Alternative Ways to Pay for Your Next Family Vacation

Any time of year can be the right time to plan your next vacation-and how to pay for it. Here are some tips for saving or earning extra money to help make this year's vacation special:

• Set up a vacation "piggy bank" and contribute regularly. Make coffee at home rather than buying it on your way to work, and bank the difference. When the kids break a house rule, deduct $1 from their allowances and set it aside for vacation.

• Arrange for a portion of your paycheck to be deposited automatically into a vacation savings account. An increasing number of employers offer direct deposits that can be split among different accounts.

• Book your vacation plans early. Most experts encourage families to make reservations for flights or hotels early, before seats and rooms start to fill up and prices rise. Also, look for special summer deals that many popular destinations offer on their Web sites.

• Look for additional sources of income. For example, you could become a direct selling representative. Direct selling involves the sale of products and services in the home or workplace (think Avon or Pampered Chef). A wide variety of products and services are sold this way, from cosmetics and clothing to pet supplies and cookware.

According to Amy Robinson at the Direct Selling Association (DSA), direct selling companies sell $30 billion worth of goods and services annually.

"Direct selling is a growing business and a flexible, family-friendly way to earn extra money for a family vacation," Robinson said.

To learn more about direct selling, visit the Web site at

Additional sources of income, such as direct selling of products from home, can help pay for a memorable vacation.

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