Ditch the Vacation Debt

Budget Travel

There are many times during the course of the year that we would like to take a spontaneous vacation/outing to get away from the stress at work and home, but without a plan this could lead to creating an exorbitant credit card debt. We live in a world where people want it now and do not think of the consequences of trying to pay later. It is difficult to pay off a credit card vacation bill in one month. Here are some things to do so as not to add unnecessary debts and help to ditch the vacation debt.

Make a Plan

Check your calendar: There are some months in the year that are the most popular for taking a vacation. At the beginning of the year, each family should sit down with a calendar and mark off each day that will be a non-work/school day for the entire year (January – December). These include holidays your company recognizes, vacation days you are entitled to and days the kids will be out of school.

Discuss the calendar: Sit down and talk about the calendar with your family, to see which dates everyone will be off on the same day. Most holidays are usually one or two days when the entire family might be off work and school and can spend time on a small vacation/outing. These days should also be planned.

Check your budget: At the beginning of the year, the family should look at their finances and determine if there is enough money to finance a vacation. Whether it is a trip to the beach, a weeklong vacation in the Caribbean or a one day trip to the city zoo, it is a good idea to put it on your calendar and put money aside in anticipation of each activity.

Discuss what to do: Each family member has a preference in leisure activities. It would be a good idea to discuss the activities each person would like to engage in. Discuss each activity and come to a consensus on what the family will do on each day marked on the calendar.

Save for your vacation: In January, if the family plans on going to the zoo for the day in September, find out how much it will cost each person for entrance tickets, food and any other activities at the zoo. Start saving towards your outing. January to August is eight months and say you put away $30.00 per month towards your trip; this will be $240.00. Therefore, there will be enough for the outing and no credit card debt. This same idea can be used for a vacation to the Caribbean, you might need to plan a few years in advance and put aside more monthly.

Implement your plan

Pay for your vacation: Pay for tickets in advance to avoid high costs. Usually, buying vacations (tickets) close to the date of departure will cost more.

Documents: Make sure all documents for travel are in your possession. These include passports and visas if your travels include going to another country.

Enjoy your plan

Sit back and put your feet up: Go on your vacation/outing and enjoy the fruits of your labor. At all costs try not to let your whim cause you to spend money on activities not planned.

Go back to work with a smile: Start saving for your next vacation without the debt of the last vacation.

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