5 Ways to Beat the Vacation Budget Blues

A vacation is meant to be all about relaxation, adventure, and bliss. But realistically, there are some stress factors that come along with planning and traveling. In a recent Wyndham Vacation Rentals survey, 61% of vacationers reported being stressed about spending too much money on vacation.

vacation budget

To alleviate this stress factor, here are 5 ways to beat the budget blues:

Make a budget that sticks: Travelers often choose a round number for a vacation budget but don’t identify how that money will be used. To make a budget that you can stick to, decide what percentage of the budget will go toward accommodations, travel expenses, meals, and activities. Start with this breakdown: 40% accommodations, 20% meals, 15% travel, 15% activities, and 10% buffer for unexpected purchases and souvenirs. Once you figure out your dollar amounts for each category, you can adjust for your particular trip and expectations.

saving for vacation

Save throughout the year: Most of us try to take a vacation each year, so shouldn’t we be saving in advance for the expense? One way to reduce your budget stress while vacationing is to set aside a certain amount of your paycheck each month toward future travel. You may even want to open a savings account dedicated to travel. Your budget will stress you much less if you’re not worried about how you will pay for the vacation once you’re home.

Plan road trip meals and snacks in advance: One way to make sure you don’t eat through your food budget early on is to avoid buying one-off beverages and fast food meals. These costs add up quickly. Instead, pack sandwiches for the car ride and stock up on water bottles, snacks, and cereal ahead of time.

snacks in car


Cook some meals on vacation: Choosing accommodations with a kitchen provides a way to significantly save money. Costs can be easily reduced by cooking easy breakfasts each morning, prepping sandwiches to enjoy on the beach, and making two or three dinners in your rental. In fact, eating in saves vacation rental travelers an estimated average of $742 on a weeklong stay according to a Wyndham Vacation Rentals study. (An added perk? 94% of vacation rental travelers found having a kitchen on vacation reduced their stress levels.)

Forget about keeping up with the Jones’: Social media and our own lofty expectations can make us feel like we need to see and do everything that a destination has to offer. But it’s important to remember what vacation is all about: spending quality time with the ones you love. So find activities that fit into your budget, and don’t underestimate how much fun free activities like a walk on the beach, a family game night, or lingering over your morning cup of coffee on your vacation rental balcony can be.

For more vacationing budget tips, head over to Vacation Differently’s “More for your Money” section.

Sources: Vacation Ready Survey conducted by APCO Insight on behalf of Wyndham Vacation Rentals, 2017; Vacation Renters Survey, Wyndham Vacation Rentals, 2015.