With holiday travel around the corner, you might already be thinking ahead to a spring or summer getaway in 2024. If you’re daydreaming about a big vacation, then it’s time to start thinking about saving money now.

While 2024 travel might seem ages away, getting a start on saving for next year’s vacation can pay out in more ways than one, especially if you use a high-yield savings account like a Marcus Online Savings Account.

Read more to learn why saving ahead can give your next vacation a major upgrade.

Why saving ahead pays off

Saving for a trip that’s months away may seem unnecessary, especially if you know you’ll have the money on hand by the time your vacation rolls around. However, saving money ahead of time instead of waiting until the last minute can pay off in the long run.

A getaway trip often isn’t cheap. The average cost for a one-week vacation in the United States for two people in 2022 was $3,156, according to Bankrate. A one-week trip to Europe for only one person will cost you $4,000, and a weeklong visit to New York City will cost a four-person family $6,926.

In 2023, those prices kept climbing. According to Bankrate, 53 percent of travelers in 2023 saw higher-than-expected prices for airfare, food, lodging, activities and other expenses, prompting many to change or downgrade their plans over the summer.

Saving months ahead of a big vacation can help you manage the headache of unexpected costs, and keep your plans intact, budget for activities, build excitement for your trip and make your savings work for you over time.

Here are six reasons you should start saving for your next vacation now.

1. Budget for your trip ahead

Going on a spur-of-the-moment vacation might sound fun — right up until your wallet runs dry.

Planning and saving for your trip ahead of time can help you see how much your trip will cost, set savings goals, give you time to research your destination and offer some peace of mind that high costs won’t derail your vacation.

Creating your itinerary should be one of the first steps you take when saving for your vacation. Local travel sites can give you an idea of how much you might spend on food, souvenirs and activities. Booking activities and accommodations well ahead of time can potentially offset those costs.

To help cover other costs, you can add a flex amount to your budget to account for emergencies, price increases and last-minute additions to your itinerary, giving you room to splurge and a financial cushion for when things don’t go to plan.

By budgeting ahead of time, you can break down how much you need to save and make small contributions to your vacation fund instead of trying to scramble at the last minute.

2. Take advantage of interest rates

One of the biggest advantages of saving for a vacation ahead of time is using the interest rates. If you set up a bank account for your vacation savings, you can accumulate compound interest on your money. The higher the interest rate, the more you can earn.

While traditional savings accounts through brick-and-mortar banks often offer interest rates of 0.56 percent annual percentage yield (APY), according to Bankrate, an online high-yield savings account can offer you a much higher rate.

A Marcus Online Savings Account, for example, offers a 4.40 percent APY,* which is eight times the national average.**

Putting your savings in a bank account with a higher interest rate can earn you more over time. The more you deposit, and the longer you let it sit, the more you can earn. Putting your cash into a high-yield savings account like the Marcus Online Savings Account lets your money work for you — and can give you a bit of extra money to spend when your vacation begins.

*APY may change at any time before or after the account is opened. Maximum balance limits apply. Please check the Marcus website for up-to-date interest rates and offers.

**The national average rate referenced is from the FDIC’s published National Rates and Rate Caps for Savings deposit products, accurate as of Nov. 13, 2023. See the FDIC website for more information.

3. Save in the background

Saving ahead of time — especially when you know your savings goal and if you’re contributing to an online banking account — can be made easier and more seamless with features like automatic deposit.

Manually contributing money each week or each month can be cumbersome, difficult to remember and even painful as you watch your money leave your wallet or your paycheck.

Automatic deposits allow you to build up your savings with regular contributions directly from your paycheck or your primary bank account. This way, you can hit your savings goal without needing to constantly check your balance. This is a great way to save money for vacation without thinking about it on a daily basis.

4. Snag early-bird deals

Saving and booking your trip early can not only help you grow your money with interest and plan out your trip ahead of time, but also save you money on bookings.

Booking early can help you stay ahead of rising demand for travel features like emergency exit seats or hotel rooms with a view

Airfare and hotel fees are often cheaper ahead of time, allowing you to save more than if you book last-minute. Keeping an eye out well in advance also means you can request time off and travel on less expensive days of the week. You can also keep an eye out for sales and deals well ahead of time, and jump on them when you’re ready.

Keep in mind that when you book ahead, you may have to pay a deposit or the full amount up front, so factor this into your savings plan. Be sure to review the cancellation policies for the flights and accommodations you book, and consider travel insurance in case you’re unable to make your trip.

5. Give yourself room to splurge

Even if you plan your vacation to a T, giving yourself room for the unexpected can be a part of the magic of traveling.

Whether it’s springing for a seat at an exclusive restaurant that just opened, picking up a souvenir you can’t keep your eyes off of, upgrading to first class or giving scuba diving a try, having the funds to do things outside of your itinerary can be fun and rewarding.

Saving ahead of time can give you peace of mind for those extra vacation splurges. Instead of worrying about an impulse purchase digging into your food budget or racking up a balance on your credit card, having a bit of money set aside gives you room to breathe and relax.

Having a splurge fund built into your vacation savings also helps you avoid digging into your everyday finances, so you don’t have to worry about a last-minute sunset cruise impacting your ability to pay the electric bill.

6. Build excitement as you save

One hidden benefit of saving up for a vacation is the anticipation that you get to build ahead of time.

Daydreaming about a vacation might be a fun pastime, but your savings can help make that dream a reality.

Budgeting ahead of time allows you to build excitement for your trip. Interest rates can help your savings grow, adding an extra layer of excitement as your money compounds, and early bird deals can help you save money, giving you extra funds for a fun impulse buy.

While automatic deposits keep your savings growing in the background, checking your balance every now and then can be a great reminder of your planned vacation even if it’s still months away.

Banks with mobile features, like the Marcus app, can also let you check your savings wherever you go.

How a Marcus Online Savings Account can help you save for your next trip

If you’re planning — or just thinking about — your next big trip, it’s important to also consider how you’ll save for this expense. With a Marcus Online Savings Account, you can watch your vacation savings grow with a competitive interest rate, mobile banking capabilities and other features that can make saving for your vacation easier.

The Marcus Online Savings Account offers a rate at eight times the national average for traditional savings accounts as of Nov. 13, 2023, allowing your savings to earn more interest over time – with no minimum starting deposit needed.

You can open multiple accounts with a Marcus Online Savings Account, allowing you to set up a dedicated account with a specific label for your trip. Roman Holiday 2024, anyone?

Setting up automatic deposits and transfers are a breeze with a Marcus Online Savings Account, allowing you to set up recurring transfers at whatever frequency works for you. The Marcus app offers mobile access to your accounts, so you can schedule transfers or use smart tools to help you review your balances and track your savings progress on the go.

If you’re saving for your next big vacation, check out the Marcus Online Savings Account for competitive interest rates, easier online banking and a way to help grow your vacation savings.

The bottom line

Saving for your next trip ahead of time can help you budget, take advantage of compound interest and early deals, build excitement for vacation and save in the background.

If you’re thinking about traveling in 2024, check out the Marcus Online Savings Account. With competitive interest rates and exclusive tools to help make the saving process easier, you can have your trip budget set before your bags are even packed.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (“GS&Co.”), which are subsidiaries of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Deposits products provided by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch. Member FDIC.