A good graduation trip can really help you blow off a semester’s worth of steam. If this is your first time planning (or paying for) a trip of your own, it will really lower your stress level to plan ahead. Your money can take you to some pretty amazing places if you make sure to budget ahead and eat affordably while you travel.
If there’s one rule of financially savvy vacationing, it’s this one: Make a budget before you hit the road. It can be easy to justify an ever-ballooning budget. A few dollars here and there can quickly turn into one big expense, and it’s one you could be paying for long after the ink on your diploma has dried.
Instead, take control of your spending by giving yourself a realistic goal of how much you’ll spend. If you’re worried about running out of money before you get to the end of your trip, give yourself a daily budget and stick to it. Even if you end up a few dollars over on one day, you can make up the difference much easier than if you blew your entire budget in the first few days.
Knowing the costs associated with your vacation well ahead of time gives you more time to save for those expenses. Ideally, vacations come from savings, not future debt. The more you budget and save, the more that is possible.
Make Road Trip Food Fun – and Affordable
Gas station food might be an attractive option after you’ve spent all day on the road, but it’s not always the best plan. In addition to the extra costs you pay for convenience, such food is generally fried and unhealthy. You probably don’t want to spend the first few days of a great vacation sweating off a pound of fried cheese! Beyond the food, spending money on gas station beverages can do some quick damage to your budget.
As much as possible, prepare your snacks before leaving. Put snack-sized bags of chips together out of a big bag or fill a cooler jug with water. Planning your road trip snacks can be fun! Going to the grocery store and shopping for on-the-road goodies can be a fun way to feel like your splurging while spending less than you would at a gas station along the way. The cost savings are well worth the time.
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