As Mark and Kyla have gotten older, we’ve started to take them on more vacations with us because we believe that traveling as much as possible is invaluable to a child’s development.
It isn’t easy, though. Budgeting for our trips can often be difficult, especially when we have to take into account the cost of living and actually raising our kids. Travel is important, but so too is stability and routine, so we can’t exactly take them on adventures and work from wherever we are to move to the next place.
That means we need to budget to be able to afford the trips we do take them on. Here’s how we do it.
Do The Research
It’s not good to just decide you want to go on vacation. You need to know where you want to go, what you intend to do and how much it is all likely to cost before you start saving. This will allow you to create a figure to shoot towards in addition to informing how much you put aside each month in preparation for the trip. Don’t forget to include spending money too.
Cut Out The Non-Essentials
Take a moment to take stock of what you are currently spending your money on. Do you really need the most expensive phone contract, the latest TV or whatever else you are buying that really doesn’t serve that much of a purpose? When you have travel on your mind it is easy to answer “no” to those questions. Your next step should be to cut out those expenses that aren’t really essential to your wellbeing and lifestyle. You will save a remarkable amount of money that can be put towards a vacation where you will create amazing memories with your family.
Use The Internet
While booking your vacation through a travel agency is convenient, it also comes with a host of additional costs that will make the vacation more expensive than it needs to be. If you’re willing to put a couple of evenings of work into it, you will often find that what you want to do can be achieved much cheaper online. Sites like Airbnb and Sky Scanner can help you find cheap flights and accommodation. You can also book a lot of experiences online yourself, instead of relying on an agent to do it.
Plot Your Spending
Saving for the vacation is only the first step. The money you spend while you are traveling will often sting the most. Make sure you learn as much as you can about the currency you are using and current exchange rates, as this will ensure you don’t spend too much because you don’t know enough about the money. Also, plot out every activity you wish to participate in and figure out how much it will cost the family. You may also want to put a little more money aside for gifts and the like. The key is to understand how much money you want to take and then ensure you don’t go over that limit.
Get The Kid’s Involved
Getting the kid’s involved with the planning early on can be great motivators for them. If they are old enough, you can encourage them to do work around the neighborhood, such as trimming lawns or shovelling snow, to earn a bit of extra cash for spending money. They may also start saving more of their allowances to go towards the trip, which is all cash that you don’t have to take for them. Don’t force your kids into work, by any means, but if they are motivated for the trip you may find they are willing to do it themselves as far as they can.