Most of us have the misconception that travel is a luxury when it really does not have to be. It is all about planning your vacation in advance. That’s the credit counseling advice we give to people. Saving for a vacation is like completing that jigsaw puzzle; all the pieces must come together in order for the picture to be complete and beautiful.
Saving for a Vacation – Tips & Tricks
Set a Budget
Like with every other expense category, the starting point for saving for a vacation is setting a budget. Your budget depends on where you want to travel and what type of excursions you want. The idea is not to return home from your vacation with a bunch of credit card debt that you are unable to pay.
Research & Plan Early
Once you pick a place, then start researching that spot specifically. Seasonal travel can get expensive and crowded. You may still be able to enjoy your dream destination at a lower cost if you decide to travel off-season rather than at peak times. This decision can significantly impact your cost of traveling, lodging as well as the cost of excursions. Here are a few other tips to save money when travelling.
Be Open to Other Options
Sometimes, this may not be the year for your dream vacation. Keep your options open to destinations, travel modes and lodging. Perhaps your vacation destination has easily accessible public transportation. You can avoid the cost of renting a car and paying for parking. Look at other accommodation options such as AirBnB, vacation rentals or even camping. And track booking times of flights to get cheaper rates. Don’t be afraid to switch gears mid-planning if you feel drawn to a new destination.
Make Sure to Avoid Debt
Impulsivity is great and fun! But be careful; you may end up paying for things you really can’t afford. The life you come back to once the vacation ends is filled with numerous financial obligations that cannot wait. You should not be scratching your head thinking how to get out of debt once the vacation is over. Make sure you utilize every reward dollar, flight discount, and coupon on your vacation to get the most out of the dollar you spend. You may not be able to do every excursion either.
Life is a stressful affair and your vacation should not add up to that. These tips and tricks will help you plan a stress-free vacation and still accomplish your financial goals.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Sign up for a free credit counseling session with us today.