How to Save Money Before, During, and After Your Vacation

June 30th, 2011

Believe it or not, your summer vacation doesn't have to break your budget.  Here are some money-saving tips for the summer

  • Plan your vacation in advance.  Ideally, you should start planning months in advance by checking out travel sites like Kayak, Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, Hotwire, etc.  Sites like these can help you find the best rates on plane tickets, hotels, rental cars, etc.  When comparing rates, it is sometimes helpful to contact the provider directly to see if he'll offer any additional discounts.
  • Pack for your vacation in advance.  Make sure you and your kids have everything that you'll need while you're traveling.  For instance, if you're going to the beach, make sure that swimsuits still fit and that you haven't forgotten to pack towels and goggles.  If you don't have something that you might need, go ahead and buy it before you leave.  You'll have the opportunity to buy anything that you need or have left behind at your destination, but it is unlikely that you'll be able to find those items without high mark-ups. 

  • Spring Cleaning + Summer Vacation = Garage Sale!  Get rid of the junk that's accumulated in your garage and raise some extra money to help buffer the cost of your vacation.  Encourage your kids to part with old toys and games by reminding them of incentives, like getting to go to Disney World, or having more spending money at the beach or in the mountains. 

  • Consider a "staycation."  If you know that you cannot afford a trip to a far-away destination, find fun and affordable things to do locally.  Chattanooga is uniquely equipped to entertain the "staycationer," with attractions like Rock City, the Incline Railway, Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga Zoo, and many others.  You could also plan a day-trip to a location of interest in North Georgia, Alabama, or Tennessee.  And don't forget free activities like Nightfall!

  • Visit family or friends.  You may have failed to consider visiting family or friends because traveling the longer distance would require additional airfare costs.  Before nixing this option, you should consider the cost of your vacation as a whole.  You may find that after accounting for the cost of gas, lodging, and meals, the price for plane tickets is much more cost-effective. 

  • Balance splurges with cut-backs.  It's okay if you're determined to splurge on a particular aspect of your vacation, but be sure to mediate the extra expenditure by cutting back in other areas.  Staying at a fancier hotel may mean buying groceries and eating in your room for breakfast, lunch, and most dinners.  Shopping and buying souvenirs could be balanced with lounging by the pool instead of participating in expensive activities.  By examining and balancing your budget, you'll be able to enjoy what's most important to you without guilt!

By taking advantage of these tips, you can find ways to stay within your budget while still enjoying time with your family.  If you don't already have a budget, we'll help you develop one!  Live Chat with us now, call our office at (423) 490-5620, or email us at

Posted by | Topic: Managing Your Money

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