Commentary: Five ways to save for your summer vacation

Commentary: Five ways to save for your summer vacation
June 28
15:43 2018

By Algenon Cash

Many families are preparing for vacations and summer road trips, but you don’t have to go into debt while enjoying the season. 

Here are some insightful tips to help you save for your upcoming summer vacation:

1. Plan ahead – You may not be much of a planner, but when it comes to your summer vacation, planning ahead is the key to success.  If you look at the data, many Americans don’t have even $1,000 saved up.  So it’s easy to see why so many people end up in debt.

2. Get specific about the details – Estimate about how much you’ll need for upcoming vacations and divide it by the number of months until you plan to travel.  For example, if you think you’ll need about $600 for an August trip, plan on saving about $150 a month until then. That may seem like a lot, but it’s about $35 a week, or $5 a day. And there are lots of small steps you can take to trim spending enough to get there, like automatic transfers.

3. Get specific about the details – Alongside planning ahead for your trip, also try to estimate little expenses you’ll have along the way.  Determine where you want to go and the costs for air and ground transportation, accommodations, meals, activities, souvenirs, etc.  For better prices, travel during the off-season. Factor the cost of all these items to determine exactly how much more or less you may need to save. A good rule of thumb is to add 10 to 15 percent above what you think you need for those ‘hidden’ costs. Once you’ve got a good idea of how much the vacation will cost, review your budget, divide costs by said number of months needed to save, and then have money automatically transferred to your bank’s savings account.

4. Invite friends – While you are budgeting for your summer vacation, determine if you will be covering all your costs alone, or with others. After all, a $50 per night Airbnb may only cost $25 a night if you and a friend are sharing it.  Think about whether you’ll be vacationing solo, with a partner, with friends, etc., because that will influence the overall amount you need to save.

5. Stop focusing on little things – Cut out your morning coffee run and save that money for the Bahamas instead, you can also eliminate other ongoing expenses.  You can start packing your lunch for work and consider pausing any monthly subscription services, such as Netflix or Amazing Prime, or even club memberships if they’re not critical.  Plus, encourage free or low-cost activities with friends and family. Going out to brunch every weekend or getting takeout all the time really adds up, but we don’t think about the total cost when it’s just $10-15 here and there.

6. Use travel rewards – While you don’t want to charge your whole vacation onto your credit cards, using credit cards with travel rewards is another story.  NerdWallet’s 2018 Travel Study found that Americans who sign up for a travel credit card get, on average, $901 in free flights and hotels in just the first year of having the card. That’s a ton of money that many Americans might struggle to set aside specifically for a vacation, and it could make the difference between staying home this summer or taking that dream vacation.

Enjoy your vacation and share pictures with us here at The Chronicle 🙂

Algenon Cash is a nationally recognized speaker and the managing director of Wharton Gladden & Company, an investment banking firm. Reach him at

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors