Pay for Your Vacation in Cash

iStock_000003602042XSmall-1There are many merits to paying for your vacation in cash. For one thing, you can have more fun, knowing that you won’t be faced with tough bills when you return home, knowing that everything is taken care of completely. After all, you go on vacation to relax and spend time with the ones you love, not get stressed over the cost of every meal or t-shirt, or being overly focused on getting your money’s worth out of the trip.

Paying in cash for your vacation may also have other benefits beside the mental and emotional ones. There can be some real financial incentives to pay for a vacation in cash. Depending on how and where you book your trip, you may be offered incentives for paying in cash, in full, including waived fees, and extra night’s stay or restaurant gift cards.

Buy paying in cash, you will also avoid credit card interest, which could make your trip much more expensive in the long run.

Paying for a vacation in cash can seem daunting, but it might be easier than you think. Here are some steps to take.

First, you will need to figure out what type of vacation you want to have, including where to go, how long to stay and what type of experiences to include. Nail down the details, so you have a basic plan that you can work with.

Next, assess the costs for your vacation from the details above. How much will this vacation actually cost you? Don’t forget to include extras such as tips and souvenirs as well as meals, on site transportation and anything else you might need. Actually, this is a good idea to do even if you aren’t planning to pay for your vacation with cash. Budgeting usually helps keep costs under control.

After accessing the costs, take a look at the assets that you currently have that could reduce your overall bill. For example, do you have airline miles that you could use? Are you a member of AAA or another group that offers discounts on accommodation? Do you have a well-running car that could get you to your destination for much less money than flying? Along with accessing assets, you can look for other ways to reduce your vacation costs, such as flying on a Tuesday, visiting during the off-peak season or downgrading to a smaller or plainer room.

By now you should have a good idea about the actual costs of your vacation. Add in an additional five to 10 percent of this cost as a buffer. If you don’t use it, great. You’ll have some extra cash left over, but having a buffer for the unexpected is a good idea. Sometimes prices that are quoted to you don’t include taxes or additional fees. Your final amount is the cash you will need to have for your vacation. Subtract from this number any money already saved for your vacation fund, if you have one.

Once you have your bottom number. Divide that number by the amount of time you have left before you need to book your trip to get the dollar amount that you will need to set aside each week or month for your vacation. Maybe you don’t have a lot of time or just want to speed things up. Consider making some extra cash by holding a yard sale or finding another way to temporarily increase your income.

Congratulations and have a happy vacation!

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT or visit her personal blog