Financial Implications of Going on Vacation

Ahh Summer! Summer is usually vacation season for most families.

And while I won’t be going on a vacation anytime soon (read: until my debts are paid off), I know many of you probably will be if you haven’t already.

While there are plenty of posts about there about how to spend less on vacation, how to plan a staycation, etc. No one talks about how going on vacation may be affecting your regular monthly budget.

Vacations are about enjoying yourself, relaxing, and getting away from the grind of everyday life, which may include getting away from thinking so much about your budget. I’m all for that, but you still need to be cautious so you don’t return home from your vacation stressed out because of all the money you spent.

Even if you budget and save for your vacation separately from your normal monthly expenses (like you should), going on vacation can still affect your regular budget.

Not sure how? I’m glad you asked.

Spending More

Petsitting or Babysitting. Depending on if you take your pets or kids with you on vacation, you may have petsitting or babysitting to pay for when you get home.

Some people might include petsitting and/or babysitting in the budget for their trip (I probably would), but others may not. If you don’t include it in the budget for your trip, it will have to come out of your regular monthly budget, which will increase your spending. (Unless you swap petsitting with friends or leave the kids with family.)

-People’s mistakes. I’ll never forget when my family went on vacation when I was a kid and we came home to a flooded basement. The people who were supposed to come over and water the plants, take in the mail, etc. had left the outside water running in the garden (next to the house) and the water leaked into the basement after running for 2-3 days straight. That was a fun to return home to after vacation.

Spending Less

-Groceries. While you are away on vacation you won’t be buying groceries out of your regular monthly budget at home. This means you should spend less on groceries in your regular monthly budget whenever you are gone on a vacation. Woot!

-Utilities. Likewise, if you turn your AC way up so it doesn’t run much (if at all) while you are gone on vacation, your utility bill will likely reflect that too. If you are only gone for 2-3 days it may not change a lot, but if you are gone for quite a while it could have a large impact on your utility bill.

-Entertainment. Because you just took a huge vacation, you shouldn’t be spending a lot more on entertainment in the weeks leading up to or following your trip. This should help you spend less in this category too.

Are you planning to take a vacation this summer? Where are you going? You should definitely dish about it so the rest of us (me) who aren’t going on vacation can live vicariously drool over yours. 🙂



About Kayla

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.


  1. Okay so I’m a big fan of budgeting liberally. For the week we’re on an official vacation this year, I still have budgeted for regular expenses for that week. I figure the worst that can happen is I have money left over, which will be a good thing since I’m not entirely sure how we’re going to fund life in the fall yet. But, at the last minute we’re debating taking a babysitter (aka grandma) along, and it she comes I’m paying for everything for her and we’re going to have to take a bigger car. So I’m glad the surplus is there. So many considerations!

  2. While it’s not “vacation,” I’ve been on maternity leave for the past few months. I wanted to extend it through the end of summer, but decided that it’s just not financially responsible. We have debt and need the income. That being said, we’ve been having a ton of frugal fun during my time off. There are so many things you can do cheap or for free during the summer that you really don’t need to go somewhere on a vacation, just take a few days off and explore your own town.

    • That’s great Harmony! I wish there were a few more things to do in my small town. There just aren’t a lot of options without driving at least 2-3 hours.

  3. Spending less on groceries is always an awesome benefit. I love how low our grocery bill is when we’re out of town for a few days. I’ve found that we can often almost equal things out between what we’re not spending at home and what we do spend while traveling. Having friends watch Frugal Hound for free is a huge money-saver too–many thanks for the link :).

    • Good point – balancing out your grocery savings with your travel spending is a good way to stay on budget.

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