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Three tips to help save for a dream vacation

Date posted:  2/2/16 07:15:00 AM Saving for the dream vacation is possible with smart money tracking and expense cutting.

Everyone's idea of the perfect vacation is different, but no matter your preference, smart saving can make your dream vacation a reality. One person's getaway might be a long week soaking up the sun in Italy, while another's might be a family road trip to the U.S. capitol. Saving up for the perfect getaway can be a challenge, but these three tips can make saving a breeze: 

Set a goal 
According to USA Today, deciding on a budget amount is the first step in saving for a special trip. It's also important to be realistic when setting that goal number. While dreaming about spending money on a private jet and hopping from one Caribbean island to the next may be nice, a traveler needs to ensure the budget is within practical reach. 

Consider both the time available to save and how much can be saved over the course of that predetermined period. For example, if a family has one year to plan for a trip to Ireland, and their overall budget allows them to comfortably save $100 every week out of their income, they can plan to save $5,200 in that time frame. 

Travelers should be honest with themselves when it comes to budget and have a solid idea of what extra expenses can be eliminated from daily costs. 

Track purchases 
It might be helpful to track extracurricular costs for a week or longer to determine how much can be contributed to a basic savings account for a vacation. For example, if the aforementioned family spends $20 a week on beverages from the local coffeehouse, $200 a week on eating out and $50 a week on entertainment, cutting these expenses can help accommodate the new savings plan. In addition, tracking every purchase can help a planner determine an appropriate budget. 

So, if this family wants to save $100 every week for a year, they can cut various combinations of their extra costs to adhere to the new savings plan.They won't have to cut out every coffee, dinner or movie, as long as they cut enough from those expense categories to meet the savings goal.

Other ways to save 
Bankrate also noted making additional sacrifices can help build savings for the perfect vacation at an even faster pace. Cutting out subscriptions to magazines, newspapers, streaming sites or other services can loosen up some funds. 

It might be a good idea to cut out as many nonessentials as possible to ensure the dream vacation happens as planned.