Free Vacation Savings Challenge Plan, Tracker, & Calculator

vacation savings plan challenge free printable

We took our kids to the beach for the first time last year.

It was an amazing trip, and we immediately talked about returning. I wondered aloud how much effort we should put into family trips. My husband replied “well, our oldest is 11. So, we have 7 good years left of traveling as a family.”

Um, thanks for freaking me out honey.

While his words were overdramatic, he had a point. And so, we decided that one great trip a year was a priority.

But, how do you get from “I want to take this trip” to “we ARE doing it!” With a great plan and a little momentum.

Use this vacation savings challenge to make it happen!

Free vacation savings challenge printable tracker

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Vacation Savings Calculator

Before you begin saving, you will need to do a bit of research. Decide on where you want to go, and estimate how much it will cost.

Use this vacation savings calculator to help determine what you need:

Related: Best Tips: Family Travel On A Budget

Vacation Savings Challenge Plan

Now, you are probably thinking: how can I save $1000 in 30 days? Or $5,000 in 90 days?

Make a plan. Here’s how:

1. Write down a smart goal to help you determine your plan.

how to make smart financial goals examples
  • Be specific and give yourself a realistic time frame and deadline.
  • Write why this trip is so important to you.
  • Include how you will get to your goal (keep reading for good money-saving tips!)
  • Decide how you will track your progress along the journey.

A smart goal Vacation example might be…

  • I will save $400 a month for 9 months to get to my vacation savings goal of $3,600 by August 31st.
  • This vacation to the Grand Canyon will create once-in-a-lifetime memories with the kids.
  • We will reach this goal by cutting Hulu for 3 months, having a garage sale, and eating at home 2x a week more.
  • We will mark progress through the vacation savings tracker and our vacation savings account.

Vacation Savings Account: Where to Put Your $$$

Not all savings accounts are created equal. Look for a high-yield savings account, often offered through online banks that don’t have to cover the overhead expenses that local banks do.

At the time of this writing, my local bank offers .2-.75% APY. My online savings account currently gives out 3.4% APY. This interest difference adds up over time!

(And is an easy way to have more money for vacation!)

stunning beach sunset

BONUS: Name your savings account something that motivates you. “Vacation” won’t move you emotionally. But “Stunning Beach Sunset” has a nice ring to it.

Find travel bank account nicknames >>

How to Start Saving Money

Next, use these saving for vacation tips to get you moving in the direction of your dreams!

1. Make Vacation Saving a Family Affair

Saving for vacation is a great way to model good budgeting practices and teach your kids how to budget. Plus, once you get your entire family onboard, you will be moving with the current instead of against it!

vacation savings challenge calculator and tracker

Make the trip visual with kids by creating a vision board and saving money in a jar. You can also have regular discussions about what you want to do on vacation and what you want to splurge and save on.

Bonus: Everyone will look forward to and be committed to saving for the trip when they are excited for it!

Related: Disney Savings Tracker Charts

2. Decide Big Ways You Will Cut Back

use the printable debt tracker templates to narrow down your big three expenses

Your 3 big expenses: food, car, and home. If you find a great way to cut back in one of these three, you often don’t have to do much else to get the savings you need.

3. Decide Small Ways You Will Cut Back

Next, get to those sneaky, easy-to-cut things. Ongoing subscriptions are excellent low-hanging fruit. Eating out and alcohol are other things that tend to add up over time. By focusing on these two, you will be saving money AND getting healthier. Win-win!

4. Find Less Expensive Things To Do

If you have kids, you know that activities can be expensive. It doesn’t have to be that way though. There are many options for saving money on activities.

  • Get in on happy hour if you like to go out
  • Utilize free parks, libraries, and museums
  • Host potlucks with other families at home

See more at this list of great things to do when saving money >>

5. Make More to Save More

Income matters too when using debt tracker printable spreadsheet and worksheet

Saving money is often the easiest way to have more at the end of the day. But do not forget the power of increasing your income. Whether it is through your regular job or a side hustle, sometimes earning an extra $300 a month is much easier than hanging all of your clothes to dry over and over.

6. Get Creative

Fun savings challenges are an excellent way to get motivated. And you don’t have to stop with your vacation savings challenge.

While these can be more drastic commitments, they also put money in your pocket at a much higher rate.

Fun & Free Vacation Savings Challenge Tracker

fun easy vacation money savings challenge: free printable tracker

“The best things in life are the people we love, the places we’ve been, and all the memories we’ve made along the way.” – Unknown

Make the Travel Money Commitment

Aside from using the tracker, you can make a written commitment (or a specific financial goal) and put it on the fridge. Studies show that these types of commitments help you follow through!

Related: Why Can’t I Save Money?

How to Make The Vacation Itself Fit In Your Budget

Once you have explored how to save at home, check out these options to make your vacation more affordable.

family going on vacation
  • Explore nature. What we realized about our beach vacation is that we spent very little money once we were there. Our kids amused themselves for hours…for free.
  • Travel during the offseason.
  • Pick up groceries when you get there (using a kitchenette can save you big in restaurant costs)
  • Drive instead of fly
  • Stay with friends and family (Camping also makes for cheap lodging)
  • Buy travel size
  • Pack your own snacks
  • Bring your own reusable water bottles
  • Visit restaurants and stores off the beaten path (where the locals go)
  • Use your points for cheaper airfare and hotels
  • Book a hotel room with a breakfast and pool (a lifesaver with kids!)

What’s Next?

I hope you enjoy this travel savings challenge! Next, become a part of the Wealthy Woman community. You’ll receive ongoing tips that propel you on the path to becoming wealthy, along with free access to the resource library of goodies.

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