Take Your Dream Vacation by Understanding How to Save the Smart Way
Whether your dream vacation is a 5-star hotel along the Paris Champs-Élysées or a month-long safari tour in Africa, vacations are a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. They allow us to become energized both mentally and physically, and to step back and view our lives from a different perspective. However, as great as they are for us, dream vacations aren't always the most affordable parts of our lives.
Fortunately, there are a number of techniques that can be used to ensure that you're always taking the vacation that you want, when the time comes for a break. Among them, the most practical are as follows:
Make Your Bank Work For You - Visit your bank branch and open a savings account that is separate from the one you use for your regular banking. Don't attach a debit or credit card to it, and don't allow checks to be used with it. Then, have the bank take a predetermined amount out of every paycheck and deposit it into that savings account. Make the amount as high as possible, without reducing your quality of life. This will allow you to save your money for a vacation, and reduce the temptation (or need) to dip into that savings to pay for other things.
Use Your Taxes - When tax refund time comes around, think of it as a vacation bonus, and tuck that amount safely away in your savings account. This will give your vacation savings a well needed boost.
Use a Piggybank - As small as coins may seem, they add up very quickly. In fact, you might find it very surprising how quickly your coins can add up even in a short period of time. So get a piggy bank, coffee can, or some other large container, and choose a denomination that will be designated for your vacation. Quarters work best, because they're so common, and they hold the highest value. The way it works is that from now on, you'll never spend a single one of the quarters you receive. Any quarters will be dropped into your piggy bank. Soon enough, you'll have saved enough money for your souvenirs, ticket admissions or other additional expenses you'll accumulate on your dream trip.
Use Travel Rewards Programs - Many airlines and hotel chains have travel reward programs that allow you to accumulate points over time as you shop or use their particular credit card. By saving your points to cover your flight or your hotel room, you're eliminating a great deal of your expenses right off the bat - for free! You may even be able to get a discount using your points for a car rental or vacation package. Look into what is available and try to make sure that you're signing up for a program with no annual fee - many programs try to rope you in, mentioning their annual fee only in the fine print.
The final step is to make sure that you have a great travel agent on your side. A dedicated, knowledgeable, and experienced travel agent will be able to take your vacation dollars to the max by stretching them over the best values on hotels, flights, rentals, and touring packages.