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Travel Budget Tips: How to Save For a Vacation in The Caribbean

Read up on the best ways to plan and budget for your Caribbean vacation so that you can know how much you need to save to make your getaway a reality.

Is there someplace special that you have always dreamed of visiting? Perhaps someplace that seems far outside of the realms of possibility? We all have that place that we love that we wish we could escape to right away but our piggy bank savings may hold us back. 

So what can we do to make sure that we use our money to the best of our ability? How can we make sure that we save enough money for that desired getaway in the Caribbean?

Take a seat, sit back, and keep reading as I show you all the top travel budgeting tips on how to save for a vacation, how to save money on travel, and what other things you should consider before spending your hard earned money. 

Choose a dream destination

First off, we need to know where to go. Have a good look around and see what destination piques your interest. Look at the beaches, the activities, the local delicacies, the culture, and more so that you get a good idea as to the location and everything that it offers.

Punta Cana beach: a dream destination in the Caribbean

Next, look at the different accommodation options. Find a place that meets all your needs and desires. Find an All Inclusive paradise of luxury that has style, culinary options, and in resort activities and entertainment that suit your preferences.

Two options you can look at are Finest Playa Mujeres in Cancun and Finest Punta Cana in Punta Cana. 

Once you have the resort selected, the third step kicks in. It's time to choose your suite. It is important to get all the details down first so that we can then proceed to the pricing and see how much you are going to need to save. Let's get to that bit now…

Calculate the total costs

Now you know what your dream looks like, let's start calculating some travel costs. You will likely want to make a document either on the computer or handwritten where you can start to list all the costs for your travel plans. 

Generally, it is a good idea to overestimate your travel costs so that you leave yourself some leeway for pricing changes and unexpected circumstances or other expenses. So always round up the total cost rather than round down and leave yourself a couple of hundred extra in your total cost that is there just in case.

You may have some other costs that are not on this list but let's see some travel costs that you will need to calculate…

Main travel costs…

  1. Flights to your destination
  2. Ground Transportation
  3. Suite reservation
  4. Activities or tours 
  5. Spa treatments
  6. Shopping

Costs that are often forgotten…

  1. Foreign transaction fees
  2. Currency exchange
  3. Extra costs for checked luggage
  4. Tips for staff
  5. Passport or visa documents 
  6. Cellphone call fees
  7. Travel Insurance
  8. Emergency funds in case of an accident

List every possible expense you can think of for every possible thing you would like, place the estimated price tag next to it, and then add up your total costs to see how much you are going to need to save for this vacation. 

Man calculating the costs of his vacation on a laptop

Create a travel budget

Now, your total cost may look a bit high, because likely you have selected every activity possible, the best suites, the best flight tickets, and the best time to travel. If you can afford it, then go ahead and just book it right away. However, if this vacation plan looks a little unrealistic, we need to start budgeting. 

This involves creating an escape to remember whilst making it possible via some limits to our spending. 

What to consider to lower your overall costs:

  • Is there a cheaper flight I can take or a cheaper month to travel?
  • Is there a time when the suites are on offer and is there a similar suite for a lower price?
  • Could I travel for a shorter period of time whilst still getting to enjoy everything I want?
  • How many activities will I realistically want to do during this vacation? Maybe I can limit myself to the main ones.
  • How much can I spend on shopping and bringing back with me within my checked luggage weight requirement?

A great travel budget will start by making some reasonable adjustments to make the vacation possible, and then, you need to set yourself some limits. What does that mean? It involves setting the maximum amount that you will allow yourself to spend per category and per time in your vacation. 

For example, let's say that you have a two week vacation planned and you want to do lots of shopping. You could set yourself a maximum amount that you can spend per day or a maximum amount that you can spend per the entire vacation. This is even something that you can put in your calendar. 

Vacation budgeting in a personal calendar

Often a mix between these two ideas works best. Set yourself a maximum amount to spend on each cost category, then divide that amount by the number of days that you are staying. Now when you go on vacation, you do not have to abide by the daily limit because some days will inherently be more expensive than others, but having a daily amount written down will allow you to reason on how much you have spent so far and how much you have left to enjoy. 

Start a savings plan

Now you have a reasonable cost and budget plan for your Caribbean vacation we need to figure out how we are going to save up the money to do so. This starts by examining your total cost and budget and figuring out how quickly you can save for that amount so that you can determine when you are in a financial position to travel. 

How do you calculate this? 

Let's start with your monthly expenses and see what surplus you have. If it's a decent amount, then you can use that to calculate how long it will take you to save for your vacation. If you are lacking a monthly surplus in funds, then we need to make some adjustments and think up some creative ways to save for travel.

Ideas to boost your monthly savings

  • Set yourself limits on shopping and eating out.
  • Cancel subscription costs that you are not using
  • Start a side hustle to increase your income.
  • Set up a direct debit to your savings account.
  • See if your current employment offers any ways of increasing your wage
  • Sell something that you haven't used within the last year
  • Find a way to reduce daily travel expenses
  • Reduce your energy bills via the amount used.
Man turning off the lights to save up for his vacation in the Caribbean

With these adjustments in place, see how much extra you can save per month, then redo your savings calculations to see how quickly you can save up the desired amount. You will also need to recheck flights and suites based on this new timeline and factor in the different costs as per the time you are looking to travel. 

Save money on your travel

Ok, we know how to add some extra income for savings but how can you save money on travel expenses? There are several key factors to consider.

  1. Time of booking: The moment you make your reservation can make all the difference. For the best deals, you should subscribe to the resort brand's newsletter and wait for the best rates to hit your inbox. That extra discount can make all the difference. 
  2. When to travel: Every destination and resort has a peak season and an off season. In the Caribbean, it is usually cheaper to travel when the weather is less favorable. Check the weather at different times of the year and compare this with the price difference for your vacation to see what works best for you.
  3. Vacation packages: Sometimes the best offers include a big bundle of everything you need. Look for Suite + Flight offers as well as whether or not your reservation includes ground transportation or any other extras. By doing so, you can knock off some of the costs because they will already be included in your package deal.
Room and flight vacation packages in the Caribbean

Book your Caribbean vacation

I think we did it. We worked out where to go, how much we could spend, how to save up for the trip, and how to save money on our bookings. Wait a minute… I think we are forgetting one key factor. 

That's right, you still need to book your Caribbean adventures! Once you have all the pieces in place, go ahead and book that escape and start looking forward to blissful days by the beach, and Bespoke Service at its best.

I'm sure you will have an amazing time!

Tags: Caribbean travel tips

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