How to Save For Vacation in 2022

Save money on vacation

While my colleague Leonie has focused on writing about budgeting for a college student’s summer holidays, I decided to create some sample budgets to show how to save for vacation as an “adult”. Unlike the budgets of my colleague, these examples are aimed at more “adult” vacationers with a slightly larger budget – but also more expenses. 

I’m going to offer three flavors of budget. One for the big spenders we’ll call the ”Budget Buster,” one for the slightly less extravagant called the ”Modest Traveler”, and one for the penny pinchers we’ll call the “Budget Punisher”. My sample budgets assume that the traveler is starting somewhere outside a major European city. 

The travel expenses will be guesses that approximate the probable cost of reaching these locations or ones like them. My imaginary traveler is someone starting in Germany. 

The Budget Buster 

This holiday is truly a budget annihilation machine. No expense is spared, within reason. For ground rules, we’ll assume an ability to save at least 6000 EUR for a full two week holiday. 

The Budget Buster

Accomodations13 Nights at 125 EUR1625 EUR
TravelAir Tickets: 600 x 21200 EUR
Restaurants7 Meals out at 100 EUR700 EUR
Eat-in35 Meals at 20 EUR700 EUR
Spending Cash14 Days at 100/day1400 EUR
Other ExpensesMedical, insurance, etc. 375 EUR

The Lux Holiday: 

This enchanting trip starts with a gorgeous tiny house located in Nea Skioni on the island of Chalkidiki, Greece, on the coast of the Aegean sea. It’s perfect for two people for a romantic getaway. Convenient to a local pub and other village amenities, this tiny home has everything you need to feel right at home for 2 weeks on the beach. 

Vacation spending in Greece
Tiny house in Greece

Luxury isn’t cheap! This budget buster really stands apart for the cost of transportation and your stay in this designer home. Still, you’re looking for the best on a reasonable enough budget. 

The Modest Traveler

Not quite ready to shell out 6000 Euros for your next two week getaway? We’ve got you covered. This more modest holiday is for 10 days, and we’ll target a 4000 Euro budget. 

The Modest Holiday Budget: 

Accomodations10 Nights at 77 EUR770 EUR
TravelTrain Tickets x2 400 EUR
Restaurants7 Meals out at 100 EUR700 EUR
Eat-in14 Meals at 20 EUR280 EUR
Spending Cash10 Days at 100/day1000 EUR
Other ExpensesMedical, insurance, etc. 375 EUR

By choosing a slightly more humble destination, in this case the town of Climbach in Le Gran Est of France not far from Strasbourg, we save money on vacation both on our accommodations and travel expenses. The shorter duration also allows us to maintain a fairly rich mix of restaurant meals and eating in, along with plenty of spending money which will go far in the local economy. Plus, this is France we’re talking about; you’re going to find great food wherever you go. 

Vacation spending in France
Barn in Alsace, France

This lovely converted barn cottage provides everything you need for a modest holiday in a quiet French village near the German border, and for a total of 3525 Euros, this 10 day holiday is a steal. 

The Budget Punisher 

Ah yes. We’ve all been there. Unexpected expenses have limited your holiday options to the grim and the grimmer. 

But not to worry. For every budget there is a solution, and the penny pincher is no different. 

The Penny Pinching Budget::

Accomodations10 Nights at 63 EUR630 EUR
TravelTrain Tickets x2 200 EUR
Restaurants3 Meals out at 50 EUR150 EUR
Eat-in18 Meals at 20 EUR360 EUR
Spending Cash10 Days at 50/day500 EUR
Other ExpensesMedical, insurance, etc. 375 EUR

This penny saving holiday will cost you just 2215 Euros, for 10 nights on the beautiful Island of Reugen, Germany. You won’t be having massive and expensive meals every day, but you’ll be enjoying the mild weather of the Baltic Sea coast, as well as the warm hospitality of locals from Reugen, known for their East German charm.

Vacation spending in Germany
Guest suite in Ruegen, Germany

Save for vacation 2022

One of the things that constantly surprises me when I make sample budgets is the cost of food and daily expenses. Planning for daily expenses is one of the budget killers that most travelers underestimate. Spending and food typically cost at least ⅓ of your total vacation budget, and if you don’t carefully plan, this can easily become ⅔ or more. 

 That’s why it’s really important to set up a saving plan and a budget before taking your next trip, and then work hard on limiting your daily spending to something you can afford. 

Some pro tips for vacationing like a budget pro: 

  • Take out your daily spending money in cash each day, and stick to it. If you don’t spend it all, roll it over to the next day as a reward. 
  • Plan to cook for yourself at least 2 meals a day. This can easily cut your food budget in half. 
  • Visit off-season: many popular seasonal destinations have excellent discounts for off-season bookings.
  • Ask hotels or Airbnb hosts for discounts: while most guests don’t try, most hosts and hotel managers are willing to offer modest discounts for longer (more than a week) stays. It never hurts to ask! 
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