How to save money for your summer vacation

Have you started planning your summer vacation yet? It’ll be sipping-lemonade-by-the-pool season before you know it. I love vacations, but here’s what I don’t love: Nearly 40% of millennials are willing to go into debt for their trips.1

Coming back home to credit card bills makes the end of a vacation miserable. I don’t want that to be your story. If you start saving up now, you’ll be in great shape when it’s time to pack your bags.

Here are eight ways to save up and pay for your vacation with your own money:

Give your budget a refresh. If it’s been a while since you looked at where your money is really going each month, I bet you’ll find some areas where you can cut back in a matter of minutes. Then, you can put that cash toward your vacation sinking fund!

Brew your own coffee at home. I get it. Fancy coffee with a designer label makes me feel special, too. But if you put that $25 a week into a vacation fund for a while, you’ll add a couple hundred bucks or more to your travel budget.

Pack your lunch. Peanut butter and jelly today means piña coladas all day on the beach this summer!

Order water at restaurants. If you go out to eat, give up extras like soda, appetizers, and alcohol.

Save on groceries by shopping generic or at Aldi. Everyone I know swears their grocery bill was slashed in half simply by switching to shopping at Aldi. If you don’t have one near you, you can save money buying store brand or generic brand items.

Sell your kids’ clothes at consignment stores. I’m a huge fan of this! I also love shopping consignment to save money.

Sell stuff online through places like Facebook Marketplace. You know there’s stuff laying around the house, in the garage, or in your closet that you don’t use anymore. Put it to good use by selling it, and put that money toward your vacation!

Cancel any unused subscriptions. When’s the last time you really watched a show on HBO, or used any of the makeup samples from your Birchbox? I’m not hating on subscription services, but if you don’t use them, that’s money leaving your bank account each month you could be saving.

Once you try these money-saving tips, you might just make them a habit. Then, you’ll be ahead of the game when it’s vacation time next year. My free Vacation Budget Worksheet makes it super easy to plan for all your expenses.

Things always cost more than you expect. But this worksheet will help you plan for everything—even the unexpected stuff!

About Rachel Cruze

As a #1 New York Times best-selling author, host of The Rachel Cruze Show, and The Rachel Cruze Show podcast, Rachel helps people learn the proper ways to handle money and stay out of debt. She’s authored three best-selling books, including Love Your Life, Not Theirs and Smart Money Smart Kids, which she co-wrote with her father, Dave Ramsey. You can follow Cruze on Twitter and Instagram at @RachelCruze and online at or