Using a vacation club to keep your travel budget under control

One of the very best ways to both build your saving discipline and enjoy a great vacation is to start a vacation club, and fund it on a regular basis.  A vacation club can be a great way to save money throughout the year and can prevent your long awaited vacation from being a budget buster.

Unluckily, many people fail to gross this method, and as a result they end up reimbursing for that one or two weeks of outing through the entire rest of the year.  It is far better to do the budgeting and planning ahead of time than to be stuck with a bunch of bills that need to be paid long after your vacation tan has faded.

The first thing to do, of course, is to come up with a realistic budget for your next vacation.  This step is not as easy as it sounds, since many of the incidental costs associated with a vacation can be difficult to remember, and few people take the time to keep every receipt from meals, hotels, souvenirs and other travel purchases.

Even though you may not be able to capture every vacation expense, it is still a good idea to take the time to at least record the major expenditures from your last vacation. This list obviously should include things like airfare, hotel bills, and the cost of the rental car.  It is fine to use estimates for things for which you do not have accurate figures, but be sure to make them realistic.  After all, it is best to budget too much money and have funds left over than to budget too little and be left scrambling.

After you have your vacation budget in hand, it is time to add up the number of weeks until your next planned vacation.  If you just returned, you may have almost a year to save, but if your vacation is coming up soon you may need to save some money right away.

Determining how much you need to save each week or each month is a simple matter of dividing the number of weeks or months you have to save into the amount you need to save.  Of course, the easiest and most easy way to save for anything, whether it is a new house, retirement, education, or just your next vacation, is to make the savings automatic.

If you can get your employer to do it, the best way to fund a vacation fund it to have the money deducted directly from your paycheck and sent to your bank, before you ever lay eyes on it.   The second best way to fund the vacation club is to have the money deducted directly from your checking account and sent to the vacation fund on a monthly, biweekly or weekly basis.  However you do it, it is important that the money be transferred consistently, week after week and month after month.

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