5 ways to save for your dream vacation.

New York Life | April 2, 2024

A couple sitting in beach chairs on the beach looking out towards the ocean

With spring in bloom and summer just around the corner, now’s the time to start saving for your next vacation. And why should you settle for anything less than the one you’ve always dreamed of?

At times of high inflation, the dream vacation might feel like an unaffordable luxury, and you may be tempted to compromise on location, accommodation, or activities. But don’t! It is still possible to save for your dream vacation, even during difficult economic times.  

Here are five tips for how to do it:


1. Track your spending

Tracking your spending on an ongoing basis, and keeping it aligned with your ideal budget, can help you reach your financial goals and book your dream vacation.  

It can be easy to lose track of your spending, whether that’s weekly household supplies or monthly bills. Streamlining your spending means you’ll be able to allocate the money saved to your dream vacation pot and grow it over time.

There are budgeting apps and financial calculators available to help you track and save money, as well as old-school options like spreadsheets and pen and paper. Breaking down your spending on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis can help you rein in your expenses. Meanwhile, categorizing your expenses into buckets – such as retail shopping, social activities, or utility bills – can help you understand what you’re spending on.


2. Save on your weekly grocery shopping

The average family in the U.S. spends $270 on groceries per week, while families with kids typically spend an extra $61.1 While you shouldn’t compromise on the essentials, there may be some items that you could go without.

Why not swap your usual supermarket for a discount food store, or save by buying in bulk? Rather than your usual  premium brand, select a more budget-friendly alternative. Some foods are also just more expensive. Reducing your meat consumption and buying cheaper, seasonal produce can greatly reduce costs.   

Reducing the weekly grocery budget could drive positive results within weeks, possibly adding hundreds of dollars to your dream vacation fund.


3. Eat out less often

The average American spends $1,992 on dining out per year.2 For many, eating out or ordering in is a real treat, and no one wants to cook for their family every night.

But dining at restaurants can be expensive. There’s a huge potential for savings, even by cutting back just a little bit. That means more money you can set aside for your dream vacation fund.   

Which experience would be more memorable: ordering Indian takeout or eating in a real curry house in Delhi?

4. Make some extra money

There are multiple ways to generate some extra cash to fund your dream vacation. If you live in a desirable destination, there may be a demand for short-term rentals. Why not rent your house or apartment out while you’re away?

You could also make some extra money by selling unwanted items – there are plenty of apps available that allow you to sell stuff from the comfort of your own couch. Holding a yard sale could be another option to generate some cash.


5. Automate your saving

Once you’re figured out where you can save a few bucks every month, make sure that money gets saved by setting up an automatic transfer – for example, depositing $100 per week into your dream vacation fund Once set, there is little ongoing effort, and soon your dream vacation may become a reality.

Giving your dream vacation fund a name – Hawaii adventure, or Greek Island hopping – can be a useful reminder that you’re redirecting your money for a special purpose.

Bon voyage!


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Media contact

Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937