You have to pay the mortgage, taxes and car payments, and that can leave little for a grand tour of Europe or a fancy cruise. But with discipline and diligence, families can save for that trip of their dreams. Here are some ideas to help make the dream a reality:
1. Make a plan // Join a savings club at
your bank or credit union, where a set
amount is siphoned from each paycheck
and sent to an account that you will use for
travel. The money will build up during the
year, and you won't have to worry about
how to pay for the trip.
3. Bank that refund // If you typically get
a tax refund from the federal or state government
each year, squirrel that money
away in a vacation account.Depending on
the size of your refund, you could find yourself
with enough money to take that long desired
Hawaii trip in just a year or two.
4. Pile up credit card miles // If you
charge expenses, consider using a credit
card that awards airline miles or hotel
points. But keep in mind, it doesn't make
sense to run up your debt just to get a free
5. Get rid of stuff // The Recycler, Craig's
List and eBay make it easy to unload things
that have value but just clutter your home.
Why keep that motorcycle you haven't ridden
in two years when it might pay for two
tickets to London and a West End show?
6. Get higher interest // Don't risk money
you plan to spend on a vacation in the
next year or two in the stock market or a
speculative investment. But consider
putting the funds in a money market account
or online bank that pays higher interest
rates.The difference could be enough
to pay for a nice dinner or two in Paris.
7. Know when to book // Generally, the
earlier you book a trip, the less you will spend.
The best airline fares and cruise cabins tend
to sell out first, especially around holidays
such as Christmas and Thanksgiving.
8. Pick your moments // Avoid peak travel
periods. Consider skiing in mid-January
instead of February. Go to Walt Disney
World during the slower winter months.
Anytime you can avoid traveling to a destination
at a time when there is high demand
you will save money.
9. Think contrarian // Look for regions
that are recovering from storm damage, such
as the Mexican Riviera or areas of Southeast
Asia. These areas may offer significant discounts
to lure tourists back to the region to
show that they are open for business.
10. Swap your house // In The Holiday,
Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet use homeexchange.com to swap homes in Los Angeles
and Britain for several weeks. Such a
swap lets vacationers avoid making hotel
reservations and allows them to save lodging
expenses. Homeexchange.com is a real
Web site that for a $59.95 annual membership
puts home swappers together.
Homelink.org and intervac.com are two
other organizations that do the same.
[From the Los Angeles Times]
Travel tips: 10 ways to...
Save for that dream vacation
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