Tag Archive for Vacation

3 Smart Reasons Not to Go into Debt to Take a Vacation

debt vacation

debt vacationMost days out of the year you get up and go to work. In fact, most Americans work at least 35-40 hours per week, if not more, which can often leave little room for much else.

After a couple of work-filled months, even if you enjoy your job, you no doubt are in need of a break. And nothing else sounds quite as tempting, as jetting off to warm up under the sun on a white-sand beach complemented with a tropical drink.

Some individuals choose to take the time to save up for said vacation, while others, too eager to wait, choose to take on extra debt to afford a getaway. That being said, in need of a break or not, here are three reasons you shouldn?t go into debt just to take a vacation.

1. You Won?t Be Able to Relax

Going on vacation is all about relaxing. After all, it?s usually your time to get away from the usual hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Take on extra debt to go on your vacation, however, and you?ll likely find that it?s not all that relaxing to begin with. It?s nearly impossible to see a high number in front of your debt and not feel stressed.

Moreover, the cost of your vacation doesn?t stop once you reach your destination. Between food, extra travel cost, and the want of souvenirs, the price will continue to rise, and every extra cent you spend will just come with added stress.

2. Your Getaway Will Ultimately Cost More

Debt usually comes with interest, and the longer you go without paying off the full amount, the more interest you accrue. While the price behind your vacation might not seem terrible, it?ll no doubt cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars. I

n the long-run isn?t that quick to pay off. The longer your getaway takes to pay off, the more interest you?ll have; ergo, your vacation will cost you more than you originally thought.

3. Other Expenses Get Pushed Further into the Future

As mentioned, between the cost you rack up for the trip total to the interest that could bring, the time it takes to pay off the full amount could be longer than you hope. When you?re working to pay off existing debt, the desire to purchase anything else often must wait.

Whether you were working towards a short or long-term financial goal or have another trip you?d like to plan for, you?ll have to put those wants and goals on hold. Depending on the timeline to pay off your vacation, they could be on hold for a significant amount of time.

Everyone needs a break from the everyday now and then. However, a break shouldn?t come at the cost of further debt. By choosing to save up properly for your vacation, you?ll find it?s not only more enjoyable while you?re there, but a lot less stressful when you return home.

In the meantime, if you?re really aching for a break, plan a relaxing staycation until you can truly get away.


Have you taken on debt for vacation? What are some tips you?ve found helpful to save up for a vacation instead?


Photo courtesy of: Couleur

4 Hidden Travel Costs to Watch Out For

4 Hidden Travel Costs to Watch Out For

4 Hidden Travel Costs to Watch Out ForThere’s nothing quite as fun as planning and getting ready for vacation. After all your hard work on a daily basis, it’s a true treat to jet off to somewhere exciting.

If you’re like many smart vacationers, you likely have your trip all planned out. You’ve saved up and budgeted for everything you can think of.

However, have you ever come home from vacation (or gotten halfway through) only to realize that you’ve spent more than you originally planned? If you’ve found yourself going over your travel budget, be sure to look out for these four hidden travel costs.

1. Transportation

Getting to and from the airport is a large expense that many travelers forget. For starters, driving yourself to the airport might seem like the most convenient or cost-effective solution. However, if you plan on parking your car there for several days, the prices tend to be astronomical.

Plus, once you’ve reached your destination, be sure you have a plan for how you’ll get to the hotel. The airport is full of different options, but some can cost you a small fortune, while others, are much more budget friendly.

2. Baggage Fees

Different airlines have different policies and prices regarding your baggage. Some give you one checked bag for free and then charge you after, while others charge for each bag you check.

Plus, should your bag be overweight, you should expect to get hit with an additional fee. Be sure to examine your airlines policies and do your best to avoid too much extra baggage.

Furthermore, it might be a good idea to invest in a [easyazon_link identifier=”B00NW62PCA” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”wisedollar-20″ cart=”n” popups=”y”]baggage scale[/easyazon_link]. That way you can ensure that your bag is within the weight limit.

3. Currency & ATM Fees

Whether you’re traveling to a destination that will require you to exchange currency, or will need to use the ATM on a regular basis, both actions will add to your bill. Depending on the exchange rate and where exactly you transfer currency, you’ll find that you’ll acquire some sort of charge or lose money in the exchange.

In addition, the cost to use ATMs not associated with your bank or to use your credit cards abroad could mean you pay a fee of $3-$10 each time you do so. While that might not seem hefty at first, the cost can add up quickly.

4. Forgotten Extras

In most cases, you probably have all your meals and a few snacks considered within your budget. However, once you arrive, the desire to try out local cuisine and drink or the temptation to opt for convenience foods, can have you spending more than you planned out.

Consider your destination and be aware of any miscellaneous extras you might be tempted to splurge on. And when it comes to snacks, be prepared and pack some pre-made ones from home.

Vacation is supposed to be your time to relax and get away from the chaos of the day to day. That being said, it’ll only stand to cause you stress if you get home and find that you’ve far exceeded your budget. Be aware of these extra hidden costs, so that you can plan ahead for the future and better stick to your travel plan.


Can you think of any other hidden travel costs? What are some ways you’ve been able to combat these hidden travel costs?


Photo courtesy of: Olichel

4 Reasons to Use a Credit Card to Pay for Vacation

4 Reasons to Use a Credit Card to Pay for Vacation

4 Reasons to Use a Credit Card to Pay for VacationThere are few events throughout the year quite as exciting as heading out on a vacation. Whether you are traveling with your spouse and your kids, just your significant other, or even all alone, vacations are a great way to step out of the day-to-day routine of life.

With a little planning and saving in advance, you can enjoy a memorable vacation that will immediately have you looking forward to your next travel adventure.

When getting ready for a vacation, there are several different planning tasks required. You have to make an itinerary of some kind, you need to make reservations for things like transportation and lodging, and you need to determine how you will pay for everything. This last point is the topic of this article.

While on the average trip, you are going to spend a significant amount of money, often in a variety of different locations. We recommend considering the use of your credit card for most, if not all, of your purchases. The following four reasons highlight why you might want to use a credit card to pay for vacation.

1. Security

Most credit cards come with a variety of customer benefits in terms of security. Your purchases are likely backed by some kind of guarantee, you should have protection against fraudulent charges, and your bank may even call you if anything looks out of the ordinary.

When spending money in an unfamiliar place somewhere far from home, it is nice to know that your credit card company will be on your side. Of course, you should always check on the specific benefits of your card before you travel just to make sure it offers the features you need.

2. Budgeting

By placing all of your charges during the trip on the same card, you can easily see how much you spent when you return back home. This will be helpful in terms of budgeting for future vacations.

Did you spend more or less than you expected? By how much were you off? Taking even just a few minutes to review the trip when you return home will help you plan out your next trip in even greater detail.

3. Go Cash Free ? Or Almost

Many tourist destinations are hotspots for pickpocketing activity, as criminals know that tourists will be carrying plenty of cash that they can try to grab. Don?t give them the opportunity.

If you plan on using your credit card for nearly all of your purchases, you can protect yourself by simply carrying very little cash. It is smart to have a little bit of cash on hand for small expenses where credit cards might not be accepted, but limit how much you carry to reduce exposure to theft.

4. Rewards!

If you are going to spend quite a bit of money on a big vacation, you might as well get a little bit of that money back in the form of rewards on your credit card. Depending on the card you have, you may get cash back based on the size of your purchases, or you may get points which can be redeemed for a variety of things.


Do you use a credit card to pay for vacation? Why or why not?


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4 Family Friendly Frugal Spring Break Ideas

4 Family Friendly Frugal Spring Break Ideas

4 Family Friendly Frugal Spring Break IdeasSpring break is one of the most-popular times of the year to take a vacation, as the kids are out of school and parents are looking forward to getting out of the office for a week.

However, while spring break trips are fun for the whole family, they are also rather expensive. Since this is a popular time to travel, good deals can be hard to find ? especially if you are thinking about heading somewhere with warm weather.

So do you need to just stay home to save money? Not necessarily. If you are willing to do some homework while being a bit flexible with your plan, you should still be able to take a trip without busting through the top of your budget.

Shorten the Trip

Spring break is usually a full week in length, but that doesn?t mean you have to take a trip that lasts the entire week. Consider shortening up your vacation to cut costs off of the trip while still giving the family a chance to have some fun. For instance, taking two nights off of the end of the trip could save you a few hundred dollars, and it will allow you to spend some time relaxing at home before getting back to the ?grind?.

Go Somewhere Different

It is common for families to head to warm climates during spring break, but you can save big money if you go in the opposite direction. Consider taking a trip to a tourist spot that isn?t quite yet ?in season?, as you can save money on lodging and activities when you go during off-peak times. Unless you have your mind set on a week of sun bathing on the beach, you should be able to have plenty of fun without heading south alongside everyone else.

Stay Close to Home

The cost of your trip is going to immediately skyrocket as soon as you book a flight to a faraway destination. The two biggest expenses for most vacations come in the form of airfare and lodging ? so you can cut the cost of your trip nearly in half when you drive instead of fly. There are probably plenty of great destinations within a few hours? drive of your home, so take a look at the map and work on picking out just the right local spot for a fun week.

The Staycation

The staycation?is an idea which has gained in popularity during recent years, and it is easy to see why. By staying at home, you don?t have to pay for either airfare or lodging, meaning your expenses for the week will be rather minimal. However, you are still going to treat this like a vacation, picking a number of local activities to enjoy with your family.

Also, try to eat most of your meals out during the week, just as you would when on a true vacation. This might not be quite the same as actually getting out of town, but it can fill the void of a spring break trip without doing so much harm to your budget.


Do you plan to take a spring break trip with your family this year? How will you save on the cost of your spring break trip?


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5 Ways to Save on Car Rentals for Your Summer Road Trip

summer road trip

summer road tripSummer in full swing and so are the summer festivities that go along with the warmer weather.?Baseball and softball games, outdoor concerts, weddings and road trips are often on the calendar as much anticipated events. But all of these events could mean extra?mileage for your vehicle depending on their location.

Driving is an everyday event for most people, but if you are taking a summer road trip,?the cost of these extra miles can add up. For longer road trips, renting a car could be a better alternative than driving your current vehicle on your trip. It saves mileage and wear and tear on your personal vehicle while giving you the opportunity to test drive a newer make or model. If you plan to rent a car for your summer road trip, here are some ways you can save money in the process.

Don?t Prepay for Gas

The rate you?ll pay at the car rental desk if you prepay for gas is often way higher than current gas prices at the pump. If you only use a quarter of a tank but you pre-paid for a full tank, you won’t get a reimbursement for the gas you didn’t use. To save money on gas, make note of where the gas marker is before you leave the rental lot and fill it back there when you return the vehicle, unless your rental agreement specifically states to return the car with a full gas tank.

Go With a Smaller Vehicle

If you are doing city driving during your summer road trip and your rental options are either a huge SUV or an economy car, go with the economy car. It gets better gas mileage, plus you don?t have to worry about parking a large vehicle.

If the SUV is cheaper, and sometimes this happens, look at how much driving you will be doing and the cost of gas so you can see which is more economical for your summer road trip. Another perk of reserving a compact car is that if they are all gone with you get to the rental counter, you could be upgraded for free!

Don?t Pay for Extra Insurance

Your personal insurance usually covers liability in a rental car, and most people won?t wreck the vehicle during the rental duration anyway. Getting extra insurance is ultimately up to you, but most of the time you won?t need this extra coverage.

If you reserved your rental car with a credit ?card, check to see if your card covers rental insurance. Most credit cards cover liability and auto-body. Just be sure to read the fine print so you know what is and isn’t covered.

Shop Around for Deals

Brand loyalty isn’t always the best way to save money, so when you get ready to rent a car for your summer road trip, check for travel packages and specials that may be going on. This can save you hundreds on your car rental depending on the length of time you’re renting a car and how far you plan to drive it. You can also rent your car through Expedia?as they normally have some of the best rates available.

Take Advantage of Reward Points

If you travel extensively for work, use those mileage reward points to get a better discount on your rental. Credit card reward points can also be an option to help you save money on your car rental. Affiliate memberships, such as AAA or AARP, provide rental discounts or specials that could be advantageous too.



Are you planning a summer road trip? Will you rent a car? How else can you save money when renting a car?


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