Laura Lennon, a risk operations manager who lives in Brooklyn, New York, makes the most of every long weekend in the year. Travel can be anything from a quick jaunt to Long Island to a trip to Japan.
She and her husband look at the upcoming year to note available vacation days, estimate what travel will cost and plan about six months in advance.
About two years ago, Lennon says, they also started tracking expenses and created a budget.
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"We love and value travel, but we wanted to make sure we were being responsible," she said. They settled on 5 percent of their income, and sometimes pull money from other budgets and leverage credit card points and miles to make it work.
The Lennons found that regularly setting aside money for travel to a dedicated savings account has made it easier to book travel. Having the funds removes any doubt over whether it's a financially responsible decision.