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Let's Go! Saving Tips for Summer Trips

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(NewsUSA) - As more venues reopen and both temperatures and vaccination rates rise, people's thoughts turn to summer, and summer vacation. For those on a budget, or working to pay off debts, a vacation may seem like a frivolous expense, but some savvy planning will let you get in some much-needed relaxation.

These tips from a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can help:

- Set priorities. Make sure the basic expenses are covered, then consider how much you might have to spend on summer activities. Set a budget to prevent overspending, and cut back on some areas if you can to put more in the summer fun fund. Summer is for fun, but not at the expense of sabotaging your smart financial goals.

- Find deals. If you want to travel, take advantage of flexible bookings now offered by many airlines and hotels to attract cautious customers. Other ways to save on travel include using rewards points and traveling at off-peak times. If you want to stay close to home, take advantage of free local activities, festivals, parks, trails, and museums, more of which are opening every day.

If you like to summer in the same spot, and know that it will be a longtime family tradition, consider the financial pros and cons of investing in a vacation home, says CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional Joshua Charles CFP®.

"Many people will purchase the second home with the idea of renting it when they are not using it (Vacation Rental by Owner - VRBO), or use a management company to find renters and manage the property," says Charles. "This can help offset the monthly expenditures, but be careful as you might be dedicating more money, time and energy than you expected to for the venture," he cautions.

Other options for investing in your favorite getaway without the headaches of ownership include:

- Timeshares. Timeshares require less work than homeownership, but they may have pricey recurring fees, so read the fine print, says Charles.

- Fractionals. If you buy a vacation home with a group of people, family, friends, or other investors, the upfront cost is less and there is no need for offseason rental. Plus, there are potential tax deductions.

A CFP® professional can provide guidance and advice to help you plan your best summer ever, whether planning this year's vacation or setting the stage for years of memories.

Visit LetsMakeAPlan.org for more advice about vacation planning and vacation-home investments.