How to Save Money for Summer Vacation

a family laughing on a beach enjoying vacation

Are you daydreaming about sipping a pina colada by the beach or exploring a bustling city this summer? While it seems so far away, summer is just around the corner. That’s why now is the perfect time to start saving for a getaway. At Academy Bank, we know that planning a summer vacation can be exciting but also a bit daunting when it comes to managing your finances. Afterall, you’re already juggling kids’ soccer tournaments, paying bills, and managing daily expenses, so it can feel unattainable setting aside money for vacation. But don’t worry—we have tips and tricks to help you save for a great summer vacation.

Build your summer fund

1. Make a “vacation fund”

When you decide to start saving for a vacation, a tried-and-true way is to create a summer fund. You may already have a savings account,1 but if you want to dedicate your savings to a specific event, it's smart to create a separate account that is specifically for your summer escapades.

2. Start saving early!

Once your vacation fund is established, waste no time in kickstarting your savings journey. Beginning early allows you ample time to cultivate your funds gradually, enabling you to reach your vacation goals with ease. Plus, the earlier you start, the more opportunities you have to take advantage of potential growth and maximize your savings potential.

3. A little money goes a long way

Transferring money in large chunks is something only few people can do. After all, you still need to pay your bills. Those dollars can add up if you consistently put a little money in your account. If you start early, saving money can be a marathon, not a sprint.

Look ahead when planning your vacation

4. Consider travel dates

Experts suggest planning your summer travel 5-8 months in advance if you're flying because that's when you can get the best seats, times, and prices. It's wise to regularly check flight details, and when you see a good deal, book it!

5.  Book hotels early

If you know the proximity of your hotel to all the attractions on your list, you can plan how you will get to and from your hotel. It doesn't matter if it's public transit, Uber, or walking; not planning for transportation may cost you big if you aren't prepared.

6.  Create a vacation budget

It's essential to create a vacation budget. Travel, hotels, and eating at restaurants can become costly. If you look at the whole vacation, not just the fun attractions, you can get a practical dollar amount for what you need to save and where all that money will go. By looking at the whole picture and planning accordingly, you are less likely to run out of cash or go into debt in the middle of your vacation.

7. Use your rewards

Do you have a card or account that uses rewards? Turn in those points! By leveraging perks such as the Select Rewards Checking*+ account, you can cut costs for your vacation. At Academy Bank, you have access to discounts on travel, hotel, restaurants, and more! Make sure to look into all your rewards accounts, whether it be airline points, cash back for shopping, or even your checking account. There are many ways to redeem your perks.

Find innovative ways to save

8. Meal preparation

With the average American spending more than $1,000 on groceries each month, cutting back on groceries could save you some extra money to put towards your vacation fund. One way to cut costs is to create a meal plan and rigidly stick to it. If you put together your weekly grocery budget around those meals and nothing else, you can easily cut costs by eliminating the purchases you don't actually need. As a bonus, meal planning is also a great way to reduce food waste because you won't forget about those fruits or veggies in the back of your fridge.

9. Go hunting for extra cash!

Yes, it sounds like we're saying to rummage through your couch cushions, but this is a great way to get creative and find some extra funds. While you can go old school by cleaning out your car and breaking your piggy bank, there are other methods too. You might have money waiting in money transfer apps such as PayPal and Venmo. Perhaps someone has sent you money and you haven’t yet transferred it to your bank account. If you use investment apps like Acorns or Betterment, consider cashing in some of your investment money. This "money hunt" can also extend to finally redeeming gift cards in the back of your wallet or returning items that have been on your to-do list for weeks.

10. The more the merrier!

Another element to consider is not traveling alone. If you're vacationing with friends or family, it could be more cost-efficient to rent a house together. Splitting accommodations usually costs less money than booking multiple hotel rooms, and you can also save money by cooking at the rental house instead of buying every meal.

How can Academy Bank help me save for vacation?

At Academy Bank, we have many methods to help you reach your vacation goals. From our Saving Cents2 program, taking your spare change and depositing into your savings, to helpful perks in our Select Rewards Checking*+ accounts, we have useful tools to get you that relaxing vacay. If you want to save gradually, our savings accounts1 can help you build your funds over time. Suppose you want to plan how much you need to save. In that case, our financial calculators page has calculators dedicated to helping you understand how to save. With Academy Bank, we can help you make those vacation dreams a reality one penny at a time.   

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* Opening deposit required. Monthly service charge applies. Closing new accounts within 90 days of opening will result in a $20 early closure fee.

1$25 minimum opening deposit required. $100 minimum balance required to avoid $5 monthly service charge. $5 paper statement fee applies. Closing new accounts within 90 days of opening will result in a $20 closure fee.

2Choose from $1 to $5 increment to round up on your debit card purchases from your checking account. Each night all the extra change will automatically transfer from your checking to your savings.

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