants with “Kids Eat Free” promotions.

6. Freebie fun

Challenge yourself to enjoy one day of your vacation without spending any money at all. Search local sites and blogs for write-ups about fantastic free things to do nearby. You might find a charming family farm, a gorgeous waterway, a fun splash pad for the kids, or a scenic hiking trail.

Don’t eat out on this day either. Many hotels include a continental breakfast — take full advantage. For lunch, you can picnic on sandwiches. Dinner can be something effortless and delicious that you brought from home.

Consider packing up meals and snacks in a cooler before you leave to take with you. Check out The Kitchn’s list of easy snacks and meal to take on the go. You’ll be surprised at how much fun you can have without spending a penny!

7. Save your mega event for the last day

The taste of dessert is what lingers after the meal is through. End your vacation on a sweet note by saving your most exciting event for your last day away. The anticipation will excite you and the kids and end your getaway on a high note!

This article is for educational purposes only. Tulsa FCU makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, or specific suitability of any information presented. Information provided should not be relied on or interpreted as legal, tax or financial advice. Nor does the information directly relate to our products and/or services terms and conditions.