There are so many decisions to make when planning your next big vacation– Where should we go? What should we do? Where should we eat? How nice of a hotel can we afford? Will our miles get us there? Will we be able to do any activities once we get there?
As you move through the questions, you may start to spiral and thinking how much it can cost. When it comes to travel, every little bit helps, so finding ways to incorporate savings into your every-day habits before heading on your vacation can really add up! I’ve put together my top tips on how I’m saving up for our next vacation.
I can categorize my tips into simple categories:
• Earn cash back on everyday purchases
• Get paid to clean out your closet
• Save up on airline miles and hotel points
• Save a little every day
Earn Cash Back on Everyday Purchases
(1) Fetch Rewards. You can scan your receipts and get points, you earn about $1 per every 1,000 points worth of receipts. Each receipt gets you a minimum of 25 points, and if you purchase certain brands or catch certain bonuses, you earn extra! I’ve been using it for one week and already have over 4,000 points. It’s super easy, scan any grocery store, super market (like Target), convenience store, drug store, or club store (like Costco), and get rewarded.
Get your first 2,000 points by downloading the Fetch Rewards app or use my referral code: EQW41.
(2) Ibotta. Get cash back for shopping in store and online! This month, I’ve gotten $16.25 cash back just for grocery shopping. From household supplies, to groceries, to pet food, you can earn cash back- but don’t worry, there are plenty of “any brand” rebates, which means you can still buy your favorite store brands and get cash back! For example, if you go through the app, you get 2%-6% cash back for your Amazon purchases. Or for you fellow travelers, if you book at Hotels.com through the Ibotta app, you get 4% cash back!
The easiest way to cash out is to have your earnings transferred fee-free to your Venmo account.
You can download the Ibotta app here, or use my referral code: lecjlto.
(3) Cash-back Credit Card. A credit card that gives you cash-back on everyday purchases or on purchases that you make most often is a super simple way to save up for your next big trip. For example, my American Express card gives me 6% cash back on grocery stores; 3% cash back on gas, department stores, streaming subscriptions (like Hulu and iTunes); and 1% cash back on everyday purchases. I drive over 600 miles for work most months, so that 3% adds up quickly, plus Kyle goes to the grocery store literally every day to get fresh groceries for dinner. This was the optimum cash back card for us!
Clean Out Your Closet
(4) ThredUp. Get paid to clean out your closet! I’ve loved using ThredUp- I just put my gently used clothing in the pre-stamped bag that they send me, load it up, and USPS takes it away. Over the years, I’ve earned $193.51 for consigning my clothes through ThredUp. I realize I may have made more by selling them on eBay or Poshmark, but honestly, I don’t feel like I have the time to deal with all of that. ThredUp makes it simple and convenient to earn money for getting rid of my clothes that I don’t wear anymore. Plus, the payout is in a Visa gift card! To get $10 off your first purchase, or to sign up to get your first Clean Out bag, click here!
Save Up on Airline Miles & Hotel Points
(5) Earn & Save Airline Miles. Besides just using your airline credit card to earn miles to pay for your flight, or a hotel affiliated credit card to earn points, did you know that you can link your Delta SkyMiles account to your Lyft account? You earn miles for every ride and double miles for every airport Lyft ride! You can download the Lyft app and get $5 off your first ride here.
For more ways to get extra Delta SkyMiles, visit the Delta website.
Save Every Day
(6) Use Coupons. Downloading stores’ apps can help you optimize coupon use without having to pull out fifteen little slips of paper. Kroger, Publix, and Target+Cartwheel all have excellent apps to help you save on your everyday shopping. If you’re a Whole Foods shopper, make sure you use your Amazon Prime QR code at checkout to get those yellow tag prices.
(7) Put Cash Away Every Day. Starting about 6 weeks before I leave for a trip, I take out $20 cash back on every shopping trip and set it aside in an envelope or piggy bank. This is the cash that we use at fruit stands, for tipping, for parking, and for local restaurants and shops that don’t accept credit cards. This little bit adds up! We also put away all of our change, and any bills under $10 starting about 12 weeks before a big vacation.
(8) Cook at Home. Instead of dining out, use your favorite food blogs and recipe sites to make decadent (and/or healthy), reasonably priced meals at home! Not only is it a great way to save money before your big trip, it’s also a great way to help you get into shape before that next big vacay! Obviously, my favorite site is Delicious Bites of Life ;). Instead of going out for expensive cocktails, make your own at home!
(9) Suspend your subscription services. As much as I LOVE my Book of the Month membership, I realized that I had so many books sitting on my shelf that I haven’t had time to read yet, that I, unfortunately had to suspend my membership because that $15/ month that I’ve saved since cancelling 3 months ago adds up to a really nice lunch in Hawaii!
Check back in after our upcoming trip to see how we budget for a vacation, and how we find the best deals!