An education in saving for vacation
No matter if you’re at the start, middle, end of—or retired from—your education career, one thing is for certain… you live for getting away.
For you, perhaps ‘getting away’ means dreams of squeezing out every second during the precious summer months to travel and explore various parts of the world. Or perhaps you have more of a desire to keep closer to home—such as a day trip here, or a weekend camping trip there.
However, you can’t get away on just dreams and desire alone—you need money.
But how MUCH do you need?
STEP 1 in saving for vacation: establish a budget.
You know that old expression; “don’t put the cart before the horse”? Well… don’t plan your vacation before you budget. If you have a month in South Beach on the brain but only enough in the bank for a week in Wasaga Beach—you either need to downsize your dreams, or upsize your savings.
Once you have a better idea of what you can afford, then you can start making those getaway plans.
Click here to get started on your budget now.
STEP 2 in saving for vacation: start cutting back on fringe purchases—now.
All those daily lattés from your favourite coffee house or drive thru window… keep on driving. Better yet, walk and save on gas. Instead of eating out, stay in and cook. And all the online purchases of things you really, really want but don’t really need—resist from clicking that ‘buy button’. Instead, open up a ‘Save-cation Account’ (i.e. ‘Vacation Savings Account), and then put what you would have spent on all of those fringe purchases into that account. You’d be surprised how fast it all adds up over the course of the year.
STEP 3 in saving for a vacation: grow your savings through a short-term investment.
Now that you’ve successfully incorporated your vacation savings plan into your budget—help that savings to grow even more by investing it using a vehicle that fits within your short-term goals. Planning to take that vacation in 12 months? Consider opening up a 12-month GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate). The amazing thing about a GIC is that the interest rate is guaranteed (yes, it REALLY does what it says on the box). That means you’ll know exactly how much money you’ll have saved in 12 months—and getting a little GIC boost is always better than getting bupkis/zero/zilch in a generic savings account.
Learn more about GICs.
STEP 4 in saving for vacation: don’t forget to plan for the easily forgotten travel costs.
Depending on where your vacation itinerary takes you (and for how long), there are certain extras to plan for that people tend to forget about until the last minute.
Here are some extras to keep on your vacation planning radar:
- Travel insurance (double check to see what your member policy does/doesn’t cover)
- Vaccinations/medications (depending on the country you’re travelling to, you may be required to be vaccinated against airborne and/or insect-carrying viruses)
- Luggage/baggage allowance (researching this ahead of time will avoid being surprised with extra out of pocket charges at the airport)
- Cellular roaming charges (depending on your provider, it may be more cost-efficient to purchase a roaming plan to avoid exorbitant roaming fees, or better yet—power off!)
- Passport/travel document duplicates (keep photo copies of your passport/identification in a separate place in case originals are lost/stolen during your travels)
- Emergency contacts (inform friends/family of your itinerary and save important numbers in your phone as ‘Emergency Contact’ to make it easier for loved ones to be reached if a situation arises)
Need help putting a vacation savings plan together? Reach out to us. We can help with that.