4 Simple Ways to Save Money for Your Next Vacation

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Everyone loves a vacation! Whether you're itching for a quick getaway or planning a week long escape, saving up for it instead of charging is the way to go.

Ahh….vacation. Winter, summer, spring, or fall, in fact ANYTIME of the year, vacations ROCK! They’re even better when you’ve paid for them in cash, so today we’re going to share five ways to save money for your next vacation. Whether it’s a trip to a tropical oasis, a long-awaited journey to a foreign land or a vacation in a snowy wonderland, we all love a nice getaway.

We all know people (or have done it ourselves) who get bitten by the travel bug and go without thinking beforehand about how to pay for it. Weekend getaways, week-long vacations, and even cruises are all commonly funded by a credit card. The problem with this is that it leaves a payment (and sometimes a big one) long after the vacation fun is done. It’s much more satisfying to save up the money for your vacation BEFORE you take it.

It might seem like a lofty goal to save up the money you need for your next vacation before you take it, but consider these ways to make it happen.

ways to save Money for your vacation


#1 Challenge Everything – Choose to implement a “Challenge Everything” budget and challenge each monthly expense, seeing where you can lower costs. Can you save money on car insurance? Can you lower your cable bill? Can you save money on groceries?  Evaluate each and every monthly expense, cutting costs where you can. Then put all monthly cost savings into your vacation account.

#2 Save Unexpected Money – Getting a tax refund? A bonus at work? Did you receive money for your birthday? Instead of spending unexpected cash on an instant gratification purchase, put all unexpected money into your vacation fund. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it adds up.

#3 Sell Stuff You Don’t Need – A trip around your house, garage and storage area will likely reveal a good number of things you no longer use or need. Sell those things via a garage sale, on Craiglist, your Facebook group or Ebay, or by visiting your local consignment stores and put the cash you earn toward your vacation.

#4 Get a Side Hustle – There’s a long list of side hustles you can take on to save money for your next vacation. You can get a part-time job at a local retail store, pizza delivery shop or by working for a company such as Uber. You can make a list of your skills and market them accordingly in order to make extra money. For instance, if you’re great at working on home repairs, advertise your services as a handyman. If you have skills such as writing, editing or assisting others, offer your services to online sites such as Elance. There are many side hustles out there, whether temporary or permanent, that can help you increase your income as you save money for your next vacation.

The Bottom Line


You’ve worked hard over this past year managing your money well and doing what you must to live a value-based spending life. Is it time to reward yourself with a well-deserved vacation? If so, increase the pleasure of that vacation by using the tips above to pay for it in cash. You’ll come home from that vacation well-rested and free of unnecessary debt.


Where did you go on your last vacation? Did you put it on credit or did you save up for it beforehand? Have you ever tried credit card churning before?


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Laurie is a wife, mother to 4, and homesteader who blogs about personal finance, self-sufficiency and life in general over at The Frugal Farmer. Part witty, part introspective and part silly, her goal in blogging is to help others find their way to financial freedom, and to a simpler, more peaceful life.


  • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

    We’re just back from our vacation to visit my family in San Diego, but I’m ready to go again! Might have something to do with the epic amounts of snow we’re buried under right now… :). We always pay cash for our vacations–it’s definitely not something we’d want to go into debt for!

    One of the ways we save money is by traveling at unusual times. For example, we’ve traveled abroad over Thanksgiving, which is not a common thing to do. Flights are cheaper and there are fewer tourists! We’re also big fans of using credit card points for our hotel rooms.

    • Laurie says:

      Love your tip about traveling at odd times. It’s a terrific way to save cash. I hear you about heading back south – I’m about done looking at snow for the year too. 🙂

  • Elroy says:

    We went to India and China last Nov/Dec. Paid about $300 for 2 roundtrip tickets in F. Could have done hotels, but I have a resort I really like that we stayed with.

    • Laurie says:

      WOW – that is incredible pricing!!! What a deal. Was your resort expensive?

    • Ray @ Squirrelers says:

      That is a remarkable price point for tickets to those locales. Would like to find out how you pulled that off! I just had to book a flight from Chicago to Buffalo NY for around $200. Not exactly a flight to Asia!

  • Brian @ Debt Discipline says:

    We went to California on our last vacation and had a great time. We saved for it ahead of time, but purchased our tickets on our reward credit card to earn the bonus and then paid the bill in full that night. The rewards will be used for a future trip.

    • Laurie says:

      That’s wonderful, Brian! I love me some reward points. We earned us a few hundred dollars last year in rewards point, but always put it toward the remaining credit card balance that we’re working on paying off.

  • Robin @ The Thrifty Peach says:

    We pretty much start saving for our next vacation the day after we leave our vacation. We love to travel so it’s important to us to save for it early to make sure it happens every year.

  • Kalie says:

    We redeem all our credit card points for airline tickets and also use free hotel stays from a hotel rewards program. The best part is that the majority of the credit card points and hotel points came from reimbursed business travel, so we didn’t even really have to spend money to get the rewards. Another way we take more affordable vacations is to go camping instead of paying for a hotel or rental house all week. It’s quite fun and our kids love it.

  • Fervent Finance says:

    Travel reward credit cards are the way to go. Plus if you work for a company where you travel a decent amount, I tend to rack up hotel and airline points much faster!

  • Laurie says:

    It sure sounds like it, Michelle. I always get excited when I hear how much people get for free via churning. 🙂

  • Jason B says:

    My last vacation was to Miami. I saved up for it beforehand and stayed well below my budget. I cam back home with over $200.

  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde says:

    My hubby and I have taken on side hustles for more of the “fun” things we want and vacations are part of that. Last year he took on extra tutoring jobs and it covered our anniversary weekend away. This year we are working toward a family vacation for just the three of us this summer. Knowing that you are saving for something fun makes the extra work worth it.

    • Laurie says:

      I love that idea, Shannon! This is how we pay for extra stuff too. It’s very motivating knowing that the extra side hustle money has a fun purpose, isn’t it?

  • Laurie says:

    That’s great, Adam!! I know the churning stuff works really well for a lot of people.

  • No Nonsense Landlord says:

    There are no shortage to the kinds and types of side hustles you can do to make a buck or two. Or even an extra $20K+ a year pretty easily.

    All you have to do is get the lazy voice out of your head.

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