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  • Writer's pictureKaren Jackson

The 5 Simple Ways to Add to Your Vacation Fund without Feeling Deprived

Vacation is a time to relax and recharge, but can be quite an investment for many people. You work hard for your money and you deserve the best value for your budget. Today, I want to help you grow your vacation fund so that you can the break you need!

Did you know the average cost of a summer vacation for a family of four is over $4,000. Yikes! Even a romantic 7-day honeymoon for 2 can cost upwards of $3,000 when all is said and done - and that's just with a basic one!

Most people decide to save for vacation by cutting back on spending in other areas, but that can be hard to do and often leads to feeling deprived or like you're missing out on life.

But what if there were a way to make saving for vacation fun, easy and something you actually looked forward to?

Here are the 5 simple ways to add to your vacation fund without feeling deprived:

1. Acorns App

The Acorns app rounds up each of your purchases to the next dollar and invests it for you in a diversified portfolio customized to your needs.

You can also set up recurring deposits to make sure you're regularly contributing to your vacation fund if you choose

It’s a painless way to save and you can start with as little as $5 for a family! It's fun to watch the money grow without missing the cash!

2. Plan a Picnic Instead of A Night Out

Eating out is one of the easiest places to spend money without realizing it. Did you know the average cost of a dinner entree is $13 a person? That's not even including appetizers, drinks, or a tip!

If you and your family love going out to eat, try planning a picnic dinner instead! (That runs about $3-4 per person!)

You can pack up some of your favorite food from home, enjoy the outdoors, and save money all at the same time.

A great budget-friendly picnic could include sandwiches, chips and fruit, veggies and dip, macaroni or potato salad, and cookies or brownies for dessert!

3.Have a Garage Sale or Sell On Marketplace

Okay, some may not see this as "fun" when you're trying to prepare, but one person's junk is another person's treasure! And when the money comes rolling in for your trip, suddenly the sale doesn't seem as bad!

If you have items around your home that you no longer use or need, consider having a garage sale or listing them on Facebook's Marketplace. You can make some extra cash to put towards your vacation fund and declutter your home all at the same time. It's a win-win!

(Pro tip: Advertise your garage sale on Marketplace for at least a few days ahead of time. Include photos of what you'll have for sale and you may make some sales before you even start!)

To make it easier to sell your items, consider adding Venmo or Cash App as a form of payment.

Then, take the proceeds and add it to your vacation account!

4. Sell Unwanted Gift Cards

We've all been receive a gift card for a store you don't really shop at. And you hate to "waste" it, so you end up blowing it on items you don't really need or enjoy...

But did you know that if you have unwanted gift cards, you can sell them online and get cash that you can put towards your vacation fund?

There are a few websites that will buy your gift cards from you, including and

Just enter the brand and balance of your card, and they'll make you an offer. If you accept, they'll send you cash via PayPal, Direct Deposit or a check in the mail.

It's an easy way to get rid of those unwanted gift cards and make some extra money for your vacation!

5.Use Cash, Not Credit

When you're out and about, it's so easy to swipe your credit or debit card for every little purchase, right? But it's proven that using cash can help you be more mindful of your spending.

If you have a hard time using cash, try this little trick: When you get home from work or errands, put your credit and debit cards away. Then, take out the cash you'll need for the next day and put it in your wallet.

When you run out of cash, you're done spending for the day!

Some people like run their household with a similar envelope system. This system has you put a budgeted amount of cash in an envelope for each category of spending for the month. When the cash is gone, you're done spending for that category until the new month starts.

If you're not comfortable carrying around cash, you could also use a debit card linked to your savings account. This way, you can still track your spending and only use the money you have available.

Yeah, it's a little work to set up, but it's worth it when you have an amazing vacation to show for it!


Motivate yourself to stick to your method of saving by reading travel magazines, placing pictures of adventures and activities you desire to experience on your fridge, and research destinations that spark your curiosity.

This will fuel your enthusiasm and keep you focused on your travel goals, regardless of what may happen in your day-to-day life.


Although the idea of "spending less" may not sound like fun, it doesn't have to be difficult or painful! With a little creativity, you can make it simple for the whole family.

Try out some - or all of these ideas - and see how much money you can save for your next trip!

And here at Jackson's Journeys Travel Agency we know and value the fact that you work hard for your money. So, if you want the best value for your vacation budget, plan early with us! Remember, the price of travel can increase as time goes on. So the sooner you plan, the more you'll save.

Ready to plan ahead and get the best vacation for your budget now? Contact me at the link below and I'd be happy to help you get started!


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