Budgeting for a fun family vacation can be tricky. And it's always way too easy to overspend on vacation, too. Here are few tips to help you create and manage a realistic vacation budget that won't break the bank and still ensure you have all the fun in the world with your family this summer.
First, be sure to plan your budget well in advance and include some funds for emergencies and also random unforeseen extras, like tickets to a carnival or show you did not existed, or money for movie nights in case it rains (heaven forbid!) a lot.
Additionally, try to plan your budget around the REAL cost of things where you are going. Unfortunately, many lovely vacation spots jack up prices sky high to make the most of tourist season, and next thing you know, you are paying $50 for something you thought might cost $25. So don't just budget your usual dollar amounts for groceries or ice cream or incidentals when you are vacation planning; make sure you are setting aside enough to cover the ACTUAL costs once you get there by researching ahead what things cost there.
Given the above, and with some thought and planning ahead, think of what you can purchase for cheaper at home and bring with you. For many people, this adds up to a TON of stuff: all your regular favorite groceries and also beverages, cleaning products and detergents, toiletries, sunscreen, sand and water toys, sports equipment, medication, pet supplies, art supplies, etc. Not only will this pre-planning save you a whole bundle of cash, it will save you time on your vacation so you can relax and have more fun, and it will ensure that for all those many necessary items, you stay within whatever price range you want, since you can shop around and make use of great local sales and savings instead of overpaying at your vacation destination.
Following these simple steps will not only help you feel confident about how much spending money you can afford to bring with you, it will hopefully also help you save time and money and have a better vacation overall.
Do you budget for your family vacations?Do you have any tips to share?