Make Your Next Family Vacation More Affordable
Soccer tournament in Sioux Falls last weekend. A wedding in the Black Hills this weekend. Followed by a family trip to Denver next month. If your calendar sounds something like this, you’re not alone.
For many families, weekend trips and vacations are a regular and necessary part of life. Unfortunately, they can also be a major source of strain on your bank account and savings goals. While it’s important to create lasting memories with your family, be careful not to do so at the expense of your financial health and wellness.
Before you start planning your next weekend getaway, our personal finance experts recommend that you take some time to evaluate your finances and vacation goals. With a little planning, ingenuity, and hard work, you can give your wallet some much-needed breathing room without sacrificing your family’s time together.
Start A Travel Fund/Account
- Avoid dipping into your regular savings or emergency fund to finance a vacation. Instead, open a special savings account dedicated to funding your adventures. (BHFCU members can do this for FREE!) Be sure to maximize your vacation goals by automating your savings. A BHFCU teller can help you get started. You may be surprised by how much money you can save in just a few months.
Reduce Other Expenses
- Find additional ways to save for your trips. Start by cutting back on unnecessary services and unused memberships – Netflix, Amazon Prime, cable, gym, etc. You can also save money by packing your lunch for work, carpooling with your spouse/roommate, and more. Consider picking up a part-time job, starting a side-gig, or even holding a garage sale. Be sure to track your progress with Money Management, BHFCU’s FREE financial management service.
Look For Discounts and Deals
- Before booking your next trip, be sure to comparison shop and look for deals on everything from accommodations to activities on bargain sites like GroupOn and Living Social. Airbnb, house sharing, and Uber/Lyft are also great options for travelers on a budget. Look to book your vacation during the off-season or shoulder season (the time between the off-season and busy time), when prices are typically lower. Lastly, don’t forget to utilize flight comparison websites like Kayak, AirfareWatchdog, and TravelZoo.
Take Advantage of Rewards Programs
- One of the biggest savings opportunities comes in the form of rewards. Whether it’s hotels, airlines, or restaurants, signing up for rewards programs can often save you time and money, like receiving free appetizers or a free night stay. Additionally, be sure to take advantage of BHFCU VISA Rewards and Signature Rewards Cards to earn points toward travel, merchandise, gift cards, and more.
Use Money Saving Strategies
- Always be on the lookout for opportunities to save before, during, and after your vacation. There are a lot of unique ways to cut costs including taking advantage of hotels with free continental breakfast, splitting the cost of a rental with family and/or friends, purchasing tickets in advance, packing snacks for road trips, and much more. Use Online Banking and BHFCU’s top-rated Mobile App to stay on top of your spending while you travel.
When it comes to family vacations, it’s important to find a balance between your fun adventures and a healthy bank account. To learn more about how BHFCU’s great products and services can help you make the most of your next vacation give us a call at 718-1818 or stop by any BHFCU location.