Saving for a vacation is necessary unless you're just rolling in the dough. And if this summer has crept up on you and yet again you don't have any extra cash stashed to make a getaway, Apartment Therapy has tips for saving for vacation so you can plan for next summer.
First off, start planning now! A year or even two in advance isn't too early to start preparing for a trip. That way you can start planning and saving up in plenty of time to do the vacation you want to do.
Next, come up with a budget so you can have something to work towards. Use travel websites to figure out how much air tickets (or gas) will cost, as well as rooms along the way. Don't forget to do a little research on the cost of food at your destination so you can factor in meals, which can take a huge portion of your budget. A great way to save money on trips away is to rent a condo or hotel room with a kitchen so you can make some meals in your room.
Now that you've got your goal, open a savings account that is just for your vacation. Be sure the bank doesn't charge you any fees on your account and try to get one with a debit card so you can book flights and accommodations. (Alteratively, you can just transfer money from this account to your normal account for purchases.)
A great way to save money is to never have it hit your checking account in the first place. If you have a direct deposit option with your paycheck, you can determine a percentage you want to set aside for your vacation and have it directly transferred into your savings account.
Take a look at all the ways and places you can save money for your trip. If you have a change jar, take it to the bank and deposit the cash in your travel account. If you receive money instead of gifts for holidays, put the money in the account. Go through all your belongings and use Craigslist or a yard sale to turn your unwanted stuff into cash. If you have children who are getting an allowance, encourage them to put it towards the travel fund also. It encourages them to feel part of the team. If you have two or more years before your planned trip, you can even open a 1-year CD which will accrue 1% interest, increasing your purchasing power.