Your Money Matters: Vacation planning tips from financial advisor John McNamara

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John McNamara


Fund it
Sit down and take a look at your paycheck. Figure out how much you can afford to set aside after taking out enough for your monthly bills. Set up a vacation savings account. You can schedule an automatic transfer to the account on payday and then sit back and watch that account build.

Be Realistic
Remember your parents talking to you about wants and needs? The same applies here. Who doesn’t want to take a grand vacation to Honolulu? But do you have the budget to fund it and the time to save for it? The average cost of a summer vacation is $1,145 per person or $4,580 for a family of four. Visit for a travel budget calculator that can estimate what a trip might cost.

Sleep Cheaper
Some people are cutting out the lodging cost by doing what’s called a staycation. Vacation in your own city during the day and you come back home each night for lodging. Many of us like to pack up, travel and stay someplace else. A simple google search can turn up discounts on lodging, but one of the biggest ways to save doesn’t always come to mind at first. Bed & breakfasts and camping are cheaper than a hotel. You can also check out homeowner vacation rental sites. Sometimes you can find lower nightly or weekly rates going this way. Make sure you read the fine print before agreeing to any terms or contract.

Eat for Less
Eating out can be a big part of a vacation budget, but there are ways to trim these expenses. If the place you’re staying at has a kitchen in the room, you can cook some of the meals there and save a significant amount of money during your vacation. You can also save money by packing snacks like healthy fruits and vegetables that don’t need refrigeration.  Make a meal budget before you go on your trip and make adjustments to stay on budget in the event you splurge.

Book Last Second
Planning ahead is often the best way to save money on a vacation. But if you can be patient and flexible, last-minute deals are out there and can help you fit a dream vacation into your budget. Look for some of the best pricing for hotels and airfares during the middle of the week, not on the weekend. Also, sign up for email sale notifications with hotels or resorts in or near the city you plan to travel to. Of course, there are hundreds of websites that cater to last-minute deals you can visit as well.

McNamara Capital Investment Group
7350 W. College Dr.
Palos Heights
(708) 361-4100

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