Have a Summer Vacation Without Breaking The Bank

Monday, May 27, 2013

Summer is quickly approaching, and with it comes dreams of summer vacation. But sometimes holiday planning is stressful – can you afford to rent that cottage? How much is a trip to Disney World? Will rising gas prices affect weekend getaways? 

Ensuring that your summer vacation is fun and fiscally-responsible means a little planning and increased financial literacy. Bestselling author, TV host and Life Literacy Ambassador Gail Vaz-Oxlade has provided her top tips for planning a summer vacation without breaking the bank:

 -   Save on food by choosing restaurants where kids eat free and by picking one meal a day as your “eat out” meal; stock up on groceries for the rest

  - Choose accommodations that offer a kitchenette, then buy breakfast fixings for the kids instead of eating at restaurants. Or shop for rooms where breakfast is thrown in with your room rate. 

  -  Use all the hotel’s facilities - that pool is a great way to have a no-spend day!

 -  Bring along refillable water bottles and buy your sunscreen, bug spray and other holiday supplies where it’s cheapest. (Or check your supplies before you leave home!) Check online for grocery or drug stores at your holiday destination since they may have better deals.  

 -  Remember to turn off your cell phone’s roaming charges. (Putting your phones in airplane mode will do the trick.) If you plan to use your cell phones, sign up for a roaming package so you don’t come back to a bill that’s higher than all the money you spent on vacation.

  -  Set a budget that includes a daily allowance for the kids to have some spending money. 

  -  Save year-round for your trip by storing up your change; loonies and toonies plus quarters, nickels and dimes in a Vacation Jar add up quickly!

  - Tell your credit card company that you're traveling and for how long so they’ll expect those out-of-country charges.

“When you’re on vacation it can be easy to lose track of your spending,” says Gail Vaz-Oxlade. “By staying conscious of costs and following tips like these to save money, you can have a relaxing holiday without having to worry about a pile of bills when you get home.”

For more financial literacy tips and resources, visit

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