Thinking about seeing the world? What about taking an extended holiday? Life’s too short, and you should definitely get out there and see as much as you can! For many people, however, the dream of traveling is just too costly. I’ve got some advice on avoiding debt while traveling.
There are a few ways you can make your money travel just as far as you do. It’s all about being careful. Recent studies have shown that almost three-quarters of US citizens have added vacationing costs to their debt. Even the simplest of holidays can cost thousands of dollars! While it’s tempting sometimes to jump onto the next plane you see, the reality is – you’re going to need to do some serious planning if you want to be able to travel without falling into debt.
Millions of people go on vacation without breaking the bank. But how? It’s not always about how much you earn – it’s about what you do with your money that counts. Here’s our brief guide on how you can prepare yourself financially for your future travels. Alternatively, if you’re currently in debt and seeking help, sites like National Debt Advice can help.
Save, Save, Save!
It may be a fairly obvious point to make, but the easiest way of avoiding debt while traveling is to save up beforehand. It’s easier said than done sometimes, of course, but every dollar is going to help you further down the line.
Think about your ideal trip or vacation. I know I’d love to take my family back to Disney World. We’ve got to think about a lot of things ahead of time. How much is it likely to cost you, taking into account food, transport and everything in between? Take a look at your salary, as well as your partner’s and children’s (if applicable). Mine both work now and can chip in! How much could you feasibly save, per month, as a family? You could set yourselves some goals to work towards.
It’s really tempting to just get away right now! However, that’s not always possible in practice. The more you save now, the less you’ll have to scramble around for later
Keep a Credit Card on Hand
When it comes to emergencies, some credit may be absolutely necessary. You may have saved up for months for your travels, but what if something unexpected happens?
For this reason, we seriously advise you take a credit card with you in case of emergency. You can, of course, use credit however you wish – but if you limit card spending on absolute necessity, you’ll be less likely to return home to creditor demands.
If you do wish to take out a credit card before your vacation, make sure you’re able to use it abroad. Read through card issuer terms carefully, and do be careful with interest payments. Consider how much you can feasibly pay off in months to come, interest included. Lower interest rates for this credit purpose may be your best avenue.
Pay for What You Can Afford Right Now
Found a great hotel deal that’s time-sensitive? Are the airlines offering lower rates off-season? If you can afford to book them now, absolutely do so. Paying in advance for bigger vacation elements such as accommodation and travel will take serious strain off your mind and finances in the weeks and months to come.
It may also be worth you paying a certain amount off what you owe ahead of time. There’s little point in holding onto cash you readily have available until the time comes. Avoiding debt while traveling could involve arranging to pay for traveling costs now. This means it’s less for you to think about on the road. And that’s always a good thing.
So many people and so many families actively spend their vacations worrying about money! It’s not hard to understand why. At the same time, you can actively relieve this stress by dealing with the bigger bills up front, if you can.
Sell Your Possessions Before You Go
If you really want to make a break of it for some time, it may be worth looking at your existing possessions and assets. Is there anything you own which you’re unlikely to need or want while you’re away? Will you seriously still treasure that biker jacket a year after going backpacking? If not, it’s time to start thinking about yard sales.
Yard sales, or eBaying, can help massively with drumming up vacation funds. If getting up and away is your main priority, it’s time to start thinking about selling things now that are less important to you. I’m not saying you should sell your precious family heirlooms! Just think carefully about what’s important to you in the here and now.
Don’t Let Money Hold You Back!
Taking time out is good for your health. In fact, many studies have shown that it’s absolutely necessary to take vacation time once in a while. If you can’t afford a big trip right now, think smaller! Take short trips or local adventures. Day trips are great. Eat at local places and visit local shops. Whatever your situation may be, never let money hold you back from taking some time out – you deserve it.