The 5 Best Budgeting Tips So You Can Relax on Your Getaway

Photo by  Leio McLaren

Photo by Leio McLaren

Vacations should be anything but stressful. They should be rejuvenating. Vacations can be exciting and full of adventure. Vacations should be fun. They should not, I repeat, NOT, be stressful.

If you return from a vacation, and you feel stressed at the idea of looking at your credit card statement online, then you are not vacationing the right way. 

You may have the best of intentions when you travel. You may promise yourself that you aren’t going to overspend. This promise flies out the window when you discover the duty-free shops where you can purchase designer purses and perfume. 

Your credit card gets pulled out again when you go shopping for a “few” souvenirs. 

And that friendly bartender you met on the beach encourages you to come back each night of your trip so you can unwind with a few high-dollar martinis. 

How do you maintain your budget while still having fun on your trip? Here are five budgeting tips so you can relax on your getaway.

Photo by  Marc Babin

Photo by Marc Babin

#1. Consider all-inclusive vacation packages

The easiest way to budget for a vacation is to pay for the entire trip before you leave your driveway. In fact, look into all-inclusive vacation spots in the Bahamas. The sunsets will seem more beautiful, and the food will look more delicious when you have pre-paid for your all-inclusive vacation. 

Traveling without purchasing an all-inclusive package can be risky for someone who has a difficult time budgeting. You may think you know how much you will spend on food and accommodations each day of your trip. But when you arrive at your vacation destination, you may be surprised at how much everything costs.

The more you “unwind” on vacation, the more likely you are to overspend. If a lot of your vacation budget goes to food and alcohol, purchasing an all-inclusive package will certainly eliminate that problem.

Photo by  Jeff Smith

Photo by Jeff Smith

#2. Purchase tickets and tours before you leave

Unfortunately, you may not be able to find an all-inclusive package for every one of your travel locations. If this is the case, you may need to be more organized if you want to stay on budget. In fact, you probably will need to create a specific itinerary to keep you on a budget for each day of your journey.

If you know that you are going on a food tour in New York on the second day of your trip, book and purchase tickets for the tour before you leave home. You may even be able to search for online coupons or Groupons for the tour.

Perhaps your kids are excited about the idea of spending one of your vacation days at a waterpark. Look for online discounts, and pay for the tickets before you get on the plane.

Having pre-paid activities planned will keep you from opting for more expensive options. Plus, you may be able to find discounted rates if you book early.

Photo by  Toa Heftiba

Photo by Toa Heftiba

#3. Stop at a liquor store

If you and your spouse enjoy having a few drinks each night you are on vacation, consider stopping at a liquor store when you arrive. Buy enough liquor for a week. 

Drinks at bars and restaurants are pricey, and booze is often a budget buster. Two or three drinks with each meal can add $60 or $70 to your lunch and dinner bills. 

Photo by  Sunyu

Photo by Sunyu

#4. Avoid souvenir traps

Every thrift store is full of junk that people bought while on vacation and then instantly regretted when they returned home. Those paintings by local artists never fit into your decor at home. The necklace you purchased from a local designer never left your jewelry box. None of us needs a T-shirt with a destination emblazoned across the front.

Avoid regretful purchases by never entering a souvenir shop in the first place.

Photo by  Austin Ban

Photo by Austin Ban

#5. Enjoy nature

Vacations should be relaxing. What is more relaxing than enjoying a mountain view? Maybe some would prefer soaking up some sun while sitting on a beach. Regardless of your choice of destination, vacations spent enjoying nature are typically less expensive than vacations in cities.

If you have a problem overspending while on vacation, visit destinations where you aren’t always tempted to spend money.

If you have a tricky time budgeting while on vacation, know you are not alone. We have all been there. We have all cringed when looking at our online balance or credit card statement. At some point, you need to control your finances.

Vacations are much sweeter when they are paid for before you leave. Enjoy your next trip!


This article was produced in collaboration with Sandals Resorts.


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You may have the best of intentions when you travel. You may promise yourself that you aren’t going to overspend. How do you maintain your budget while still having fun on your trip? Here are five budgeting tips so you can relax on your getaway.