You CAN take a family vacation without going into debt
I don’t know exactly when it became common to go into a lot of debt for a family vacation. Back when I was growing up, not many families did that type of thing. If you couldn’t afford to go on a vacation, you stayed home. And when you did go on vacation, you went where your parents wanted to go which meant it was somewhere they could afford to go. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that their parents lived through the depression, so our parents were brought up hearing that debt was something to avoid at all costs. Since I did go on vacations when I was growing up, I know it is possible to take a family vacation without going into debt.
According to recent studies, 74% of Americans go into debt to take a vacation. That means the other 26% either aren’t taking them or are actually saving for a vacation. Shocking, right? Though the average debt they take on is $1,054, and many say that their vacations cost them 10% to 15% of their annual salary. So, let’s say someone makes $45,000 a year. According to the statistics, their vacation is costing around $4,500. But, like I said, I know it’s possible to take vacations without going into debt since my parents never used (and still don’t use) credit cards.
How to take a family vacation without going into debt
So, how do you actually take your family on vacation and not rack up more than $1,000 in debt to do it? I’m glad you asked! Alamo shared from a travel columnist on their site. One of these tips is something that helped my parents take us on family vacations without taking on debt. She recommends that you stay someplace that has a kitchen or a refrigerator. Another option is to stay someplace that offers free breakfast.
Stay someplace with a kitchen or refrigerator
I don’t think that we ever took a vacation where the hotel didn’t have a kitchen. I remember my parents packing all of the dry goods that we’d need during vacation, and then we’d stop at a grocery store for perishables when we got to our destination. Yes, that clearly made more work for my mom since she did the cooking, but the things we ate were easy meals. We’d have cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and maybe spaghetti or Chef Boyardee pizza for dinner. Do the math. If you only ate breakfast and lunch at your hotel rather than a restaurant, think of how much money you’d save.
Remember my post on taking an unplugged vacation? If you and your family stay off social media during your vacation, you’ll have more time to spend in the kitchen together! Maybe you could all bake cookies one night, or plan a “make your own pizza” dinner. Get creative! You’ll find that you’re more relaxed and less stressed about taking a family vacation because you know you’re not going into debt to do it!
Be sure to head over to Alamo’s Scenic Route for more budget friendly ideas to use when planning your next vacation!