Saving for your vacation

  1. Evaluate your financial situation
  2. Start saving to turn your plans into reality
  3. Hit the road!

Ah, vacation! That wonderful time of the year when you can finally take a well-deserved break and do whatever your heart desires.

Everyone has different tastes as well as different financial situations. But each one of us can find ways to make our dreams come true. It's simply a matter of saving enough and taking advantage of the many available tools.

This action plan will help you set aside money and make wise decisions so you can take your dream vacation.

Before planning a trip, you need to have an accurate picture of your financial situation. You'll need to draw up a personal balance sheet.

Making a realistic budget for your trip is equally important. Keep the following factors in mind:

  • Where will you go?
  • What will you do?
  • How will you travel?

Financing options

Don't have enough savings to pay for your trip now but have plenty of time to save up?

Saving by instalments can help you gradually accumulate the funds you need before you go. If you invest in a TFSA, you'll reach your goal more quickly since your savings will grow in a tax shelter.

Short on both cash and time?

Among all the financing options available, consider using a line of credit in a size that matches your vacation plans. Find out about the various products offered by your financial institution.

Tools and tips

5 steps to organizing your finances

An action plan to help you breathe easier and make decisions that will to turn your dreams into reality.

Read tip - 5 steps to organizing your finances

Ideally, you won't need a loan to take full advantage of your vacation time. This small feat can be accomplished with a little planning, willpower, and saving.

Saving for your vacation is a wise decision. All you need to do is create a plan and stick to it.

  • Deposit a set amount on a regular basis into a savings account, and call it your "vacation fund."
  • Put all your spare change and any money you receive as gifts in a piggy bank until you can deposit it into your vacation fund.
  • Stay within your vacation budget. Pay as much as you can ahead of time, and decide in advance how much you want to spend (e.g., lodging, food, excursions, and souvenirs). Avoid spending more than planned.

Save by instalments

  • Take a close look at your everyday expenses, and see where you might have some flexibility to save.
  • Find a few dollars to put aside each week. The goal is to build a vacation fund so that you can pay for any unexpected travel costs without having to borrow money.
  • Next, decide on an amount to be automatically taken out of your paycheque and deposited into a savings account. It can be $10 a week or $60 a month, or even more if possible.
  • Work toward putting 10% to 15% of your net income into savings. It won't be easy at first, but with time you'll get used to this self-discipline. The more you save, the faster your savings will grow.

List the amount you're saving each week or month as an expense in your budget

For your savings plan to work, you have to do whatever it takes, and that means putting it into your budget as if it was a bill to pay.


  • a Regular Savings Account
  • Regular Deposit Term Savings
  • a TFSA, into which you can put one of these 2 savings products

Tools and tips

3 steps to saving

A simple action plan that requires just a little willpower and perseverance.

Read tip - 3 steps savings plan

Now that you have a clearer picture of how to plan for your vacation, you need to take care of other important preparations, like travel insurance.

In order to be prepared for every situation, remember to get travel insurance for accidents or illness abroad. And, don't forget that things can go wrong at home while you're away.

Nobody likes to think about such a possibility just before leaving on vacation. But the fact is that if you're hospitalized or need healthcare outside of Quebec, it could cost you thousands of dollars.

Remember that certain fees aren't reimbursed by provincial insurance plans. For example, the Régie d'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) does not reimburse:

  • medication purchased outside of Quebec, even if prescribed by a doctor
  • emergency transportation fees
  • living expenses
  • repatriation expenses

Talk to your insurer about whether:

  • travel and baggage insurance are included with your employer's group insurance plan
  • your home insurance contains a personal liability insurance clause and whether it covers you while you're on vacation
  • your car insurance contains a rider that offers insurance for rental vehicles in North America
  • your car insurance includes roadside assistance if you plan to travel by car

Contact your financial institution about getting:

  • a list of ATMs in the countries you'll be visiting
  • a 6-digit PIN, if necessary
  • a second debit card, if necessary
  • travellers' cheques and foreign currency

You're ready to go with peace of mind!

Tools and tips

Going on a trip

Take a few precautions so you can travel worry-free.

Read tip - Going on a trip