Travel Tips for Single Parents: 6 Ways to Budget For Vacation When You're a Divorced Parent by Amanda Condio
Planning and budgeting for a vacation can be a challenge when you're a newly single parent by divorce. The good news is, you're not alone. Between 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, which means there are many parents who know the struggle of planning for a vacation on their own. Here are some tips to help:
- Decide on the length of your vacation. Some families like to go on a week-long trip when they're on summer vacation. But these types of trips can be expensive and can take a toll on both your nerves and the nerves of your kids. If a week-long vacation is an option, ask your kids what they would like to do. A shorter vacation may offer just as much fun at a fraction of the price.
- Set aside a little bit of money every month. Vacations involving travel need to be planned for in advance. Save up a little bit of money every month so you're not taking a big chunk out of your paycheck when the time comes to buy tickets or pay for gas. Every little bit helps.
- Save what you spend. You can cut back on unnecessary spending and save for your vacation using a method that involves saving what you spend. For example, consider when you have a coffeemaker at home and enough time to make it in the morning, but you choose to go out and buy coffee instead. When you spend those few dollars, double the price and put the same amount of money into your savings. When a $3 coffee becomes $6, you're less likely to buy it. And, if you do buy it, you save more for your vacation. It's a win-win.
- Buy tickets at least three months before the trip. If you and your family are flying on your vacation, be sure to buy tickets for your flight at least three months in advance. Tickets may be more expensive before this time and they'll increase in price the closer it gets to the flight date. Once you buy tickets, be sure to keep them in a safe place.
- Choose your destination based on what your kids will enjoy. It's a good idea to talk to your kids to figure out just where they would like to go. You may want to keep the vacation destination a surprise, but it's easier to gauge your child's excitement when they know where they're going. Consider your child's and personality, too. A teenager may enjoy a European trip, but a child who is 8 years old may enjoy a theme park more.
- Choose a destination that lets you relax. The effects of vacation time can be almost immediate. In fact, 89 percent of people say they feel a significant drop in stress after only two days on vacation. That said, be sure whichever vacation destination you choose is not only fun for your kids but also gives you a chance to relax. Your kids could also benefit from a destination that offers quieter spaces for those times when they're feeling overwhelmed.
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