Daydreaming about warm beaches and far away destinations? Vacation season is upon us which means you may be in the process of planning your next big adventure. While vacations are a much needed break from everyday life, they should never cause you to go into debt. A better approach to paying for a trip is to plan ahead and take the time you need to save. Here are five steps to help you save money while planning an unforgettable vacation.
Before you do any vacation planning, start saving and set up an account dedicated solely to your vacation fund. Separating your general account from your vacation savings alleviates the temptation to dip into your vacation savings for other expenses. If you have a Marine Bank debit card, an easy way to save is to pair your vacation savings account with our Common Cents program. Every time you swipe your debit card and use your PIN, this program automatically rounds up your transaction total to the next whole dollar amount and transfers the difference to your preferred savings account. For example, if you spend $55.17 on groceries, .83 cents will automatically transfer into your specified account. Here's another easy way you can save by using our Common Cents program for your holiday spending.
Choose Where and When
Where would you like to go? Your heart might be set on a popular destination, but keep in mind, you may find different vacation spots that are equally great and costs less simply because they're not as well-known. When you vacation can also save you money. Traveling during the off-season or right before or after the busy tourist season can be significantly less on things like airfare and tourist attractions. Plus, you’ll have the benefit of a more secluded and quiet vacation because there will be fewer people and crowds.
Keep Expectations in Check
When daydreaming about your vacation, it’s easy to get lost in some luxurious, over-the-top and over your budget plans. It's okay to splurge on parts of your vacation, after-all, it’s a vacation and you want to live a little. If you’ve always wanted to take a trip to an expensive destination, like Hawaii, find other ways to save on your trip. Instead of eating out for every meal, plan to eat in and instead of taking your trip during peak vacation season, go during the off season. If you can be open-minded to some different ideas and stay flexible as you plan, you can save money and make some great memories.
Make a Budget
Get an idea of how much your trip may cost before you start planning the details. You might decide a smaller vacation budget is best for your overall finances or maybe you’re saving for your dream vacation. Either way, your budget is a key piece of planning your trip. First, decide where and when then dive into the details to figure out costs of things like lodging, food, car rental as well as the tourist attractions and extracurricular activities you’d like to do.
Keep Your Money Safe
This last point is a different take on saving your money. While on your trip, be extra cautious with your debit card so you don’t have to deal with unwanted charges ruining your vacation. Even if you don’t think your account has been compromised, check your statement or look at your online banking daily. If you see anything suspicious, contact us and we will be happy to help. The Marine Bank mobile app and online banking site also give you more control of your accounts by allowing you to turn your debit card on/off, so you can easily and quickly turn your card off to avoid more unwanted transactions. Also, don’t forget to let Marine Bank know you are leaving so we can put a travel notification on your account.
The best tip we can give you is to research, plan and stick to your budget. If you’re interested in more ideas and ways to save, our MarinePerks account has tons of discounts. Plus, this account includes personal travel agents that will find you the best price guaranteed for you flight. Not only will you know that you are getting the best deal, you will also earn 3% cash back every time you book through MarinePerks. As an added perk, we include the Good as Gold Guarantee - if you find a better price for the exact trip, MarinePerks will double the difference up to $100 in addition to your Cash Back Reward.
Whatever your financial focus - vacation, retirement, building your savings, etc. - Marine Bank is with you. We have some great checking and saving account options to help you reach your goals. Enjoy planning your next vacation. Bon Voyage!