This is a sponsored guest post.
With the average cost of a vacation hovering around $4,500 for a family of four, it’s easy to see how simple it is to take on debt.
While everyone wants to make the most of their trip, don’t do so at the expense of your financial health. This doesn’t seem like a big deal when you’re spending the money, but once you return home you’ll be disappointed in the decisions you made and the situation you’re facing.
Fortunately, there are several key steps you can take to avoid debt when planning a vacation. Here are three things you absolutely need to do:
1. Save in Advance
When at all possible, save as much money as you can well in advance of booking your trip.
There are many ways to do this, such as:
- Regular savings, each and every month
- Tax refunds
- Work bonuses and commission payouts
Adding to this, have a clear idea of exactly how much you need to save to take your trip. This makes it easier to stay on track, month in and month out.
2. Create a Budget
The biggest mistake you can make is planning a vacation without a budget in mind. Unless money is no object, which is very rarely the case, you should have a detailed budget to guide every decision you make.
Not only does this come in handy when booking your trip, but it’ll also help while you’re away from home.
Here are some of the many categories to include in your budget:
- Airfare or gas for your vehicle
- Entertainment expenses
It’s better to go overboard in regards to what you include in your budget, as opposed to leaving out important expenses.
3. Minimize Credit Card Use
When you make purchases with cash, you never have to worry about taking on debt. Sure, you can spend
This leads to an important question: is it feasible to make it through your entire vacation without using a credit card?
If you’re using a credit card, such as to make reservations or large purchases, do so with guidance from your budget.
If you return from your trip to find that you’ve overspent on your credit card (or credit cards), take immediate action. This means looking for every way imaginable to reduce your debt load in a timely manner.
For example, a balance transfer credit card offermay be just what you need. This allows you to consolidate your debt, as to save money on interest.
It doesn’t matter if you’re visiting one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world or somewhere less well known, don’t make any decisions until you understand the impact on your budget.
It’s much easier to enjoy your vacation when you don’t have debt weighing on your mind!