Now that summer is here, the fun and relaxing vacations many of you have been longing for will finally happen.

What’s the most important part of a vacation? The budgeting you do beforehand, of course!

The fact is, you can travel on almost every budget. It’s key to plan well in advance, and to also be realistic about where you can go and what experiences you can have with the money available.  

When budgeting for the year, have an idea of a few places you would like to travel to or the type of vacation you would like to have. Are you planning for one long vacation on the other side of the world, or a week-long vacation to a nearby island as well as a three-day road trip? Will you be traveling with your significant other and splitting costs down the middle, or having a friends’ trip with five of your best friends?

Once you have narrowed down your choices, do some research on the costs associated with the places you’ve chosen. Remember to include:

  • Transportation to and from your destination
  • Local transportation
  • Accommodations
  • Meals
  • Attractions and activities
  • Shopping/souvenirs
  • Miscellaneous costs (visas, vaccinations, etc.)

To begin saving, divide the estimated cost of the trip by the number of months you’re giving yourself to save for it. So if you have ten months to save for a $5,000 trip, you’ll need to save $500 a month. Get creative with how you’ll put that amount aside: You may consider working extra hours, cutting down on spending in other areas, having a yard sale, starting out with half of your tax return, etc. If setting aside that amount every month is too much of a stretch, consider pushing your trip back by, say, six months to stretch the savings out over a longer period of time.

It’s a good strategy to have a separate savings account just for your vacations. You can easily set up automatic transfers and watch those monies grow without mixing it with your other funds and being tempted to spend it.

As part of your research, be sure to spend some time finding ways to have the experiences you want without spending all your money on tour guides and pricy tourist traps. Discover what things you truly need to pay a company to do for you, and what things you can figure out how to do for yourself. This approach can not only keep your costs down, but may make for more satisfying, unique vacations.

The information mentioned in this article is for informational purposes only, is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Each person’s situation is unique and may materially differ from the information provided herein.  You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant and/or legal counsel to address your specific needs before any financial or other commitments regarding the issues related to your situation are made.  Banco Popular North America does not make any representations or warranties as to the content contained herein and disclaims any and all liability resulting from any use of or reliance on such content.