How to Avoid Getting Into Debt When Traveling
Who says you can’t have the time of your life on your next vacation without breaking the bank? Sounds good, but it’s not uncommon for travelers to live it up and deal with the consequences later. And by consequences, this could be anything from relying on or even maxing out credit cards to fund your getaway.
Fortunately, it’s possible to have fun and avoid debt altogether when traveling. Here’s how:
1. Make savings
You’ll need to stash some of your hard-earned dough away in an account designated as your travel fund. But what if money’s tight and nothing's left after you've paid all your bills? Get a side hustle or consider taking part in a savings challenge. Also, use financial windfalls to reach your savings goal faster. And it won’t hurt to take another look at your budget to make cuts.
2. Set a goal
To take it a step further and ensure you have enough funds for your next vacation, set a deadline for your goal. Next, figure out how much the trip will cost you. Divide this figure by the number of months you have until the deadline to find out how much you need to save each month. So, if you’re traveling to Hawaii in 10 months and you need $1,500 to cover the costs, it would be necessary to save $150 per month.
3. Search for deals
Don’t wait until you’re en route or reach your destination to search for deals. Start looking in advance for package discounts on excursions, dining and travel accommodations. Doing so could save you a ton and prevent you from incurring travel debt.
4. Redeem travel rewards points
Do you have a hefty sum of travel rewards points lying around? Now’s the perfect opportunity to use them to cut costs so you won’t go into debt trying to fund your next getaway. But don’t go into more debt trying to rack up more points or your efforts could backfire. The only exception to the rule is if you’re spending on everyday expenses and can pay the balance off before interest accrues.
5. Create a budget
This step is often the most overlooked, but a spending plan is a must for your trip. That way, you’ll have an idea of what you can spend each day without running out of cash. Simply divide your total budget by the total number of days you’ll be away. Or you can project the total expenditures per activity and set your budget that way. And it’s better to aim high than low as you’ll save yourself the headache of cutting back to get by. Even better, any funds that are left over can be used to help pay down debt when you return from your trip.
6. Take a staycation
If you’re struggling to save up enough for your trip or life keeps getting in the way, a staycation is always an option. Chances are you know a lot about the area you reside in and can find affordable deals on lodging, dining, and entertainment. Plus, crashing somewhere other than your own home will make you feel like you’re on a getaway. Best of all, you won’t have to empty out your wallet or increase the debt load, even more, to pull it off.
A final thought
By following these tidbits of advice, you should be able to take a debt-free vacation. But what if you fall ill on the trip or things take an unexpected turn for the worst? Debt settlement is always an option to help pull yourself out of the hole. And it may be worth considering before you depart to give you a peace of mind so you can relax and enjoy that much-needed vacation.
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