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How Much Money Should You Save For Vacation

Airfare Takes Up A Huge Chunk Of Your Vacation Budget

How Much Money Should You Save Up To Travel?

$359 pp / $1,436 for family of four

These prices will be all over the board. According to the Dept of Transportation, the average cost of a domestic plane ticket is about $359.

International airfare is going to vary greatly based on your outbound city. You can often find international deals from major coastal hubs that will get you an international ticket for $500-$800. You can also consider to help lower your transportation costs.

Keep Your Cash Safe With These Tips

Money belts and fanny packs, like this one, are great for keeping important items close and safe, but Brooklyn also warns that you want to avoid a false sense of security. Letting your guard down while having all your belongings in one place can make a potential theft more devastating, says Brooklyn. To keep your stuff safe, Brooklyn recommends keeping your wallet and money in front pockets, wearing your backpack backward, and wearing a purse across your shoulder and neck to make your belongings harder to steal. Rice also suggests not opening your wallet or purse in public as much as possible.

Let your bank know of travel plans in advance and set daily limits on your credit card or request the bank to confirm purchases as an extra layer of financial protection. Forgetting to do this is one mistake you might make before you even get the chance to fall for these 10 other sneaky money traps people fall for every time they travel.

Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Walk Don’t Ride To Save Money

Instead of paying for transportation in a new city, get to know the place by walking everywhere. Not only will you save on cab fare, you will see so many things you would have missed if you had opted to take transportation.

Travel Coffee Book

“Theres no better way to get to know a new city than by walking everywhere. That youll end up saving a fortune in taxis is a nice bonus. And when you do need a ride, opt for public transportation and know that frequent-travel cards the Oyster card in London, the Octopus in Hong Kong are much smarter than single fares.” – Pavia Rosati, founder and CEO of travel-site Fathom

15. Give the Local Supermarket a Spin

“I love shopping in foreign supermarkets youll experience real life, plus youll save a lot of money. I typically try to stay in places that have a kitchen so that I can cook at least one meal a day.” – Erin Spens, editor and co-founder of Boat Magazine

16. Pull Together a Quick Picnic

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Cook Some Of Your Meals

Of course you want to enjoy the local food when you’re on vacation, but eating out a lot can add up quickly and take away from other experiences during your trip. Nashville-based travel agent Erica James recommends finding accommodations with a kitchenette if your stay is a week or longer so you can cook some quick meals in your room. See if the hotel you’re staying at offers complimentary breakfast, or bring leftovers from a restaurant back to your room and eat them the next day as well.

Buying food at the airport is also expensive pack a meal or snacks so you can avoid spending a fortune before you even start your vacation.

Average Vacation Cost To Hawaii

How Much Money Should You Bring on Vacation?
  • Airfare = $525 per person
  • Food = $70 per adult per day
  • Activities = $75 per person per attraction

Hawaii is another destination that people dream of visiting, and the vacation costs can add up fast. Airfare from the mainland can average in the $500 range, but it will vary depending on where youre flying from and when youre traveling. Winter escapes to Hawaii mean airfare is expensive during the cold months.

The cost of a rental car is probably one of the biggest surprises people dont expect. The cost of a rental car in Hawaii will be about $45 per day. Then youll need to add on taxes and budget for parking if your resort has parking fees.

Of course, some may plan to just stay at their resort during their Hawaii vacation, but I think thats a big mistake. Exploring the Hawaii Islands is easy and well worth it, theres so much beauty to see. A car is necessary to check out the best things to do in Oahu.

Hotels are another place where your vacation expenses will add up. You can find hotels for under $200 but the average room rate will run around $265 per night. Of course if you want an ocean view, plan to spend closer to $400-$500 a night.

Food can also be more expensive in Hawaii, which was a surprise for Paul and I on our first visit to Maui. A simple breakfast can run you $15 and dinner can be close to $30. Plan a budget of $70 a day for meals, but dont forget to add on if you plan to have alcoholic drinks, too.

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Find Ways You Can Cut Your Spending

If your expenses are so high that you cant save as much as youd like, it might be time to cut back. Identify nonessentials that you can spend less on, such as entertainment and dining out. Look for ways to save on your fixed monthly expenses like television and your cell phone, too.

Here are some ideas for trimming everyday expenses:

  • Use resources such as community event listings to find free or low-cost events to reduce entertainment spending.
  • Cancel subscriptions and memberships you dont useespecially if they renew automatically.
  • Commit to eating out only once a month and trying places that fall into the cheap eats category.
  • Give yourself a cooling off period: When tempted by a nonessential purchase, wait a few days. You may be glad you passedor ready to save up for it.

Easy Ways To Boost Your Savings

Here are some simple ways to help you start saving up.

  • Automate your savings: Set up an automatic savings plan so that a small, set amount of money is moved from your checking to your savings account on a regular basis. Even sparing $25 per month will give you a starter savings of $300 at the end of the year. Saving a small amount of money now, little by little, could add up to a significant sum in the future.

  • Rethink direct deposit: Instead of having your entire paycheck directly deposited into your checking account, have your employer deposit a portion of your check into checking and the rest into a savings account.

  • Put your spare change to work: There are apps that will take spare change on any amounts paid on a debit card and put them into savings accounts or even invest them. Those little amounts can add up over time.

  • Dig through the couch cushions: Kidding! Sort of. Do you have a jar of loose change cluttering up the top of your dresser? Lug it to a coin sorting machine every so often, and then put that amount into savings. You may be surprised at how much you have.

Most importantly, consistency is key. No matter what percentage of your salary you save, if you deposit small amounts regularly, you may be able to build up a large chunk over time to achieve your goals.

  • Kuchar, K. . How to use technology to start saving more. Retrieved October 29, 2017, from
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    Consider Various Housing Options From Hotels To Hostels

    Before booking a hotel, Addis said she checks on multiple platforms to make sure she’s getting the best possible rate.

    “Often by just punching the name into Google, it will compare all of the options for you,” she said. “Just make sure that you’re clear on the inclusions and exclusions, too, as sometimes the rates will include breakfast or resort fees and other times they won’t.”

    Kiefer also said to be open to different forms of accommodation.

    “You may think, ‘I am a hotel type of traveler,'” he said. “Yet I would say stay open to other accommodation types. A hostel can be an incredible, fun, and luxury experience for half the price and twice the fun. Especially in countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and Portugal, you will find many high-end, 5-star hostels.”

    He said apartments and bed-and-breakfasts can also offer great deals, too, as long as you use booking portals and do some research.

    Carry A Water Bottle Instead Of Buying Bottled Water

    HOW MUCH SHOULD I BUDGET FOR VACATION? (Travel Budget Breakdown by Category)

    Greg Caplan, CEO and cofounder of Remote Year, told Business Insider that one easy way to save money while traveling is to always carry a water bottle.

    “Staying hydrated is so important, and people waste so much money buying water,” he said. “With your refillable one, you can always be on the lookout where you can fill it for free.”

    He said if you can’t fill it for free, you can always buy a bigger bottle which is cheaper than buying multiple small bottles.

    “On top of that, you’ll save the environment by using less plastic bottles,” Caplan said.

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    How To Save Money In Hawaii

    If youre looking for things to do in Hawaii that are budget-friendly, look to doing some of these hikes and snorkeling at some of these spots. Its possible to do plenty of both types of activities on your own. Youll just want to make sure that you bring what you need for hiking and what you need for snorkeling!


    Side note!

    Transportation: Getting There Is Half The Budget

    The typical vacationing U.S. family spends about 44% of their travel funds getting to, from, and around their destinations. They spend an average of more than $2,100 each year on the transportation costs for their vacations. This figure spans a variety of different modes of transportation, ranging from driving a family’s own car to taking cruises. The table below breaks down each type, and provides the average expenditure for households that report incurring them.

    Average Annual Transportation Expenses, If Incurred By Vacationing Households

    Airline fares



    These costs are much steeper when a familys summer vacation involves an airport. Those who fly , spend more than $3,304 on airfare annually on average. Two ways to stretch your vacation dollars further are to utilize frequent flyer miles , and to plan ahead. Youre more likely to get cheap flights if you buy them about seven weeks before your trip although for travel during the busy summer season, youre better off booking about 11 weeks before your travel dates if youre hoping for a low cost airfare.

    Since most international trips from the U.S. – except a portion to Canada and Mexico – require a plane ticket, transportation costs eat up an even larger proportion of the budget, about 54%. Transportation is about 39% of the overall cost of domestic vacation trips.

    Cars & Other

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    The Cost Of Food On Vacation

    Overall, Americans spend an average of $33 per day on food when on a vacation within the U.S. In aggregate, more than 80% of that amount is spent in restaurants. Each trip day, vacationers spend about $27 at restaurants, and about $6 on food they prepare themselves. On international trips, people spend just a little bit more on average, about $35 per day with nearly 90% of those funds devoted to restaurant meals.

    Average Food Costs Per Vacation

    Domestic Trip
    $24 $42

    Many people look forward to vacation as a time to kick back and drink alcohol with abandon. Those who indulge while travelling spend about $380 on the beer, wine and liquor they consume. Only 12% of Americans report purchasing alcohol while on trips, though 18% pay for drinks at restaurants and bars, either in their hometowns or while theyre away. Food plus alcohol take up about 16% of the budget for an Americans international trips and about 27% of their domestic trips.

    Don’t Rent A Car Check Out Public Transportation Instead

    How Much Money Should You Save to Travel?

    Before you travel, check out the public transportation options of the city you are exploring. Not only will this save you the expense of renting a car, you will also get to see some of the places the locals visit on a daily basis, enriching your city experience.


    “While I leave a lot of stuff food, sites to see, etc. up to chance, I always try to figure out a places public transportation before traveling. Then, when I land, I can get straight to it, not wasting any time standing dumbly in front of a map I cant work out! I try to avoid renting a car unless I absolutely need one.” – Erin Spens, editor and co-founder of Boat magazine

    10. … but if You Have to Rent a Car, Do This

    “Use AutoSlash. It will find you the best rate for a rental car you dont have to prepay. Once you book with them theyll continue to search for better prices. Even better, if you booked with someone else, you can submit the rental information to AutoSlash and theyll search to make sure theres no better rate available. Best of all their service is completely free!” – Howie Rappaport, featured contributor at

    11. Give WiFi-to-Go a Go
    12. Sweet Talk Your Way to a Room Upgrade in Person

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    Trim Your Grocery Budget

    Trimming your grocery budget doesnt necessarily mean compromising on quality, healthfulness, or freshness. You can still shop at your local food co-op, buy in-season produce, and avoid ecologically harmful or ethically questionable ingredients.

    Everyones diet is different, so I cant get too specific with my advice here, but you can likely adapt most of these tips to your situation:

    Spend Less On Your Workout

    Want to get in shape for the itsy-bitsy bikini or new swim trunks you bought for that trip to the beach? Think of how much better your wallet will look if you could work out without forking over loads of cash.

    Consider saving money on the cost of a gym membership by getting some inexpensive gym equipment, building your own home gym, or working out at fitness stations at public parks. You could even get paid to work out by teaching yoga or leading fitness boot camps.

    If you cant bear to leave the gym, look for deals on discounted memberships and classes through your employer or sites like Groupon.

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    Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates

    Helene Sula, who runs the blog with her husband, Michael, said a big way to save money when traveling is by being as flexible as possible with your travel dates.

    “My husband and I will use Skyscanner to find cheap travel deals based on month,” she told Business Insider in an email. “Going in the off-season, during the week, or when a deal pops up is a recipe for savings.”

    Kiefer said being flexible with your travel dates can also provide an unexpected perk to your vacation.

    “Consider flying on a weekday,” he said. “Aside from cheaper flights, there is another advantage: The cities are usually less crowded during the week.”

    Develop Habits That Save You Money

    Cruise Tips: How much money should you bring on a cruise| Family Vacations

    How about getting up a little earlier, skipping the bus and walking/riding a bike to work instead? Ever heard of ride-sharing? What other daily expenses can you replace with money-saving habits?

    What skills can you learn that will cut your daily costs?

    Ill give an example. By cooking your meals instead of buying them prepared, you can save thousands of dollars every year. Which is exactly what I did when I was saving money for my own travel adventures.

    You dont have to give up excellent coffee and tasty avocado toast just prepare them yourself and save money.

    Cooking for yourself, especially lunch & dinner, can save somewhere between $6 and $11 per meal so if you previously spent all your time eating out, youd save between $125 and $230 every week just by cooking.

    Its a skill that puts decent money in your pocket. Plus, its fun too!

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    How Much Money To Bring To Hawaii

    Here are a few things to take into consideration when youre deciding how much cash to take to Hawaii, whether your vacation is one week, two weeks, or longer!

    As is with traveling anywhere, it never hurts to have a bit of emergency cash on hand too. You never know whats going to happen!

    These are some of the top reasons you may want to carry extra cash with you.

    How Much Should I Budget For Disneyland

    Let me guess, youve been on cloud nine for the past few days. You finally made the big decision that yes, your family is going to Disneyland. Cue the confetti gun! All youve been able to think about is how good those churros will taste, the tears of joy that will surely be in your eyes during the fireworks and all the new memories your family will make. And then, all of a sudden, you think of the one question that brings you hurtling down from your dreamy celebration: How much should I budget for Disneyland?

    This may seem like the scariest question of all, since theres no definite answer and it can change so much based on each person asking. But it doesnt have to be a scary question! In fact, weve gone ahead and compiled a list of everything you need to consider when budgeting for your Disneyland trip. By looking at each category and customizing it to fit your family and trip needs, youll have a better idea of how much to budget for Disneyland in no time.

    So, get back on cloud nine if youre having trouble, just think about Disneyland churros and lets start planning how much you should budget for Disneyland.

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