Start Planning Early—With a Budget in Mind
The key to optimal vacation spending is—you guessed it—planning and budgeting. About 8 percent of your total yearly budget can go toward “fun” spending like travel. If you love to travel, you can increase this portion of your budget by cutting other areas. When trip planning, balance your total costs based on 1) where you’re going; 2) how you plan to get there; and 3) what you’ll do once there. For example, while a small island in the Pacific might have really great rates on hotels or restaurants, it might cost a small fortune to fly there—but you’ll save on low-cost beach activities. If you’re on a budget, plan a trip that doesn’t gouge you in all three areas.