Vacation jar

Your getaway, financed!

Vacationing is a fantastic way to get away and forget about work and the stresses back home, but budgeting for that vacation? Well, let’s just say it’s less than relaxing. When you’re picking your next destination, you'll find plenty of financial factors to keep in mind before, during and after your getaway.

Think about the big picture

Vacation budgets are about more than just airfare and lodging. You have to think of the other costs that come along with being in a foreign city. Food is a huge expense, but also consider the unexpected costs that might come up. What if someone is injured? What if you want to go on a previously unforeseen half-day cruise? Leave room in your budget with the little luxuries that might come up after you arrive at your destination.

You might need to skip the splurges

Vacations are expensive, and even the little splurges in your life, like that $15 tote bag, could get in the way of you jetting off to your destination. With a vacation in your future, be sure to keep splurging on lock. Skip anything that isn’t a necessity and instead put your “play money” aside for your big vacation. Those pedicures can wait -- Tahiti is on the line!

The months after your vacation are no different. You'll want to practice caution with your spending once you return home to help you get back to an economic equilibrium where you have enough of a financial safety net to give you some breathing room. You don't want to come up short if you find yourself with a flat tire, an unexpected hospital visit, a broken down car and more. Return back to the little luxuries once you feel financially secure enough to weather any minor storm that comes your way.

You might be short upon returning

When you’re sitting on the beach or taking a stroll through your favorite romantic city, it might be hard to think about life once you return home, but the fact is that the spending you do during your vacation will impact your quality of life once you return home. Plan accordingly. Set aside a specific amount of money for the vacation, including travel, lodging, food and play money. Make sure you don’t exceed your budget, or things might be tight when you get home. Getting too swept up in the vacation mentality could lead to an electric bill that's a few weeks late.

Watch: How to take a cheap summer road trip

It's just the two of you, the open road and a limited amount of cash. Just because you're on a budget doesn't mean you can't have a blast.

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Comments on "How a vacation really impacts your budget"

Andrea June 13, 2012 | 10:31 AM

Budget Budget Budget. No matter how much money I have in my checking account, I am ALWAYS on a budget, especially when it comes to vacationing. It's way too easy to get caught up in souvenirs and stuff you don't need. Plan everything out, and stick to it, ensuring you can pay all your bills upon returning!

Emily May 07, 2012 | 4:23 PM

Minimizing vacation costs is a good way to get the most bang for your buck, however, it is important not to be too cheap. When you are on vacation you should be allowed to reward and pamper yourself. Save the skimping for the staycations. I find that the best way to enjoy a guilt-free vacation is to start a vacation savings slush fund at the beginning of the year.

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