Thursday, April 28, 2016

Planning A Vacation On A Budget - 7 Tips

Everyone needs a vacation every now and then. A vacation offers a much-needed opportunity to relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect with the family and friends you care about the most. Unfortunately, escaping for a vacation can be a bit of a challenge. Even if securing time off from your job is doable, finding the money to fund your vacation is sometimes easier said than done. 

If you're feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect of funding your summer vacation this year, First Bank of the Lake is here to help. Here are a few tips to help you keep your vacation costs down.

1. Go All-Inclusive
While they may not seem like it at first, all-inclusive resorts and cruises often offer incredibly affordable travel options. If you choose a simpler, cheaper room (at most all-inclusive resorts), you can still enjoy access to all the included restaurants, pools, and amenities without any additional cost. If you avoid paying for the optional extras (alcoholic beverages, special excursions and activities, etc), you can enjoy a great vacation for a fraction of the cost.

2. Travel During The Off-Season
Any Lake local can attest to the drastic difference between prices during the off-season and the peak vacation season. During the summer, everything is a little bit more expensive at the Lake of the Ozarks - even gasoline. During the fall, winter, and spring, however, costs are typically a bit lower. The same logic applies to other destinations. Traveling to your chosen destination during the off-season may be a great way to keep costs down.

3. Look For Places Off The Beaten Path
It's no surprise that the places that attract the most tourists are often much more expensive. While these may be enticing destinations, looking for alternatives that are off the beaten path may be a great way to save money. Lodging prices will probably be lower, even if you may have a short commute to nearby tourist attractions.

4. Book In Advance
When it comes to planning your vacation, the early bird truly does get the worm. Some destinations and travel companies offer discounts for booking early in advance, and many charge more for last-minute bookings. By making your plans well in advance of your actual travel dates, you will have more time to shop around for the best options.

5. Take A Road Trip
As the cost of air travel continues to rise higher and higher, opting for a road trip may be more cost-effective. In addition to being cheaper than flying, road trips offer several fun advantages. For example, you get to explore highlights that may be off the beaten path and legitimately experience every little town you pass.

6. Build A Vacation Budget
Determine how much you can afford to spend on your vacation, and restrict yourself to keeping within those limits. The first step is to identify the overall amount you can afford to spend on the entire trip. Once you have that number, you can begin breaking it down into smaller categories: travel, lodging, food, souvenirs, etc. If you have trouble controlling your spending, divide your spending money between the days you will be gone and put a cash allowance for each day in separate envelopes. Once you actually arrive, only spend the money in the envelope for any given day.

7. Put Away The Plastic
If you aren't careful, vacations are a prime opportunity to rack up credit card debt. Fully embracing the vacation mindset is great, but not if it it includes throwing frugality out the window. If you can't afford to make a purchase with cash or your debit card just as easily, don't make the purchase on your credit card. If you can't pay them off immediately, any expenses you put on your credit card will end up costing you a lot more in the long run.

Happy Planning!
Planning your vacation is often just as much fun as taking the trip itself. On behalf of everyone at our bank in Osage Beach MO, we hope you have a wonderful time both in the planning stage and on your actual trip! If you are looking for a safe place to save your vacation funds, contact us about setting up a savings account at the Lake of the Ozarks. We will be happy to assist in any way we can!

First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!

4558 Osage Beach Parkway
Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065

(573) 348-2265

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