The holidays can be the most wonderful – and expensive – time of the year, and it isn’t always easy to find room in the budget for that much-needed getaway. We’ve done our homework, and brought you 10 of the easiest and most effective strategies for saving up for that holiday vacay!
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Set monthly goals
Do the math and arrive at an amount of savings each month that works for your budget and lifestyle. Be realistic, and keep in mind that the short-term pain of not being able to indulge in some of those little luxuries you’ve become accustomed to will be totally worth it when you find yourself parked on a beach come January!
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It’s all about the savings
Opening up a dedicated savings account exclusively for your trip is a great way to ensure you’re meeting your monthly goals for saving – and keeping it tucked away so you aren’t tempted to spend it!
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Set up a change jar
No – we’re not kidding. Only, instead of pennies and whatever else it is you find buried between sofa cushions, we want you to give up the good stuff. We’re talking the change from that 10-er that you paid for your coffee with at Starbucks (after you leave a little tip, of course). Basically any and all change you can spare, from the pennies to the loose bills crumpled up in your purse. Did you know: it takes just over a dollar a day to arrive at about $500 in a year? There’s a reason the change jar is a classic – it works!
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Find out if you qualify for a travel grant
If your travels are for the purpose of research in some educational or professional manner, you may qualify for a travel grant that could help finance at least part of your trip and expenses. A quick search online for your local department of travel will fill you in on everything you need to know!
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Where will you be staying?
While you’re in the planning process, consider your destination options – is there somewhere you’d like to go where you might already have family or friends residing? If so, free accommodations could take a huge chunk out of the overall cost of your trip.
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Train, plane or automobile
The jet-setting lifestyle doesn’t always have to include a jet. When possible, taking alternative methods of travel – like a train – can cut costs in a big way, and can make for more of a scenic adventure as you’re en route to your destination.
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Fixed budget? Get flexible
Working with a fixed budget means you’ll have to make compromises here and there when trying to work a trip into the equation. This might mean being open to the idea of alternative travel dates, and keeping an eye on fluctuating airfares around that time – ready to jump on those last-minute deals when they come up!
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Social media is your friend
Trying to scope out the best hotels and hottest holiday deals? Log onto your social media accounts, where platforms like Instagram play host to most of the world’s hotel chains – and countless lesser-known gems – where you can stay up to date on who’s offering the best price breaks and travel incentives to fit your budget.
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A little old-fashioned hard work
There’s no secret to saving money – or making more of it – it takes hard work! If you find you’re still coming up short, it might be time to consider a seasonal part-time gig, or one of these 11 wacky jobs you can actually get paid for. Many small businesses require an extra hand around the holidays, and the extra money you make here could mean the difference between booking that trip or putting it off to next year!
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Host a yard sale
Ok, so you might not be up for a yard sale mid-winter, but is there anything you’ve been meaning to get rid of that might be worth a few extra bucks towards your holiday fund? Only, we must warn you: Santa’s watching, so make sure you set aside your piles for donation before isolating the items you think might be worth some extra funds for your trip. You can list your items online to make things even easier.