Are you still with me? Hopefully you’ve found some really useful information so far in this series. I really believe that a great family vacation is attainable for anyone, if you plan properly!
If you are really trying to watch your spending and stick to a tight budget, watch out for all the little extras that can creep up before, during and after your vacation!
New clothes – shop your closet and see what fits before going out and buying all new clothes for your trip. If you need new items, shop second hand and as always watch for sales. Even in the winter, stores have sales on summer stuff. And don’t forget to try everything on before you pack it up, make sure things from last season still fit.
Repairs – if you are driving, I mentioned in my other post, to get a tune up. Repairs to you vehicle are likely to be needed throughout the year, and you should have money set aside for such repairs anyways, but it can be a lot to handle if they are needed right before a trip. Plus, you wouldn’t want to break down while on your trip!
Food – maybe you don’t want to leave food in your fridge if you are gone for a week or more, so you end up living off takeout in the days before your trip, this is an extra cost too, and should be counted in your trip budget. Same with when you get back, maybe you will be too tired to cook, try and prep some freezer meals for that first day back, or have some money set aside in your budget for ordering a pizza when you get home.
Coffee – yes, coffee is getting its own section. Hitting the drive thru for coffee can get very expensive very fast. If you are used to making it at home each day, having to buy it every day while on vacation can get expensive fast! Now, hotel coffee is its own thing, and usually not very good, so make sure you budget for buying coffee every day (or twice a day like my husband and I!). it might seem like just a few dollars, but it adds up, especially if you get in the mindset of “I’m on vacation! Let’s get fancy latte’s!”, which let’s face it, we know we have all done!
Souveniers – keychains, tshirts, hats, all those fun little take homes! These are fun reminders of what a great trip you had, and even at just a few dollars each, they can add up quick depending on how many you are buying. People often buy them for people back home too, perhaps a friend or neighbour or relative that is watching over your home while you are away. Add some space in you budget for those little keepsakes!
Tolls – if you are planning a road trip, check your tour to see if there are toll roads. Sometimes you can avoid them, though I’d might take longer. If you don’t want to avoid them, make sure you have cash with you to pay for them!
And remember, as much planning as you put in to a trip, other expenses will sneak up, so have a bit of wiggle room in your budget!
Well, that’s it for the series! I hope you enjoyed it and it has helped you learn ways you can afford a great family vacation!
If you missed the first posts, you can check them out here: