6 Painless Ways to Save Money for a Vacation

by Alexa Mason · 10 comments

Normally I’m not one who’s up for traveling. However, here in southern Ohio it has snowed nearly every day for the past three weeks, the temperature has remained in the single digits on most days, and the roads are too bad to drive on. Saying that I’m suffering from cabin fever is a bit of an understatement.

While I’m stuck in the house crossing my fingers that winter will soon come to an end, I’m also dreaming about warm places. And, since I don’t have much of a vacation budget, I’ve been scheming up ways I can score a little getaway on the cheap.

If you’re in a position similar to mine, here are six painless ways to save money for a vacation.

1. Cash in credit card rewards points

I’m not a huge proponent of using credit cards for their rewards points, but I know several people who have a lot of success with this. If you’ve amassed rewards points, then you can cash them in for travel, cash, or gift cards.

You may even have enough points for airline tickets or a few nights stay in a nice hotel. You can’t get a better deal than free travel!

2. Set up small automatic transfers

If you take one or more vacations per year, setting up a small automatic transfer from your paycheck into an earmarked savings account is a painless way to build up your vacation fund.

Even if you only transfer $10 per week, you’ll have accumulated $520 in one year. You probably won’t even notice that $10 transfer — but it will feel great to have an extra $500 or more for your vacation.

save money for vacation3. Cash in your change

All of my purchases are paid for with cash or a debit card. I throw all of my extra change in a jar, and wait until it’s full to cash it in.

Saving your change and cashing it in for a vacation is one of the easiest ways to add a little padding to your vacation fund.

4. Recycle scrap metal & aluminum cans

For those of you who have a slight love affair with pop, you know that aluminum cans pile up fast. The downside is it usually takes quite a bit of them to earn decent money.

If you have any scrap metal to cash in, your recycling efforts can add up a lot quicker. Scrap yards will take a variety of scrap metals. You can turn aluminum, copper, iron, brass, and more into cold, hard cash.

5. Do a few odd jobs

I like to figure out what odd jobs I can do to earn some extra cash. I’ve babysat, completed surveys, filled in at my dad’s store, and lately, I’ve been thinking about refinishing and selling old furniture.

To me, there’s nothing better than getting paid for something you enjoy doing. Find a fun odd job you can do every now and then, and add your earnings to your vacation fund.

6. Sell your stuff online

Last week, I wrote about the best places to sell stuff online — because it’s so easy to de-clutter your home and earn extra cash at the same time.

If you have a garage sale pile and are ready to go on vacation, try selling your items online. If you’re new to online selling, I think you’ll be surprised at how quickly your items go.

Get Going!

If you sit down and think about it, there are so many things you can do to painlessly save money for a vacation. By doing only a couple of these things, you can save enough money for a weekend trip. Do them all, and you may have enough money for a week-long vacation!

How do you painlessly save money for a vacation?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • DNN says:

    Side hustling online is today’s new new of getting $ gUaP $ & achieving “side hustle millionaire” status.

  • Arminius Aurelius says:

    When I was young and after I got out of the Navy , I wanted to visit Europe [ my ship went to Asia twice ] I did not want to touch what money I saved in the Navy , so I worked the normal 8 hours a day plus another part time 4 hour a day job. [ a 12 hour day , 5 days a week ] It was no big deal .. Yes it meant a minor sacrifice to my social life but it was well worth it After doing that for 10 months , I had enough money saved to bicycle thru Europe for 3 months . Stayed at Youth Hostels overnight , both bicycling and overnight at Hostels was cheap. Visited Germany , Austria , Switzerland , France and Holland . It was a blast sightseeing and meeting other kids from other countries . Well worth the extra 4 hours a day . By the way , it was so much fun that I repeated it the following year and visited England , Scotland , Italy , Monte Carlo , etc. Anything is possible in life if you put in the Extra effort , there is no free ride .
    Arminius Aurelius

  • Mr. Thrifty says:

    I like the tangible, easy to implement ideas here. We make a line item in our budget for vacations and try to forward fund them the same way we would fund repairs to our vehicles and home. Great stuff!

  • Alex @ Credit Card XPO says:

    Great tips, we sure all need a vacation to get away from this extremely cold winter.

  • Marissa@Thirtysixmonths says:

    There were promo offered by airline companies and I greatly suggest that when planning for vacation try to book tickets on promo dates. Love reading your article.

  • property marbella says:

    I have always advocated that you should pay cash for your holidays and number 2 on the list “automatic transfer from your paycheck” is a very good way.

  • Alex says:

    These are some great tips, thanks!

  • KreditGoGo says:

    Definitely a great tips for me because i like backpacking alone to somewhere since collage. One thing that i always do when i go travel is i didn’t stay in hotel but i looking for home stay. Because is cheaper than hotel and can make new relation with others people.

  • Tina says:

    Definitely a great tips for traveler, One thing that I always do is to travel when it’s not peak season.

  • Mortgage Free Mike says:

    These are great tips. I do like to stockpile my credit card rewards points (I pay off my card every month) and then redeem them for a trip! As you said, free travel. I also save the gift cards I redeem from sites like Swagbucks, MyPoints and BigCrumbs to use on vacation. There’s a Starbucks just about everywhere and on vacation I like to treat myself.

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