5 Tips to Map out a Frugal Dream Vacation

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A weeklong family trip to Paris? Yikes. A month spent living on the beach? Get real.

In today’s economic times, planning a dream vacation may seem like an unaffordable option.

Yet, experts point out that the only thing separating the “dream” from “reality” when it comes to a vacation is the right plan. “You don’t have to be rich to go on a dream vacation,” says Phyllis Fuchs, financial coach with Fuchs Financial Coaching in Richmond, Ky. “You just need to be smart with your money.”

Follow these tips on researching, planning and saving money for the trip of a lifetime.

To find your dream destination, start by looking at the time and money constraints involved, says Andy Hayes, managing editor of Sharing Travel Experiences magazine. “If you only have a week, you probably don’t want to trek through the Himalayas,” he says.

However, with today’s ease of travel, getting to nearly any global destination can be done in less than 24 hours.

Some dream vacations, like a Mediterranean cruise for the family, are pricey, but worth considering. “Most dream vacations require saving money for at least six months to a year,” says Fuchs. Still, she recommends not going overboard. “You want pictures and memories to be your souvenirs, not debt,” she says.

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