This is a post from our staff writer Cat Alford. Enjoy!
For the past few months, I’ve been saving my pennies for a babymoon.
For those of you not familiar with this strange new word I just learned, it’s basically a trip that you take when you’re about to have a baby.
Well, not right when you are about to have baby, but you get the idea.
It’s been a while since my husband and I have taken a trip just the two of us without any distractions or computers or cell phones.
So, we decided to book a hotel room in San Antonio, which is only a 6 hour drive from where we live in Baton Rouge.
That way, if something happens with this pregnancy, we won’t be too far from home, but we’ll be far enough away for it feel like a real break.
San Antonio is supposed to be really pretty around the holiday season, so we’re going to take advantage of that.
Of course, you might be wondering how I can afford to take a vacation when I have a ridiculous amount of student loans, etc.
Here’s how I did it and how you can too:
1. Set Up A Savings Account Just For Your Trip
I enjoy having goal oriented high yield savings accounts. It was never enough for me to lump all of my savings into one big account. I have to actually have labels on them, so I know that if I dip into my savings, I am taking away from something. About 8 months ago, I made a specific savings account that said “Vacation Funds” and I carefully added to it. Once it hit my goal of $1,500.00, I felt comfortable enough to book our trip.
**Lance’s Two Cents** If you’re looking to set up goal savings accounts, I personally recommend Capital One 360 Bank. Check out my review of them here. **Lance’s Two Cents**
2. Choose A Budget Friendly Location
I wasn’t looking to go on a really expensive trip, although that would have definitely been nice. I feel like everyone should go on the trip that they can afford. If you get to go to Europe, awesome! That means you’ve been saving your pennies really well and working hard.
However, if you have a crushing student loan debt like I do, it’s not really a good idea to do something lavish. A quiet few days in a hotel that’s driving distance was just perfect for us. We even thought about booking a hotel room in New Orleans, which is an hour away from where we live, but we’ve been there so many times, and we thought it would be nice to celebrate with something a little bit different.
3. Don’t Feel Guilty
I really struggled emotionally saving for this trip. On one hand, I am trying hard to stay on top of student loan payments, and I knew that every time I added $100 to my vacation fun, that’s $100 that I could have added to my student loan balance. I know that not everyone will agree with the decision to travel while in debt.
However, those of you who have been long time readers know that I work extremely hard for many, many hours a week. This vacation fund has been a long time coming and came purely from side hustle income.
So, even though I do feel a twinge of guilt, I’m trying not to. After all, I saved ahead of time for this vacation and it’s a modest choice at location. That should be a celebration in itself!
How do you budget and save before going on a vacation?
**Lance’s Two Cents** Another great way I found to help me pay for vacations and not feel guilty is using credit card sign up bonuses. In fact, we’ll be taking a vacation next year that is mostly paid for by both my wife and I signing up for one credit card each. It will essentially give us $880 off of our vacation! **Lance’s Two Cents**