Taking a family vacation is a great way to reconnect with everyone, but the stress of planning it can get to you. Even if you plan a shorter getaway, like a long weekend, rising prices may have made you think twice about travel. But looking at your finances and making some smart choices with your money can make your trip more affordable. The key is to combine several strategies and to be patient.

Refinance Your Student Loans

If you are still paying off student loans from college, it might be harder to save for other financial goals. One option is to refinance student loan debt by taking out a new loan to pay back the old one. You may get different repayment terms that lower your monthly expenses, allowing you to set aside more for your family trip.

Round Your Purchases Up to the Nearest Dollar

There are lots of tools and apps that allow you to round your purchases up to the nearest dollar to help you hit your goal. These tools can be used each time you shop. Some are offered by banks, so look at what yours offers. But if you can’t get one through your bank, you can also find secure third-party options. Every time you buy something, it can round the amount up. You won’t feel it when you spend because it’s such a small amount, but they can add up over the months. The extra amount can be put into your savings account each week.

Spend Less on Groceries

Look over your grocery budget and see how much you are spending and where. This might not be the easiest area to save on, but the savings can add up over time. Even if you only save $20 on your weekly grocery shopping trip, that’s over $1,000 in savings each year. You can still explore new places through food from home, if culinary variety is important to you.

Take some time to plan out your meals each week or month so you are not tempted to buy too much food at the store that will then go to waste. It’s best to look for lower-cost meals as well. Chicken tends to be less expensive than beef. You can also add up the estimated cost of all the ingredients in a dish and divide it by the number of servings it provides. Adding rice or pasta to a dish can help bulk it up so you are not adding as many expensive ingredients.

Get Your Kids Involved

If the kids will be going on the trip, you can get them involved by letting them know you are saving for your family trip. This keeps them interested in saving money, even if it affects them. If they want takeout food instead of home cooked, show them that money is going toward a fun family trip. You can even give them a choice of putting the money toward takeout now or a meal on your trip. This helps them see that making good decisions now can reward them later.