My, My, the Cost of Vacationing

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You’ve spent a lot of time doing your homework, planning for your family’s vacation this coming summer, right?

You’ve learned about the damage a family trip can do to the old nest egg, right? Take a look at some of these numbers just in case you’re wondering (based on a family of four):

  • An eight-day, seven-night Orlando, Florida vacation with air travel, rental car and hotel such as a Holiday Inn outside of Disneyworld): approximately $3,869.
  • An eight-day, seven-night, all-inclusive trip to Club Med Sandpiper in Florida (including everything except transfers): approximately $4,279.
  • An eight-day, seven-night Paris city tour with air travel, hotel and sightseeing transfers: approximately $3,500.

Had enough? OK, so you’re ready then. You already know that the first rule of thumb when planning for a family vacation is coming up with a detailed budget and sticking to it. You’ve even gone so far as to create a vacation account so that a portion can go into it from your direct-deposited paycheck. You’re doing swell!

Just in case you haven’t budgeted in for incidentals while you’re travelling (there’s nothing worse than being on a family vacation and worrying about money and what’s being spent where), here’s a list of things to keep in mind and budget for before you go:

  • When possible, pay using cash or travelers’ checks. For other items that are more convenient to use a credit card (like hotel, car and airline fees), keep a running list of purchases, but decide before you go which purchases will be made with your credit card and have a plan for paying them off upon your return.
  • Buy miscellaneous items such as batteries, film, medicines and “kid staples” before you go since these kind of things are usually more expensive at vacation destinations.
  • Put a limit on souvenir spending. Better yet, let your kids use their own allowances on these novelties.

Source: familyfun.com (vacation prices may be subject to change).

Susan Day is editor in chief of this publication.

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