How to (Painlessly) Pay for Your Next Vacation: Hint, NO CREDIT CARDS! (Part 1)
Can you believe summer is almost here? It’s got me daydreaming about tropical a vacation!
So, I’ve probably mentioned it before, (lol) but I am a pretty darn frugal person! I’m not sure if it was caused by nature or nurture, but I don’t like to spend $$$ on lots of unnecessary things!
While I don’t need a big house, new cars, or designer clothes…. there is one thing that I will drop my hard earned cash on without even thinking twice: vacation! I have always loved to travel, especially internationally. Unfortunately, my husband and I have never gotten to travel out of the country together! I set out to remedy that, in spite of our tight budget.
Today, I’m going to tell you how I am paying for our first big ticket vacation, without going into debt or eating ramen noodles!
The first step was to find the right trip! I know from past experiences that I love to cruise. To me, it is an affordable way to travel out of country. The reason I think it is more affordable is because on lots of cruises, you don’t need a passport and they’re all inclusive as far as food/drinks/transportation/lodging. We have a cruise port that is about 5 hours from our house, so now that those details are worked out, it is time to start shopping!
I found an amazing early booking special for EIGHT NIGHTS in the Bahamas for less than $500/each! For my husband and I, plus all the taxes, gratuities, and travel. I’ve always wanted to go to the Bahamas, so I knew this was the one! Check out this itinerary!
The thing about cruises, which I already knew, is there’s all kinds of fees. Gratuities, taxes, port fees, etc. etc. I also opted for vacation insurance since we’re not traveling for 18 months! I didn’t want to take the risk if something happens in the meantime. With everything included, here is my total.
Carnival was running a special that you only had to pay $250 to book so I jumped on it! Now, we have until next November to pay the remaining $1,297.28. Which means we need to pay about $75/month. However, I also know that we’re going to need a lot of other things for this trip, too!
Make a Budget
I sat down and made a list of all the OTHER things we’d need. This way, I can go ahead and put back some money for each paycheck. (In other words, not using the credit cards to pay for the extra stuff when the trip rolls around!) Here’s what I came up with!
1.) Gas to/from port – $100
2.) Parking for 9 days at the port – $100
3.) Shore Excursions on port days – $300
4.) Spending money (alcohol and souvenirs) – $500
These, of course, are rough estimates but gives me an idea of how much I’ll need to save. If you add this to the total cost of the cruise itself, you come out to about $2,550 total!
I realize that sounds like a lot, but when you think about everything that is included, it is a great deal for international travel. We’ll get 9 days to and from the Bahamas, with all transportation, meals, non-alcoholic drinks, activities, 2-3 shore excursions (depending on price), taxes, fees, gratuities, AND $500 spending money! Two airline tickets alone could easily cost as much.
Saving (AKA- the hard part!)
Because this post is getting long and I still have a lot to cover, I’m going to end part 1 here. Please subscribe to get updates for part 2, where I will cover the exact changes I’m making to saueeze this trip into our already tight budget.
As always, thanks for reading! I hope you have a beautiful and blessed day!