Vacation. One word that warms the hearts of millions. Seriously, who doesn’t like taking time off of work to travel and relax?
Very few people, that’s who.
But the fact of the matter is that Americans don’t have an unlimited amount of vacation time. Most people just can’t up and leave whenever they want to. We have responsibilities and obligations that limit our vacation time to a few weeks per year.
And during these few weeks you want to make the very most of your time off. You might want to travel and take in interesting new places or head somewhere relaxing to lounge around and hang out with your family or friends.
But what you don’t want to do – what no one wants to do – is come back from vacation with a heap of debt. Though there is no way of avoiding spending money while vacationing, there are many ways that you can avoid accruing debt. With a little planning and the tips discussed below, you’ll be able to plan a stellar vacation that doesn’t leave your finances in the dirt.
One of the biggest vacation expenses of all is airfare. If you are taking a vacation that requires a flight, then this is the most likely way that you will be accruing debt. This is especially true if you are flying with your entire family and is especially true if you are making a long distance flight.
A few ways to avoid airplanes and still take a vacation that will keep everyone in your family happy include:
- Select somewhere within driving distance that you haven’t been to yet. A trip to a national monument, a nearby city, or even a great hotel or bed and breakfast and be a relaxing way to kick back while staying on a budget.
- Make your vacation a road trip. Though road trips are by their very nature expensive (especially because gas prices are through the roof), they are generally much more affordable than flying. Pack your family into the van and go. You’ll see more on the way to wherever you’re going as well.
- Consider a train or a bus. On short distance trips, say from Boston to New York City, a bus can be a hugely inexpensive and surprisingly comfortable way to travel. Tickets from Boston to New York City can be found for as low as $10 roundtrip on a bus with comfy seats, electrical outlets, and onboard Wi-Fi.
- Sometimes you can’t help but fly. If you must, start your search early and use these tips on finding the cheapest airline tickets to snag the best deals possible.
Consider Rewards Programs
Another one of the best ways to travel in style without accruing debt is by being smart and strategic about rewards programs. If you travel often, whether it is for business or pleasure, be sure to sign up for rewards programs at the various hotels that you stay at and airlines that you travel with.
Being consistent about who you stay with and fly with can help the rewards really add up. And then when vacation time for the family does come around, you’ll be able to take off for a much more affordable price.
Use Your Credit Card Wisely
There are any number of travel credit cards that can help you net further rewards for when you go on vacation. As long as you are using your credit card in a responsible manner, these rewards can really add up and make a big impact on your next trip.
Plan It Out
There is a lot to say about a spontaneous method of travel. It’s daring, adventurous, exciting, and lets you make decisions on what you what to do and where you want to go while you are on your trip. One thing that can’t be said about it is that it is cheap.
Simply put, planning out your vacation will keep you from accruing debt while you are on it. It is almost always easier to find great deals and bargains when you are looking for them months before your trip.
There is no denying that it is possible to travel in style without accruing. By following the tips discussed above and really planning things out before you go, you will be able to do this with ease. Even the best vacation ever doesn’t need to put you into debt.