It is about this time of year when saving for a summer vacation becomes a key focus. It is starting to get warmer and I’m dreaming of seeing new cities and the beauty of this world. Travel is a massive love of mine!
Discovering new cities, trying new foods, and experiencing different cultures; it just makes my heart sing. I can still remember dining at a tiny restaurant in Florence with Mr V on our honeymoon and my mouth waters remembering the blue cheese gnocchi.
That was seven years ago.
Living in Europe for the past six years has been a dream. We have been able to snowboard in Austria, drink Champagne actually in Champagne, watch the sunset in Santorini and walk along the beaches of Biarritz.
But it takes money, right?
None of this would have been possible if we didn’t save for a summer vacation each month. With summer just four months away, saving for a summer vacation now puts you ahead of the game. What motivates me to save for a summer vacation is the promise of sipping a glass of wine on Lake Como in Italy. That little daydream gets me through the coldest winter days.
Whether you’re dealing with the winter blues or you’ve promised yourself a week in Ibiza, here are seven ways to begin saving for a summer vacation now.
1 | AUTOMATE YOUR SAVINGS
Figure out how much you can save each paycheck, then have that amount automatically transferred into a savings account each month. If you never had the money, you won’t miss it. I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years and it always shocks me to see how much the account has grown without me noticing! Most banks have this option in their internet banking, set it up once then let the compound interest work its magic. Its one of the easiest ways you can start saving for a summer vacation.
2 | MAKE YOUR COFFEE AT HOME
I almost died when I counted up how much money I spent last year of coffee. So let me share the sums, one cup of coffee costs £2.60 and coffee is a daily essential right? Each week that equals £13 I was spending on my morning caffeine fix. That totals £676 per year on takeaway coffee! To put this waste of precious travels funds into perspective, that’s could fund a weekend in Barcelona if flying from London!! Ditch the cafe coffees and make yours at home. Even better, get a thermal flask and take it with you on your morning commute so you starts saving for a summer vacation.
3 | SPEND ON PAPER FIRST
Each month allocate every cent in a budget. Have a plan for where your money is going to go, then before you spend check your plan. If it’s not on paper first, don’t spend it. Don’t have a plan already, don’t stress! Get my personal Allocated Spending Plan below, it’s how I paid off $60k in debt in just two years!
4 | MAKE EBAY YOUR BEST FRIEND
We all have a pair of fabulous shoes that either pinch or give us blisters. They are sitting at the bottom of your wardrobe because you don’t wear them, haven’t in years but can’t bring yourself to throw out as they cost so much. Here’s a super quick way you can start saving for a summer vacation, sell them on eBay! They may not fit you anymore, but I’m sure someone else will love them. I did this when we were relocating to Paris and raised on $2,500 by selling things we didn’t use anymore.
5 | PACK YOUR LUNCH
Just like coffee, it is always cheaper and healthy to pack something from home. For starters, you know what’s going in your salad and there are no nasty chemicals from pre-made salads at the grocery store. Lauren Conrad has some seriously delish looking jar recipes you can pre-make on a Sunday for the week or the above Almond-Baked Chicken Breast recipe.
6 | BUY YOUR TICKETS WELL IN ADVANCE
Get organised and start subscribing to emails from travel websites. Every time Easy Jet have a sale, I’m all over that email looking to see if flights to Milan are included as Lake Coma is on my travel list this year. When you buy tickets in advance – well in advance – they are often much cheaper. As the departure date gets closer, the prices go up. It’s all about supply and demand. On the flip side, if no-one is buying, you can score a great deal if its the day before the flight departs. A few greats websites for deals are: Govolo, Last Minute, Opodo and Booking.com
7 | STAY STRONG
Stay strong and stay focused on your travel dreams. Saving for a summer vacation takes time. Plaster your walls at home, at work with a picture from the places you want to explore. For me, it is a daily reminder to stay on track with my savings plan. Another option is to set up a Pinterest board and pin images from the locations you want to discover. Then during the day when you have a spare five minutes, whip out your phone and scroll through the beautiful pictures. It is a great reminder to stay strong and keep working towards your saving goals.
But hold-up a moment girlfriend.
What if you just can’t save at all? What if you have no spare money at the end of the month to save? What if your bills are taking over your life?
It sucks, I totally get it.
Saving for a vacation is a distant dream when you have debts hanging over your head like the plague. Read how I paid off $60k debt in two years.
With summer so close, it’s the best time to start saving for a summer vacation. Ensure you pack your lunch, sell off some unwanted items and set up that automatic savings. Those three alone can easily increase your savings by $100 a week.