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6 Ways to Help Turn a Dream Vacation into a Reality

How to protect your money while traveling

Whether you dream of relaxing on a sandy beach in the Caribbean or sightseeing in a European city, here are some ways to help you make your dream vacation come true.

1) Start saving.

Give your getaway a jumpstart by planning for it all year long.

  • Set up a “Trip jar.” Whenever you have spare change, drop it in a jar dedicated to your vacation. Use the money you’ve saved to fund one part of your vacation.
  • Brown-bag it. The average American buys lunch twice a week. By bringing your lunch from home one extra day a week, you can save hundreds of dollars a year for your vacation.
  • Open a Bethpage Savings or Money Market Account. Use it only to set money aside for your trip. By keeping your vacation fund separate, it reduces the chance that you’ll spend the money.

2) Time it right.

Carefully choosing when to take your vacation can save you hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars. Consider planning your trip in the off-season of your destination. Besides being less crowded, you can save on flights, hotels, and excursions.

3) Make the most of your dollar.

When researching vacation destinations, check the local exchange rates. Choose a place that will give you the most for your hard-earned dollar.

4) Let your loyalty pay off.

If you belong to a credit card rewards program, don’t book a flight, hotel stay or car rental without first checking your credit card points balance. You might have enough points to pay for a large portion of your trip.

When booking hotel stays, do a quick search to determine if they offer a loyalty program for return customers. You might land yourself a good discount just for using the same hotel chain more than once.

5) Research, research, research.

Don’t make any vacation decisions without first doing careful research. If you found a resort you love, check out their website to see if they offer airline discounts or credits. Check couponing sites for instant discounts on attractions and restaurants in the area.

6) Live in the moment.

Don’t forget to enjoy your vacation! If something doesn’t go according to plan, let it slide. Leave the pressures of everyday life at home, and fully relax.

It’s also important to unplug. Stop checking emails, and take the earbuds out. While taking a ton of pictures is great, definitely take the time to enjoy the destination first-hand.

You deserve to enjoy every bit of your vacation!