If you have existing debt, the idea of taking a leisure trip may seem irresponsible. Whether or not you can swing a trip depends on more than your monthly budget. Travel is a great way to refresh and renew, provides educational opportunities, and is nearly always a responsible use of funds. Reviewing your budget and making smart decisions allow you to plan for trips without driving yourself further into debt.
When planning your trip, keep a realistic eye on the costs. This is important when planning vacations generally, but even more so if you are on a tight budget. Be sure to include costs such as boarding for your pet, the cost of fuel and pre-trip maintenance if you are driving, and other expenses that aren’t directly associated with your trip, but are necessary.
MAKE A PLAN FOR DEALING WITH YOUR DEBT
You don’t want to put yourself in a weaker financial position by traveling, so the first step is getting control of your existing debt. Consider taking out a personal loan to pay off your credit card debt. Personal loans generally offer a lower interest rate than credit cards, saving you money on interest. By paying off your credit card debt with a personal loan, you need only make one payment each month. These loans are easy to apply for, and you can get online and find the information you need as well as the loan that works best for your situation in minutes.
TRAVEL ON THE CHEAP
Just because you are planning a trip doesn’t mean you need to go all-out for expenses. As long as you have existing debt, keep an eye on your costs when planning your destination. One way to save money is to choose vacation destinations that offer a range of low-cost and free activities. For the outdoor lover, this can be state and national parks, while those who prefer more cultural activities can often find free and low-cost admission to museums and other historical and educational venues.
Meals are often a big expense when traveling. Paying a little more for accommodations that allow you to prepare some meals yourself can drastically cut your food costs. When you do eat out, going early and eating your big meal of the day off the lunch menu rather than the dinner menu can save money and help you avoid crowds. You can have a sandwich or some other light meal back in your room during the evening and enjoy some of the busier tourist destinations while other travelers are eating dinner.
BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR FINANCIAL PICTURE
There is a difference between traveling while you have some debt, and traveling when your financial situation is precarious. If you don’t have some money set aside for emergencies, heading out for a trip may not make sense. Take a few minutes to consider what you would do if something unexpected cropped up on your trip. Could you come up with the money to handle a travel delay or illness? If not, traveling should wait until you are in a better financial situation.