Expert advice to properly budget for your summer vacation

63% of adults plan to travel this summer, survey finds
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 3:01 PM CDT
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(InvestigateTV) — Around 80% of Americans taking a summer vacation have changed their plans due to inflation, a survey by Bankrate found.

Virginia Credit Union Financial Coach Cherry Dale said creating a budget and backup plans for your vacation can help reign in spending.

Dale said vacationers often only budget for travel and lodging costs, neglecting food and other expenses, like tickets and excursions, that can add up. She suggested planning for all expenses, even incidentals.

“You can just write each person’s name down, allocate breakfast, lunch and dinner, excursion plans, money for shopping. When you get a number per person, you’re going to add all of that up,” Dale proposed. “And my advice would be to set aside another 30% on top of that amount to set aside for emergencies.”

For example, if you have a budget of $1,000, Dale recommends setting aside an additional $300 for unexpected costs.

She also said it’s okay to use credit cards on a trip, whether for the balance or the unexpected costs or for the rewards points. She said just make sure you have a plan to pay it off.

Dale shared several other tips for a smoother vacation:

  • Alert your financial institutions ahead of travel to avoid any disruptions for suspicious transactions
  • Be aware of credit card transactions fees if you are traveling internationally
  • Take a picture or write down your credit card numbers and expiration dates and customer service phone numbers in case of lost or stolen wallets