How much vacation you can afford depends on several factors, including the following: time away from work; how much money you already have budgeted and/or saved for vacations; your desired destination; mode of transportation; accommodations; time of year; and what you can do without to cut down on luggage requirements. Additionally, if your spouse will be accompanying you, or if this will be a family vacation, are also things to consider in your planning. These seem pretty basic, but all add up to being able to afford that much needed time away.
Having vacation time from work equals permission to travel. The next issue is how much time you have accrued. If this involves a long weekend, you may need to look at those weekend getaways offered by travel companies, airlines, and hotels, or plan for a nearby location that, whenever you pass it, has tweaked your appetite for a time away with your newlywed bride, as a reunion with immediate family, or a couple of days on your own. Of course if you have a couple of weeks of vacation time, that allows for a bit more freedom.
Budgeting for a Break
Budgeting for a few days away takes planning and decisive action. You know the time is coming when you certainly must have a break. Whether you have elaborate budget software, an Excel spreadsheet, or a piggy bank, unless you have a wealthy relative, or winning the lottery is just around the corner, you will be required to secure the luxury of a vacation with funds. So, along with your dreams, have a plan.
Things to consider are those ever present basics outlined on travel sites, which, by the way, are places you might consider referencing when the itch to “go!” takes over. What will be the goal of your vacation…beach, mountains, a safari, a cruise, a trip to “Never, Never Land” by way of a hammock, or your own backyard you and your wife worked so hard on but that you have not even had a day to enjoy. Decide on the destination as early as possible so “piggy” will be able to supply all the money you need for a relaxing vacation.
Deciding the goal of your vacation will be a large factor in determining the accommodations you desire. If it’s a safari you choose, a hotel near the airport in addition to a place suitable for the Serengeti might be required. How about a family reunion near a theme park? Of course if you just want to get away and would love to have all decisions made for you while remembering what it means to be bored, some of the all-inclusive destinations are good. I personally prefer the offering of Bed and Breakfasts.
How to Travel
Mode of transportation is probably the major expense. Choosing what you want to do and your time schedule, will determine how you will arrive. Being able to avoid expensive airfares and luggage fees is always a plus. If you enjoy road trips to places you’ve always wanted to experience and you want to spare extra miles and wear and tear on your own vehicle, consider a good rental. This is a cost your travel partner could help split. In addition, the time of year travel takes place has bearing on the budget as well. If you can go places during an off peak season that always helps. But you can always cut corners in many ways before and during your trip in order to guarantee a pleasant memory.
How Much Time; How Much Money?
So, it’s down to two bottom-line factors: time and money. If you’ve got the time, do you have the money, and vice versa? Would you really like to afford more vacation; set a goal, a budget, and start saving! Included in the savings, find ways to avoid taking days off which could pinch off an extra night’s stay. Some of the suggestions in this article might even become columns on your budget graph or spreadsheet; you may want to include other details that apply specifically to your situation as well. But as is usually the case, a little planning goes a long way in being able to really relax.
Jared Grant is a travel agent and hotel concierge who has experienced a large amount of travel in his days. He loves to write and give advice to others on anything from what to pack to getting great deals on Bahamas vacation packages.