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A vacation is a great escape – and it’s even better if you’re not worrying about how to pay for it.

So whether you’re traveling close to home or across the ocean, saving money, setting a budget and planning ahead can help you take the best trip you can afford.

Setting money aside is important. Consider having a certain amount automatically deposited into a travel savings account each week.

Putting funds into a dedicated travel account gets you in the habit of putting aside money just for vacation - and how much you save helps you set your budget.

Once you know how much you have to spend, you can decide where to go and what to do. Early planning gives you time to search for bargains on transportation, lodging and entertainment costs.

The Internet is great for checking and comparing prices and for getting travel tips. You’ll find that being flexible on when you travel and where you stay can significantly reduce your costs, leaving you more money for entertainment once you reach your destination.

And knowing your budget helps keep you from overspending and having to pay those travel bills long after you’ve come home and unpacked your bags.

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