How can I prepare for a vacation?

How can I prepare for a vacation?

Traveling as a student can seem impossible. Between the checks from low paying university jobs and monthly allowances from parents, sometimes we must settle for a more frugal lifestyle. For students who want to travel, it may seem like vacations don’t fit in your budget, but it is very possible.  With these five tips, spring break trips will be easier on the pockets!

5) Vacation savings      

A vacation savings account is a great way to prepare for that birthday trip you’ve been planning for months, or a surprise trip that’s in two weeks. Putting money into a separate savings account just for vacations ensures that there are some funds that will go towards upcoming trips. Some banks have reserve accounts, or even sub-categories for vacations in saving accounts. This is a way to continuously lift some of the financial burden of vacations.

4) Research package deals

There are several different package deals that may exist when going on a vacation. Many people know about all-inclusive trips which may include everything from flight to activities. All-inclusive trips may seem like a huge lump sum of money but may sometimes help save you money on the overall price of the trip. Alternatively, there are many websites that may sell hotel + flight package deals, or even hotel + flight + rental car package deals. It is important to do your research on package deals to understand if it really is a deal.

3) Lodging

 When vacationing, sometimes we can get stuck just staying in hotels. There are many more alternative lodging options to choose from such as hostels, bed and breakfasts, and homestays. Sometimes hotels are the way to go, but sometimes there is a better option. For example, if traveling in a large group it may be beneficial to look into whole apartment home stays. For smaller groups, hotels and hostels may be the better choice. It’s all about exploring all your options! 

2) Flights

 It is no secret that flights can be very expensive. Flights are often the bulk of finances from your trip. There are a few ways to combat the price of flights. As mentioned earlier, one of these ways is package deals. Another way is through different price watch apps. There are many apps that will alert you if the price of your flight decreases or increases. Another way to save is being flexible. If you are willing to change departure or return flights to days that are cheaper, or even being able to fly to cheaper airports in the area, you can save a chunk of change.

1) Thinking in advance

One of the biggest tips that I have for students wanting to travel is PLAN AHEAD. This may seem like a no-brainer but planning ahead as much as possible can save you a lot of cash. When planning several months ahead it gives you more time to research, more lodging options, and possibly better prices on flights. It also allows you more time to know how much money you need and to start saving that money. 

Written by Taleah Thomas, Financial Wellness for College Students Peer Educator, University of Illinois Extension, Spring 2020. Reviewed by Kathy Sweedler, University of Illinois Extension.

For more financial education content, follow us on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter.