Summer is here and for most families that means one thing: Vacation Time!

  • You have chosen the perfect destination
  • You have your selected dates HIGHLIGHTED and posted on the fridge
  • You have your vacation “Bucket List”
  • You have a rough budget in mind

Now I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get so wrapped up in the excitement of planning activities that I forget about the essentials. Like that one time I was so focused on having the perfect book to lay out on the beach with that I completely forgot about the sunscreen. #RookieMove. Thank goodness, my overly prepared friends saved me from burning to a crisp and taught me a valuable lesson…

Vacation Budgets are very important! Even when you think you have accounted for everything, by the end of the trip you find you have spent more than you had planned for. Food, parking, luggage fees, or tips…so many tips, those little things can really add up!

Good news! There is still time to minimize your trip expenses and to take time to plan for how much you can afford to spend. Read further for 5 “less obvious” things to keep in mind while budgeting your summer vacation and Check out our Summer Loan Special, perfect for helping your vacation budget go further:

Car Maintenance

If you are traveling with the whole family, it might be more economical to drive rather than fly. But don’t be one of the families stuck on the side of the road somewhere in South Carolina because someone forgot to change the oil.


Are you taking your 40-pound ball of fur on vacation with you? Will they be staying at a doggie daycare or with a friend? How much food does your pet actually eat in a week? Make sure you budget for their vacation before you leave for yours.


I don’t know what is worse, waiting in line for snacks at the waterpark or paying $10 for a popsicle. Sure, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but I can’t help to think I could have bought a whole box of popsicles, some juice boxes, and a box of Cheez-its for the price of $10. Packing a cooler before you leave, or before you even enter that theme park, will save you tons.


You are planning the vacation of a lifetime and want to cherish these moments forever. And nothing says forever like a personalized t-shirt, with pink and blue airbrushed dolphins or that incredibly stylish shark-toothed necklace! But those “take away” memories aren’t cheap. Give the little ones their own budget for souvenir spending or encourage them to save up their allowance for those types of things. Also, check out our “Save on Souvenirs” board, and many other helpful travel boards, on our Pinterest page!

The Unexpected

Whether it be a once in a lifetime excursion you just couldn’t resist, or a surprise trip to the ER because little Johnny wanted to see what a jellyfish felt like. Life is unpredictable, so you need to plan for the unexpected.

Vacation is supposed to stress-free and fun, but nothing puts you in a blunder like running out of money with another 3 days of vacation left. Budgeting may be a little time-consuming but it will save you and the family a lot of stress later on.

Don’t forget about our Summer Loan Special to help your budget go further on your next vacation. Not only will it give you peace of mind, but your payment will take a vacation also! Learn more here.