Keeping reading for vacation savings tips from a certified travel professional!
Be honest: how many times have you thought to yourself, “I need a vacation!” only to realize you haven’t saved for one.
Persons Banking Company believes everyone deserves a get-away. So we spoke with travel pro Jamie Desmaris to get her take on what you should consider when saving for a big vacation.
Vacation Savings Tip #1: Book Early, Be Flexible
First, Jamie advises you to plan and book your trip early.
“The best prices are often found when a destination first opens the booking calendar,” she said. “Plus, in many cases, future promotional rates can be applied to your reservation, even after it’s been booked.”
Also, it’s important to be flexible, especially if you’re budget-minded.
“Off-season travel is generally more cost advantageous. If the destination is seasonal, traveling at the very beginning or tail end of the season may offer better rates than peak of the season.”
Vacation Savings Tip #2: Mind your Timeline
Jamie recommends saving for your vacation as soon as possible.
“This gives you the greatest amount of time with the least amount of impact to other financial priorities,” she said, “Save a little bit over a longer period of time to avoid financial stress trying to save larger amounts over a short amount of time.”
How should you save?
“I recommend a vacation savings account,” Jamie said. “A very small portion of my paycheck goes directly into my vacation account each month, so I’m always saving for a family vacation even if I don’t have anything in particular scheduled.”
Lastly, Jamie advises to be aware of the payment timeline. For example, cruise lines will often require payment in full at least 120 days ahead of the departure date.
Note: a knowledgeable travel professional can help you curate a realistic budget and outline the payment timeline, Jamie said.
Vacation Savings Tip #3: Watch for Sneaky Expenses
Most people budget for airfare, accommodations, and dining when planning a trip, but there are quite a few hidden expenses to be aware of.
Here are Jamie’s top 6:
- Transportation to and from the airport; airport parking fees; etc.
- Gratuity for hotel staff, taxis/rideshare/valet
- Airport expenses such as checked luggage; airport snacks and beverages; books/magazines
- Pet boarding/house sitting
- New clothes/shoes/gear
- Pre-vacation pampering such as a manicure/pedicure or trip to the salon
These hidden expenses can add up quickly, so be sure to budget for them!
Bonus Tip: Hire a Travel Professional
Jamie said that most travel professionals do not charge for their services and can help you save time and money.
“[Travel professionals] know the industry patterns. They are your advocate and can assist you with curating a realistic budget, watch for promotional rates, and offer travel tips and creative ways to keep costs down,” she said.
Also, she noted, a skilled travel agent can work with you to choose a destination that matches both your family’s travel needs and their budget.
You can learn more about Jamie’s services on her website or by following her on Instagram.
Bottom line? It’s possible to take a great vacation without breaking the bank.
- Book early and be flexible
- Mind your savings timeline
- Be mindful of sneaky expenses
And hire a travel pro to help you along the way.
Lastly, remember: Persons Banking Company offers a variety of savings account options to help you save for any big expense!