A recent survey conducted by American Express determined that the average American spends $1,180 per person on vacation. For a family of four the cost is $4,720 per year.
While that seems a little high for my frugal tastes the number doesn’t really surprise me.
Even though do I agree we all need a vacation from time to time, I don’t think you should take out debt to do so. Instead here are four smart ways to pay for your next vacation.
Save $23 Per Person, Per Week for a Year
Since the average vacation costs $1,180 per person you could save $23 dollars per week for one year to account for the cost. Just multiply the number of people in your family by $23 and you’ll have your weekly target amount.
By saving now you’ll have accumulated enough money to take your family on vacation debt free next year. Plus if you’re able to develop the discipline of saving a weekly amount for vacation you’ll have much more appreciation when vacation day rolls around.
Become a Travel Hacker
There’s a lot of buzz around travel hacking right now. In fact, it seems like everyone is doing it. And since so many people are jumping on the travel hacking bandwagon it might be a good idea to take advantage of it now before it all comes to an end.
Here’s how it works: you look for credit cards that have sign up bonuses for free hotels, flights, or other travel accommodations. When you find a sign up bonus that entices you you’ll simply get the credit card and make sure you complete the spending requirements in the allotted time.
Just make sure you’re not spending more money by using the credit card or paying annual fees. You’ll also need to pay your balance off in full each and every month or you’ll cancel out your rewards in terms of interest paid.
When you are rewarded one sign up bonus just rinse and repeat. Do make sure that you cancel your credit card before the annual fee kicks in.
Start a Vacation Side Hustle
There are some super simple things you can do online to earn vacation money. You can take surveys, read emails, and even rack up points for searching the web. If you’re looking for an easy side hustle that will allow you to accumulate money to go toward vacation, try signing up for Perk or Bing Rewards.
The above options aren’t going to make you a ton of money but if you have another skill or hobby you can turn that into a more lucrative side hustle.
For instance, you could freelance write, tutor, sell items online, or offer another type of service. You should be able to generate $50 a week in just a couple of hours. That will be enough to fund a trip for two after saving for a year.
Have a Huge Yard Sale
Having a yard sale is an awesome way to pay for vacation. You might not make the full amount needed for your trip but you can put a good dent in the balance.
Go through your house and start collecting all of the items you want to get rid of. You can start selling the items now on Facebook Yard Sales or Craigslist or you can let the items accumulate and host a traditional yard sale next summer.
Taking a vacation is expensive – there’s no doubt about it. But if you’re smart and willing to do a little work now you can make sure that you don’t have to take on debt to fund your trip.