A vacation should be a time of rest and relaxation away from the hectic pace of work and daily life. But it can also become a time with a lot of expenses that may prevent you from enjoying the moment.
To make sure you don’t ruin your vacation with worries about unexpected spending, prepare a budget for the activities you would like to do while on vacation. This way you can set limits on your spending, identify ways to reduce costs, ensure you spend within your means, feel in control and, most importantly, reduce your stress.
The same principles apply to a vacation budget as to your regular spending. Make a list of your planned expenses and divide them into needs and wants. Consider required expenses such as accommodation, food, gas, and travel insurance. Wants might include things like guided tours, boat rides and eating at the best restaurants. When considering the fun stuff, think about what’s important to you and what you can live without. Also, include a cushion for the unexpected. All this will allow you to better estimate how much money you’ll need and plan ahead to put that amount aside.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has a free, easy-to-use online budget planner that can help you prepare. And when you’re on your vacation, watch for new electronic alerts from your bank to help warn you about overspending. Since June 30th, 2022, Canadian banks must send alerts to customers when they have $100 left in their chequing account or come within $100 of their credit card limit. You can contact your bank to customize this minimum amount, so you’ll receive a text, email or app notification if you go past it.
Overall, your vacation should be a time of relaxation and adventure and thinking about your spending in the planning phase can help it stay that way.
Learn more about FCAC’s Budget Planner to save for and manage your spending on your next vacation.