We are currently in the heart of wintertime. January and February are the coldest months in the United States. While many people despise cold weather, many can agree that the snow which comes with it can be a nice compliment. Although summertime seems to be the time when most families vacation, a ski trip during winter allows some families to break the mold. Saving for a vacation is only half the battle. While having the available funds to do something enjoyable is important, finding a good deal is also just as important. I recently planned a ski vacation and will share my six tips on how I saved and budgeted for the vacation.
Saving for a Vacation Tip 1:
If you are like me and enjoy traveling with family and friends, then it is important to have a “Travel” category in your budget. Setting aside $100 or $200 every month for travel allows the funds to add up and allows you to have a couple of enjoyable vacations every year.
Saving for a Vacation Tip 2:
Vacationing for many people means eating out every meal, which can get very expensive. Packing snacks ahead of time and a quick trip to the grocery store when you arrive can help limit your food costs.
Saving for a Vacation Tip 3:
Plan for transportation ahead of time. Booking a rental car before you arrive at the airport is often cheaper than waiting until you arrive at the destination to get one. Kayak.com is a great place to search for the best rental car rates.
Saving for a Vacation Tip 4:
If flying to a destination, use Google Flights to search for the best rates. Google Flights allows you to search many airlines at once and see the cheapest rates for the best dates.
Saving for a Vacation Tip 5:
When booking a ski vacation, book your lift tickets and ski or snowboard rentals online. Keystone Resort in Colorado offers online reservations to early bookers for a 20% discount. Additionally, you can rent your equipment cheaper online ahead of time as well. By booking my equipment through Christy Sports I was able to save an additional 20% versus the walk-in rate.
Saving for a Vacation Tip 6:
Lodging tends to be one of the more expensive parts of any vacation. Last year when I traveled to Hawaii, a night at a resort was close to $600 per night; however, a couple of friends and myself split a three bedroom Airbnb for less than $150 per night. Exploring your lodging options can help greatly reduce the cost of any vacation.
As you can see, saving for a vacation is a two-fold strategy. You first want to make sure you have the available funds. This is done by creating money in your budget. Secondly, you want to make sure you find the best deals out there. I have found that planning for a vacation ahead of time is one of the easiest ways to save on your trip. Meshing both of these aspects together can help create an enjoyable, budget-friendly trip for all.