Four Tips to Burn-Proof Your Vacation!

David, Katie and Will

David, Katie and Will

by Katie Miller Witter
co-owner of Financial Harvest Wealth Advisors

Think your traveling days are behind you now that you have a new addition to your family? No way!

If you are like me, the sound of vacation has a much different and even more desirable ring to it for new mothers. And did you know? Women who take frequent vacations sleep better, are more satisfied with their marriage, and are less likely to be tense or depressed, according to a study recently published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal. Taking a (mostly) relaxing, budget-friendly trip with a baby onboard is possible – with the right preparation and a big dose of patience (and laughter).

Here are some tips to burn-proof your vacation:

1. Plan Ahead. Way Ahead:  Haste makes waste and when planning a vacation, a costly mistake is not allowing enough time to find the best deals. Do your research – ask friends and family about their trips, scour the Internet, use social media to *like* airline, hotel and/or rental car company pages to possibly receive discounts. And don’t forget to update your passport if necessary (at least two months in advance) and yes, your baby needs one, too!  Don’t forget to schedule your actual travel time with your baby’s schedule in mind.

“A vacation
frequently
means that
the family
goes away
for a rest,
accompanied
by a mother
who sees that
others get it.”

Marcelene Cox

2. Craft a To-Do/Must-See List:  Check out the pricing of activities before you arrive at your destination. Calling in advance to book or reserve excursions or day trips may result in better deals (although, there are often last minute deals, so don’t forget your laptop!). And remember when traveling with a baby or small children to allow for lots of breaks and unexpected delays.

3. Add a Vacation slot to your budget:  Knowing how much you have set aside for vacation in advance will keep you disciplined. Plus if you’ve researched your trip ahead of time, you’ll know how much you need to save! Involve your spouse and older children in the planning process, and set expectations for everyone. If your children are teenagers with part-time jobs, especially if shopping is on their agenda, have them stow away a few bucks each month too. This will make for a more enjoyable return home!

4. Spend Wisely:  The biggest expense when traveling is food. When my family takes short road trips, we save money and snack healthier by filling a cooler with our favorite foods and beverages. Request a mini fridge when booking a hotel and make a quick run to a nearby grocery store to save with a few meals ‘in’, plus you can keep drinks and snacks at hand, instead of running to a convenience store for last minute items (which can often be pricier than the grocery store!).

Make the most of your time away with your family by planning ahead! Then you can enjoy your vacation instead of worrying about how much you are spending. Remember:  You reap what you sow. Decisions matter. Plan wisely, so you can relax with the sand between your toes and the only burn you’ll feel can be prevented with sunscreen!

Katie Miller Witter, co-owner of Financial Harvest Wealth Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor Firm located in Winter Park, has more than ten years of investment advisory experience and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®) Candidate and CERTIFIED SUCCESSION PLANNER™. She obtained her Bachelors of Science in Business Finance & Marketing from the University of Florida and her Masters of Business Administration from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College. She serves on the Crummer Alumni Board, Downtown Orlando YMCA Board, and is a graduate of Leadership Winter Park and Leadership Orlando. Katie is married and lives with her husband, David, and son Will, in Winter Park, Florida. Katie can be reached at 407.937.0707 or katie@financialharvest.com.

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