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Nothing compares to the feeling of a booked hotel room at your next travel destination. But, it’s usually followed with (at least) one question. How to save money for a vacation?

It might bring down your mood, but we’re about to cheer you up. Yes, you can save money even on a low income, there are some really good tricks worth a try. Not only you can spare some cash for your voyage, but you can earn extra money easily too.

Read all about it in this article. And once you’re done, you can check out this text with tips on how to make money for a vacation.

Table of Contents

Plan your trip as detailed as possible

You can’t save money for a vacation without having a clue how much will that trip cost. You need to have a target amount so you could track and distribute savings equally.

So before you cut back on your expenses, take time to list down all the vacation costs. Plus, if you plan ahead, you could significantly lower hotel and flight ticket prices.

In order to avoid panic and pressure, be realistic about the time you’ll need to save money for a desired vacation. Sometimes it might take you a few months, and other times you might save for an entire year.

So, let’s begin. Write down:

  • The price of a bus/airplane/boat ticket or the total price needed for gas.
  • The price of your logging.
  • How much money you’ll need for food and drinks? Investigate the price range of the place you’re visiting.
  • Set aside a portion of money for unexpected expenses (medical bills, flat tire, or anything else).
  • Calculate the price of tourist attraction tickets if you’re planning on visiting those.
  • Include the price for the car rental.

Now that you calculated your trip cost – more or less – it’s time to check out how to save money for a vacation.

1. Become aware of your spending habits

You can’t learn how to save money for a vacation if you don’t know where the majority of your money goes every month. You can start by listing down your entire monthly income. Not only your salary but other money sources too.

Now that you got the numbers, sit down and write all the fixed expenses you have each month. Such as your rent, insurance, bills, and any mortgage or loan. Next, start tracking your variable expenses for a month. This includes meals and drinks out, going to movies, shopping for clothes, and anything that isn’t a necessity for you.

And this is where your money management skills come in. You’ll need to become a responsible spender.

What does this mean? It means you should pay your fixed expenses on time, always. But, think twice before spending money on something that doesn’t belong in that basket. We’re not saying you should start living as an ascetic but refrain from unnecessary spending for a while.

This will be easier with a clear sum goal and a set travel date in mind.

2. Sell the things you no longer need

When you’re saving for a trip, trying out new ways to earn extra money can sometimes be exhausting. But it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to learn any new skills or do any grunt work to get that extra cash. All you have to do is check your home for clothes and items you no longer use that are in good shape. And list them for sale.

You can even make something and sell it if you’re feeling crafty. It’s up to you.

Items you can put on sale:

  • Your old or unworn clothes that are in good shape.
  • Jewelry you’re no longer wearing.
  • Old computer equipment.
  • Music records.
  • Old phones.
  • Unnecessary pieces of furniture.

To start selling, you can search for your local online sales pages to put up an ad. Or, list the items on eBay, Etsy, or Shopify.

3. Shop smarter for food and clothes

Even though you’re cutting back on expenses, there are some things you still got to buy. And you can save money on clothes and food shopping if you do it right.

Price comparison – it’s an obvious one but oftentimes neglected. You can check and compare the price online by yourself, or you can visit a website specialized for that. Websites such as PriceGrabber or Shopzilla offer a price comparison for many shopping categories.

Use coupons and vouchers – you’ll be glad you did so because you can find some pretty good deals here. You should check the mail and newspaper for coupons regularly. Also, see if your favorite store has an app with digital coupons you can use for your next purchase.

Give generic brands a go – it might surprise you, but they’re not that bad at all. The psychology behind buying from big brands often makes the products taste better than they are. And it’s like that on purpose, to make us spend more money. But, often times generic store brands taste just as good and cost way less. It’s a win-win situation.

4. Open a savings account

When looking for ways how to save money for a vacation, opening a savings account is the safest way to do it. It’s an official statement saying you’re actually saving for that trip.

This can help you separate your travel fund from the rest of the money and your emergency fund. By having separate savings account you’re less likely to spend that money on everyday things. So it will help you stay on track.

To be even more sure you’ll deposit money to this account regularly, ask for the automated monthly fund transfer. You can set the transfer date for the day after payday, so you don’t have to think about it.

5. Cut back on unnecessary expenses

If you wish to make it to that dreamy vacation destination, you got to be honest with yourself. Do you really need all those expenses?

The chances are there is at least one unnecessary expense you’re making each month. Well, it’s time to shake things up!  Even though it may seem that paying for a $20 service each month is not much, it piles up. You can save some money here and put it in your travel fund.

But first, ask yourself:

  • Do you really need all those streaming subscriptions? You can just watch regular TV for some time.
  • Are fancy saunas/gyms necessary? You don’t have to give up on working out, just switch to a local less pricy gym or do your workouts at home.
  • Going to the cinema is exciting, we know, but it costs as well. Just make the popcorn at home and settle for a home movie night.

And so on, you get the idea. There must be something you’re spending more money on than you should. Try to think of a cheaper alternative, or pause it entirely if there’s no other way. Keep your eyes on the prize – the vacation.

6. Earn extra money with online paid surveys

Anyone who has ever wondered how to save money for a vacation must’ve stumbled upon paid surveys.

It’s an easy and fun way to make extra money from home. As a matter of fact, you can earn cash with paid surveys no matter where you are, or what time of the day it is. And, you don’t need any particular skills to get started.

But, before you get your head wrapped around what to do with the extra money you earned from surveys, let us point you back to your goal. Saving for a vacation. So, it’s good to know that you can’t make a fortune from paid surveys, but you can earn some pocket money for traveling.

You can sign up for free here in less than a minute. Once you start receiving surveys in your email, you do them in your spare time and earn money.

Because there are a lot of paid survey scam websites out there, you should never share your social security number or driver’s license. Also, never fall for the websites that ask you to deposit money first to start earning. The platform should pay you out as Shoppanel does. Not the other way around.

7. Save money on your meals

You can save a lot of money if you start preparing your meals at home. In fact, when you’re eating out, you’re paying up to 300% of the price you would pay to make that same meal at home. That’s because restaurants need to make a living, and pay all the expenses you don’t have to pay for at home.

Not only you can impact your budget, but you can improve your health as well by preparing your meals at home. And eating healthier at home doesn’t have to be pricey. You can read more on ways to save money on groceries and eat healthily in this article.