Budgeting for Summer Vacations
Even small business owners need a break! If you’re like most people you are itching for a vacation come summer time, but unlike those who are employed with the benefit of vacation pay you’ll need to not only come up with a way to cover the expenses of taking a trip, but also to cover how much money you would have made during the time you take off. Here are a few ideas that may help you in budgeting for summer vacations:
Plan early and then book early. The sooner you book a vacation the cheaper it typically is going to be. You will get first choice on cheaper rooms, the economy flight tickets and possibly even discount rates on any entertainment you might purchase in advance.
Angie Lusk, owner of travel agency Trips with Angie, recommends booking now for next year – especially for cruises. “Cruises are a great option for Tampa Bay small business owners. You avoid airfare costs, but still get to island hop across the Caribbean. If you are nervous about leaving your business, a refundable deposit allows you to lock in a great rate, but you’ll still have the flexibility to change your mind a couple months from departure.”
Once you know the cost, run the numbers. Another great thing about booking early is you will know exactly how much money you will need to allot each month for the trip. Be sure to add additional money to the budget for surprise expenses, travel insurance and other things you might not be currently thinking of.
Now that you have run the numbers you can “chase the money” accordingly. If you know that you need an additional $300 per month on top of your current expenses to pay for your vacation as well as your hourly rate for the time away from your business you can now look for that additional money by way of selling additional services or products until the time you leave.
Don’t charge the expenses of the vacation. According to American Express’ 2013 survey on summer vacation travel, the average expense per person in the United States is $4,580 for a family of four. It might seem like a good idea to charge it now and pay for it later since every penny counts, but consider this: At 10% interest, if you can’t pay the bill in full for some reason, you will be risking adding nearly $500 to your trip’s total cost!