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Vacationing on a Budget

Five steps to not break the bank on vacation.

It's important for everyone to take a vacation every now and then, as it allows for a much needed break from the stresses of "real" life.

If your budget is what's keeping you from taking that vacation, we have five easy steps to make sure you don't break the bank.

1. Set a budget and stick with it. First things first; set a budget for your vacation and don't allow yourself to adjust it. Use a personal financial management (PFM) tool, like myMoney to help you stay on track.

2. Plan ahead. Ticket prices and hotel rates tend to increase as you near your vacation. Make plans and book your tickets and lodging arrangements well ahead of time to take advantage of cheaper rates. Planning ahead also allows you to take advantage of deals, such as the ones offered through Benefits Plus.

3. Cook more. Eat out less. When you're on vacation, it's tempting to dine out for every meal. However, eating out can be a major weight on your budget. Try seeking a place to stay that has a kitchen. By setting aside some money in your budget for cooking in, you'll be able to save up for some awesome, memorable nights out at the town's best restaurants!

4. Pack lightly. Checking one bag on an airline can cost anywhere from $25 - $100, depending on where you're headed and how much your bag weighs. If you're able to only bring a carry-on, do. You're going to be able to save some money that you can put towards your adventure. Restricting yourself to bag space, will also force you to limit you from over packing those things you'll never need.

5. Live like a local. Going to tourist attractions and restaurants can be great, but they can also be expensive and not very authentic. Ask locals where they recommend visiting and where to eat. Doing local activities could save you some serious cash and will often allow you to have a richer experience of the local culture.

Now go take that vacation. You deserve it!