A glorious vacation can be ruined if the bills are still coming in months or even years later to cover the expenses. To enjoy a truly debt free vacation two steps are involved: the vacation needs to be paid for from savings or income, and a budget needs to be adhered to whilst off on ones jollies.
The difference when returning to no vacation debt rather than credit card bills reminding one perhaps of spending excesses or follies, is tangible. It gives the freedom to start saving for the next vacation, instead of struggling to pay off the last one.
Set a vacation budget that is affordable and takes into account holiday spending money, meals, hotels, travel, and souvenir spending. Last minute offers can reap some great bargains, whilst booking early can give discounts for families looking for child free places.
Overseas trips can represent a cheaper deal in some instances than vacationing in ones home land, particularly if the exchange rate makes your vacation cash go further. The advent of cheap no frills airlines can make a foreign flight inexpensive, and those with credit cards rewards points redeem them for free flights or hotel stays, thus slashing the overall costs. Consider ways to travel cheaply or even for free.
One of the best tips to keep within budget whilst away is to determine a daily budget and stick to it. If the budget is blown with an expensive lunch then rein the spending in by enjoying a picnic dinner. It pays to be aware of local exchange rates and not be caught out by unfamiliar currency.
Avoiding credit card use overseas can save money on cash advance fees and foreign transaction charges. Convert the days spending budget into the local currency and use cash, or take along a prepaid card loaded with the destination currency, which can be used for purchases.
Browsing rather than buying can prevent the budget running out of control. Temptations lurk in vacation stores and markets, but it pays to consider if the item in question would still be so desirable when it has traveled home. An excellent idea is to add an extra days spending to the budget and only use it for buying irresistible extras.
Take advantage of local transport while away to save money, and eat where the locals eat rather than be lured into expensive tourist traps which offer less than an authentic experience. Enjoy free attractions, or discounted ones which can often be found online or in conjunction with local tourist offices.
Going into debt to pay for a vacation is one of the ultimate financial errors as interest charges added to the cost can mean, inevitably, that the next vacation involves debt as well. Whether the vacation budget is tight or generous a vacation can be enjoyed debt free. If it really isn’t possible to afford a vacation without running up debt then consider delaying until a more opportune time.