Taking a vacation can be a lot of fun for you and your family, but it’s not much fun for your wallet. Between the time you’ll have to take off from work for the trip, the bills you’ll still have to pay while you’re gone, and all of the expenses related to the vacation (airfare, hotel, dining out, souvenirs, etc.), vacations can take a serious chunk out of your bank account. However, with proper planning in advance, it is still possible to make it work. Here are a few last minute ways you can save up the extra cash you’ll need:

Cut Back on Unnecessary Expenses

Think about everything that you spend money on each month, and try to find some areas where you can cut back. Instead of paying for a gym membership, try working out at home or a local park. You can also trade your restaurant habit for more nights cooking at home. You’d be surprised just how much extra money you can come up with if you are willing to sacrifice a bit of fun today in exchange for the fun you know you’ll have on vacation.

Sell Things You Don’t Need

If you’re like most people, you probably have a ton of things around your home that are just gathering dust. Consider having a garage sale or selling some of your belongings online. Just because you are no longer using something doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone out there who would love to have it. Just make sure that the things you plan to sell are still in good condition.

Pick Up a Side Gig

In today’s gig economy, it is easier than ever to pick up a side job to bring in some extra money. Drive for a ride-sharing service a few nights a week or offer your services in an online marketplace. You can also offer to babysit for friends with children, and they’ll be likely to return the favor when you need child care, which can help you save even more money! Before you know it, you’ll have plenty for your vacation.

Create a budget

Save money on your next vacation by setting up a vacation budget around your expected expenses.  These expenses include lodging, round-trip airfare, transportation, meals, activities, etc., and should all be calculated based on your set travel dates (since expenses can fluctuate based on time of year). You will need savings goals to ensure your getaway is as worry-free as possible.  Having a vacation savings set aside for your next trip is a great way to ensure that you have parameters set for what you can and can’t do on your vacation.  We suggest opening a separate savings for the only purpose of funding your next vacation.  These goal-oriented savings accounts are key for making sure you have enough of a vacation fund to support whatever adventure you have planned.  A high-yield online savings account, such as HSBC Online Savings, is perfect for this type of venture. 

Set Up an Automatic Transfer

Schedule transfers from your standard checking account to your vacation savings plan to ensure you are continuing to put aside money for your vacation.  You can do this weekly or bi-weekly, but the point is to make sure that you have some money going to this savings account on a regular basis.

Get a Travel Rewards Credit Card

Make sure that you get a new credit card that offers great sign-up bonuses and travel rewards to supplement the expenses your next vacation will incur.  A lot of these cards offer extra points or miles for spending on airfare or hotels and some even offer cash back rewards for your spending.

Make extra money

There are a lot of ways that you can earn extra income to support your next vacation.  One is holding a yard sale or garage sale to get money for all the stuff you no longer need.  Another is to driving for a ride share app such as Uber or Lyft to make extra coin when you have downtime and to supplement your full-time job.  If you aren’t looking for a side job to bring in extra money, consider capitalizing on your current assets such as your home and renting out that extra bedroom.  To do this, you could explore short-term rentals and leverage Airbnb or HomeAway to fill your vacancy.