Vacation Planning – Saving More Moolah for the Big Getaway

Planning a vacation is tough for many reasons, but finding the time to go on vacation is one of the biggest obstacles around. It doesn’t help that the recession, with its massive layoffs and pay cuts, has left employees wary of spending any extra money in the event that the proverbial shoe drops. Or, maybe your job is secure and you’re that “go-to” person that gives their entire life to work. Whatever scenario best describes you, it’s clear why fewer people are taking vacations these days. If you’re lucky enough to take some time off, you’re faced with the reality that everything costs too damn much! Airline tickets and hotel rates are skyrocketing and it is becoming even more expensive to eat out…which leaves the final obstacle: figuring out where the money for your awesome (and long overdue) vacation will come from.

According to AAA Mid Atlantic, the average cost of a vacation for a couple is $2,500. If that’s the case, it’s highly unlikely that you will be taking that fantastic European vacation of your dreams. But there are some really cool places you can go, like New York City or Williamsburg, Virginia (if you’re an East Coaster) and Las Vegas, Nevada or San Francisco, California (if you live near the West Cost), that guarantee a good time and will not break the bank. Since I live on the East Coast, one of my favorite places to visit is Williamsburg, Virginia because of its amusement parks, outlet shopping, and amazing, non-chain restaurants. My husband and I can spend a full week in Williamsburg, eat and drink (liquor is included), stay at a very nice hotel, do a little outlet shopping, and hit an amusement park or two all for $1,200!

To prepare for a trip, we put a little money from our paychecks into a joint vacation fund prior to going on vacation. This only works because we plan where we are going well in advance to make sure there is enough time to save. For example, if we plan on going to Williamsburg, we each save $100 ($200 total) a month starting in January; by June, we are ready to book our trip. If we have more ambitious goals, like heading to London, we start saving money 12 to 15 months before the actual trip. That way we don’t pay more than $150-200 each per month.

I find that as much as I save money, I waste it on stuff like takeout and beauty products. I usually find my $100-200 by reducing the amount of things I waste my money on. I am sure you awesome ladies will do the same!

Feel free to post where you will be going on vacation in the next couple of months and how you plan to save for it.

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