Why You Should Start Planning Your Summer Vacation Now
By the time February rolls around, most of us have forgotten what warm weather feels like. However, the recent glimpse of Summer weather we’re experiencing in our home city of Philadelphia, has us feeling that summer weather is just around the corner! Cue happy dance.
Warm weather evokes thoughts of summer vacations and although it’s early for the northeast to be experiencing 75 degree temperatures, it’s definitely not too early to start saving and strategizing for that getaway! At Perpay, we believe when you work hard, you deserve to play hard and, more importantly, to play hard without financial stress. That’s why we’re breaking down our favorite ways to plan and execute your summer activities, day trips, and vacations without breaking the bank.
1. Set a budget. Without a realistic idea of how much you have to spend on a vacation, you can become more stressed than excited by the time the vacation arrives. Generally, financial advisors recommend a yearly vacation budget of no more than 4-7% of your annual household income. This isn't a one-size-fits-all policy (depending on age, financial situation, etc), but it’s a good place to start.
2. Save throughout the year. Set up a separate bank account to set aside small weekly or bi-weekly contributions. Just make sure to leave that money untouched- this is your Summer fund!
3. Get creative with your vacation. Try switching it up from previous years by staying local and being a tourist in your own town, city or state. Create a bucket list of places to go and things to do locally. Not only are you experiencing a new adventure & seeing your hometown from a different perspective, but you’ll save on overnight accommodations, travel and often food expenses! Even better- discover FREE local attractions (museums, parks and beaches).
4. Think outside the hotel. Embrace websites like Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway, who offer affordable vacation rentals for anyone from lone travelers, to families, to large groups. Instead of going out to dinner, take advantage of the full kitchens that many vacation rentals have to offer. Not only will you save money, but you'll get an authentic experience.
5. Research, Research, Research. Take advantage of the endless travel resources available on the internet- from planning and trip search engines like TripAdvisor, Groupon and Expedia, to budgeting & savings apps that help you stay on track throughout the year.
Although the idea of setting aside the time and money for planning your vacation right now might seem daunting, it will definitely pay off in a few months. By contributing small amounts from your paycheck each pay period, these small savings don't seem like such a big bite out of your account! Who doesn’t like planning for vacation, anyway?