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15 Clever Ways to Fund Your Dream Vacation

Planning that dream vacation but your budget’s playing hard to get? No worries, because we’ve got your back with 15 genius ways to save money that won’t make you break a sweat (or the bank!). From quirky challenges to smart swaps, it’s like a game to save up for those dreamy destinations. And you know what makes a game more fun? Playing it with friends! Share this article with your buddies, because having an accountability partner is key, whether it’s for a business goal, weight loss, or saving money. You can be each other’s support system to keep motivated and focused on your goals.

Take it one step further and host a Vision Board Day at your home with your friends. Check out our article HERE for an easy step-by-step guide to hosting one.

But now, jump into our list of ways to save and turn your travel wish list into a countdown to the day you leave for your next adventure! Before you know it, you’ll have met your budget to fund your dream vacation!

Financial Habits to Help Fund Your Dream Vacation

  1. Subscription Savings: Identify subscription services you can temporarily pause or cancel to redirect those funds towards your vacation fund. Take a look at your credit card bill from the last 3 months, and make a list of all the subscription services you use with the price you pay per month, so you can decide whether you want to continue the service or pause it and put the savings towards your vacation budget. Here are just some examples of some of the more popular subscriptions:
    • Streaming Services: Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, etc.
    • Meal Kit Services: Home Chef, Blue Apron, HelloFresh, etc.
    • Music Streaming: Spotify, Apple Music, etc.
    • Fashion & Style Services: Stitch Fix, Rent the Runway, ShoeDazzle, etc.
    • Learning & Skill Development: Skillshare, MasterClass, Coursera Plus, etc.
    • Gaming Subscriptions: Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Plus, etc.
    • Fitness Subscriptions: Fitbit Premium, Peloton, Beachbody On Demand, etc.
    • Reading and Audiobooks: Audible, Kindle Unlimited, etc.
    • Subscription Boxes: Dollar Shave Club, Birchbox, BarkBox, etc.
  2. Cashback Rewards: Use cashback apps to earn savings on the money you are spending. Some of my favorites are:
    • Honey: I have it installed as a Chrome extension, and it automatically finds and applies online coupon codes when I’m shopping online. My biggest savings has come from ordering online from Papa John’s. Every single time we order, I save. There are always promo codes out there, and Honey finds them every time.
    • Fetch Rewards: I earn points by scanning receipts from everything I buy. I use those points to get gift cards to the places I am already shopping, which for me is usually Amazon or Bath and Body Works. I also have my email address registered with Fetch Rewards, so when I buy things online, those receipts get added as well. The hardest part is remembering to scan my receipts.
  3. Coupon Cutting Challenge: Dedicate time to hunting for discounts and using coupons on your regular purchases. Then transfer the money you saved to your vacation savings.
  4. Memberships: Just like your subscription services, now is the time to review your memberships. You may be able to downgrade or cancel memberships you are not using to their full potential. Some common memberships include:
    • Gym or Healthclub
    • Grocery or Wholesale Clubs
    • Travel Clubs
    • Museums and Cultural Institutions
    • Retail Loyalty Programs

Use Your Village to Fund Your Dream Vacation

  1. Potluck Tradition: Instead of going out to dinner with friends, create a new potluck tradition where everyone brings a dish. Rotate who hosts to share the added responsibility of set up and clean up for the person hosting.
  2. Community Garden: Do you have an area to put in a large garden, but don’t have the time to take care of it? Consider creating a community garden with your neighbors where everyone shares in the responsibility and the rewards. I remember one year I had more cucumbers and strawberries than we could eat, while my neighbor had zucchini and tomatoes. Combining your efforts leads to greater rewards for everyone, and that money you would have spent at the grocery store for that produce can now be put towards your vacation budget instead.
  3. Swap Parties: Host or attend swap parties with others. Books, video games, board games, DVDs, and even clothes can be swapped, and by swapping with friends and neighbors, you’re all saving money and giving new life to the things you aren’t using anymore.
  4. Combine Skill Sets: What are you and your friends good at? What would you normally pay for that someone else may be able to do for free? Perhaps you can trade changing a friend’s oil or rotating their tires for them trimming your dog’s nails or giving your dog a bath. See what skill sets you all have (perhaps during one of your potluck dinners!), and save money on the things you would normally pay for by trading off with your friends.

Have Fun While Saving for Your Dream Vacation

  1. Themed Savings Challenges: Create themed savings challenges and direct the money you would have normally spent on those specific items to your vacation fund. Most likely, it will seem more like a game if you’re doing it for a short period of time like a month, rather than something you’re missing out on. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
    • No Coffee Shop Month – I know, cutting out coffee entirely may be a deal breaker, but for just one month, make your coffee at home instead of stopping by your favorite coffee shop.
    • No Name Brands – Ok, I will admit this may be difficult to do, but perhaps cut back as much as you can, and you should still pay attention to sale prices, which may be a better deal. But if you want canned soup, look at the store brand price before just reaching for Campbell’s or Progresso.
    • No Spend Weekends – Instead of spending money on things like miniature golf, the movies, or eating out, discover the free things to do in your area instead for one month. Here are some ideas:
      • Picnic in your backyard
      • Outdoor fitness circuit at a local park
      • Free community events
      • Visit your local library
      • Look up free days at your local museum
      • Local landmarks
      • Volunteering
      • Go for a bike ride
      • Discover hiking trails near you
  2. Candlelight Dinner at Home: Have a special celebration coming up like a birthday or anniversary? Instead of dining out, create a romantic candlelit dinner at home. Maybe even cook the dinner together for some extra fun & share the responsibility.
  3. Second-hand Treasure Hunt: For the items you do need/want to buy, explore local thrift stores, yard sales, and online marketplaces for second-hand items instead of buying brand new. You may discover that one man’s trash truly is another man’s treasure!

Earn Some Extra Cash to Fund Your Dream Vacation

  1. Freelance or Part-time Work: Explore freelancing opportunities or part-time gigs that align with your skills and interests.
  2. Odd Jobs: If you can’t commit to a lot of extra time, which may be required for part-time work, consider offering your skills for odd jobs in your community instead, like pet sitting or tutoring.
  3. Hobby Monetization: If you have a hobby or skill, explore ways to monetize it, whether it’s selling handmade crafts or offering lessons.
  4. Yard Sale: Consider holding a neighborhood yard sale where you can sell items you no longer want or need anymore.

Funding your dream vacation doesn’t need to feel like an unsurmountable challenge. By incorporating some of the clever strategies outlined in this article, you can take proactive steps towards turning your travel aspirations into reality. With determination and a bit of ingenuity, you’ll soon find yourself jetting off to the destination of your dreams. Here’s to smart saving and unforgettable adventures ahead!

March 7, 2024

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  1. Felicia says:

    Great tips, I recently went through my subscriptions and was shocked at how much I was paying out to services. Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon have all raised the price of their family plans and I didn’t pay attention to the new amount.

  2. Katie says:

    Great tips! I love the idea of earning extra income from hobbies that you already enjoy. I also will run through subscriptions and see which ones I do not use/need.

  3. Sue says:

    Wow, what a great list of saving suggestions! I am amazed at how often I subscribe to a channel to watch a particular show, then forget about it only to find I’ve been paying them 10 per month and not even watching! Thanks for the great reminder!

  4. Christy S. says:

    I really appreciated the checklist of recurring fees/subscriptions to check. I use Rakuten to get cash back on purchases. Great ideas on cost cutting ways to save money for trips.

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