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Seven ways to save for summer fun

Whether you’re considering a road trip through wine country or planning a weekend getaway to New York City, vacation costs can easily skyrocket. According to travel site Budget Your Trip, the average daily price for travelling in Canada is around $150. Higher yet is the cost to travel to the United States: a staggering $225 a day, not including today’s unfavourable exchange rate.

The good news is there are ways to save for your summer sojourn without breaking the bank. Here are seven steps to your dream vacation this summer:

Create a spending plan
Planning ahead is a perfect way to make sure you don’t overspend on your next vacation. Start by creating a priority list of how you’d like to spend your holiday. Do museums and tourist attractions rank high on your to-do list? Or would you prefer sampling a city’s best restaurants? Once you’ve determined your criteria for fun, you can begin allotting portions of your budget to various activities without going overboard.

Open a designated savings account
Don’t wait until departure time to start saving. A high interest savings account can help you gather the funds you need for plane tickets, gas, hotels, and meals. In fact, a savings calculator is a great tool for gauging your progress, and determining whether you need to increase your contributions to reach your savings goals.

Track spending with an app
Apps aren’t just for messaging your friends and mapping driving routes. Acorns, Stash, Qapital – they’re all personal finance apps that can help you keep tabs on your spending. Users can establish savings goals and share these objectives with friends; pay bills while on the fly; and set daily reminders of how much money they’ve saved to date. Make it a family affair.

Make it a family affair
Two heads are better than one when it comes to saving for a family vacation. Hold a family meeting to discuss how each family member can contribute to a collective pot. Why not ask your teenage son or daughter to dedicate a portion of his or her babysitting earnings to the family fund? Get the little ones on board by teaching them how to clip coupons for groceries. And open a joint account with your partner, agreeing to contribute a minimal amount every week. You’ll be surprised by how quickly your savings can grow through teamwork.

Make more money
Don’t let your annual salary dictate the kind of summer vacation you can afford. There are plenty of ways to boost your money-making potential. Encourage your family to gather any gently used toys, books, and clothing items. Next, select a date and throw a garage sale. Make sure you commit 100% of the proceeds to your vacation fund.

Do your research
Long gone are the days of relying on a commission-hungry travel agent to book a trip. These days, travel sites such as Orbitz, Priceline, and Travelocity offer deals on everything from flights to hotels. Some use sophisticated algorithms to generate rock-bottom prices. Others allow consumers to blindly bid for low rates, or purchase package deals on flight-hotel combinations. And many feature rewards programs that let you earn points for booking through the site. Just remember: the more flexible you are with your dates and departure times, the more you’re likely to save. 

Consider a cottage
If your savings still aren’t measuring up to your dream vacation, why not consider a cottage? Sites such Airbnb and HomeAway regularly list cottage properties at reasonable prices, along with authentic reviews. Better yet, ask your friends and co-workers if they know of any cottage properties available to rent for a quick summer getaway.
Speak to a Financial Advisor to discuss your savings plan today.