No matter what you say, no vacation can justify credit card debt.
Everyone deserves a vacation from time to time. You work hard. You want to take some time off to enjoy yourself somewhere far from home and the stresses of everyday life. Everyone should be able to take an occasional vacation without worrying about taking one you cannot really afford. Many people rack up credit card balance when traveling. This completely defeats the purpose of getting away from home to relieve stress. Fortunately, there are ways to travel without racking up credit card debt that so many people bring home from vacation.
The best thing you can do to avoid incurring this type of debt is to create a vacation budget. First, you need to decide where you want to go on vacation. Then, you should make your itinerary so you can foresee the expenses that you will spend.
Create A Vacation Budget
Many people know how to budget for major things, such as transportation, lodging, and food. However, many forget the hidden fees associated with each. Transportation may include both airfare and a rental car. This can be further broken down to include checked baggage fees, gas, rental fees and parking. Making a list of all the things that need to be paid for prior to planning vacation will give you a more accurate idea of your budget.
If your budget is not a large one, it is wise to stay close to home when you vacation. Especially as Forbes shares that people have been cutting back on discretionary expenses after the recession. Do some research to find out what you live within a few hours of to make a decision about where you want to travel. National attractions, spa resorts, major tourist destinations or the beach are located within a few hours of many places throughout the country. This makes it easier for you to save money on your vacation and steer clear of credit card debt.
Plan wisely to avoid credit card debt on vacation
Do you have free airline miles that you can use to book plane tickets or a rental car? Are you a member of a hotel rewards program group that earns you points that can be redeemed for free nights? If so, use them at your destination to get free hotel nights, free airfare and/or a free rental car. Also, it is always a good idea to book a hotel room with a mini-fridge.
You will save money by going to a local grocery store and stocking it with drinks and snacks for yourself and your family to enjoy throughout the day. Small items such as bottled water and light snacks can really add up to a lot of money during trips. Also, if you have family members or friends somewhere that you want to visit, it never hurts to check with them to see if you can stay with them for free. You can return the favor when they are in your neck of the woods.
It is also important that you do some research before you travel. Checking out the online menus at the restaurants in the area where you are going to vacation will give you a good idea of what meals will cost. Additionally, restaurant websites will also inform you of specials at restaurants. This includes the happy hour, free kiddie meals, or if discounts are offered for members of the armed forces or the elderly.
Save Money on Vacation
The internet also gives you the opportunity to sign up for email coupons from different sites. These feature a different deal each day in many cities. Sign up for notifications of daily coupons in the city where you are traveling. You can save money by purchasing attraction tickets for half price or restaurant certificates for less than the value of the certificate. This has become a lot more common as being frugal became fashionable post-2008 crisis according to Huffington Post.
Once you know what your vacation will cost, figure out how many times you get paid before you leave and how much money you will need from each paycheck to cover those costs. From each check, take the amount of money you need for your trip. Place it in an envelope and use only that cash once you arrive at your vacation destination. This will help you stick to your budget and stay on track, avoiding credit card debt while you travel.
Have A Stress Free Vacation And Avoid Debt
Many people are avoiding credit card debt by cutting down on things they once enjoyed. This includes eating out and going to movies, an occasional vacation is considered a good idea by financial experts. The stress of everyday life and the missing enjoyments of small things can lead to additional stress, making a vacation necessary. Often, a person comes home from vacation refreshed and able to cope better with everyday life stresses. There is no reason a person should come home from vacation to find he’s spent too much money and accrued credit card debt that he could not afford.