Here’s How to Save up to $865 for a Future Vacation

A double exposure shows a man in hiking gear and a trail ahead of him.
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Close your eyes for a few moments and think of the first place you’ll go post-pandemic.

Are you hiking to Machu Picchu? Dining on Kobe beef (in Kobe)? Sipping something strong and fruity on a white sandy beach? Perhaps you’re just crossing state lines to see family or friends?

Wherever your mind took you, didn’t you feel a little bit more relaxed in those few seconds?

No, this isn’t a lesson in meditation. It’s proof that planning a vacation — and the anticipation of experiencing it — can bring people just as much joy as being on the trip itself. A 2014 study from the University of Cornwall found that this delayed gratification was more pleasurable than the immediate kind you get when you order next-day Amazon delivery.

So, step away from your online cart and start planning your next vacation, however far out it may be. But make sure it’s attainable, otherwise you’ll be crushed when you realize you can’t afford it. That’s why we brought together these four ways to save up to $865 for a future getaway.

1. Earn Cash Back When You Travel

Everything is getting more expensive these days — and travel is no exception. But that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank just because you need to catch a flight or book a hotel.

With Rakuten, you could be earning cash back on all of your travel-related purchases, like flights, hotels, car rentals and even vacation packages. You’d be booking these anyway, so why not get cash back while doing it?  We’ve seen cash back as high as 10%!

Just shop through Rakuten’s website or browser extension and claim your cashback offers, then redeem them via Paypal or have them mail you a check.

It’s free to sign up for Rakuten and start activating cashback offers — you’ll even get a $10 welcome bonus on your first order.

2. Cut Your Expenses and Save The Excess

If you’re overspending every month, it’ll be difficult to find the cash for your next vacation — because you still need to be adding to your emergency fund and retirement fund, too.

Here’s a quick fix: cut your car insurance rate. When’s the last time you even checked car insurance prices?

You should shop your options every six months or so — it could save you some serious money. Use a website called EverQuote to see all your options at once.

EverQuote is the largest online marketplace for insurance in the US, so you’ll get the top options from more than 175 different carriers handed right to you.

Take a couple of minutes to answer some questions about yourself and your driving record. With this information, EverQuote will be able to give you the top recommendations for car insurance. In just a few minutes, you could save up to $610 a year.

3. Get Paid Every Time You Go Shopping

Your trip is likely several months away (or more), which means you still need to shop for your everyday essentials. You might as well make money for them — and earn gift cards to use for your travel needs. You’re going to want a good neck pillow for that 8 hour plane ride, trust us.

A free app called Fetch Rewards will reward you with gift cards just for buying toilet paper and more than 250 other items at the grocery store.

Here’s how it works: After you’ve downloaded the app, just take a picture of your receipt showing you purchased an item from one of the brands listed in Fetch. For your efforts, you’ll earn gift cards to places like Amazon or Walmart.

You can download the free Fetch Rewards app here to start getting free gift cards. Over a million people already have, so they must be onto something…

4. Earn $225 Killing Time Watching Movie Previews Before Your Trip

If we told you that you could get paid while watching videos on your computer, you’d probably laugh.

It’s too good to be true, right?

But we’re serious. By signing up for a free account with InboxDollars, you could add up to $225 a month to your pocket. They’ll send you short surveys every day, which you can fill out while you watch someone bake brownies or catch up on the latest Kardashian drama.

No, InboxDollars won’t replace your full-time job, but it’s something easy you can do while you’re already on the couch tonight, wasting time on your phone.

Unlike other sites, InboxDollars pays you in cash — no points or gift cards. It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.

Signing up takes about one minute, and you’ll immediately receive a $5 bonus to get you started.