You may be looking at your budget and feel like all your money is going toward paying bills. Sure paying your mortgage, student loans, car loans, and credit cards are all necessary payments, but if you are in debt, it can feel like all you’ll do with your money is put it toward your debt. If you have debt, traveling much seems out of your reach. If you plan right, you can still afford travel expenses even if you are in debt!
The average household in the United States owes about $137,063, while this includes their mortgage, this is still a high average!
Pay For Your Travel Expenses In Cash
If you are already in debt, the worst thing you can do is add more money to it. When traveling while in debt, you want to make sure you can afford to take it without adding to your debt.
This means you should not be charging any purchases to your credit cards and instead, pay for everything using cash (or your debit card if you have to pay with a card). Pay for everything up front so you won’t overspend while on vacation.
TIME FOR SOME TOUGH LOVE: If you can’t afford to pay for a vacation in cash, you shouldn’t be taking a vacation right now. If you can still afford to make payments and take the trip, go for it!
In order to continue paying down your debt, you should save up for your trip until you can afford to pay for it upfront. I know that might stink to hear… but there are loads of ways to work towards a vacation goal and quickly raise the money to get there FAST.
Do Some Research Before Planning Your Trip
If you are in debt and looking to travel, you will need to do some research before you start planning your trip. You have a tight budget to work with, and you need to learn everything you can about your trip before you go.
How much will food cost? Can you find cheaper accommodations? Are there free or inexpensive things you can do for entertainment? Doing some research ahead of time will not only help you decide where to go based on your budget but also how much you’ll travel expenses will be and the best time of year to go.
You can request a free vacation guide from most states. Look up the visitor’s sites and any city you may be thinking of visiting. Many of their Facebook and websites will have the upcoming events for the year. This is a great way to find free and cheap entertainment.
Grab your FREE Florida Florida Travel Guide here!
Learn To Be Flexible
If you want to travel for less, you need to learn to be flexible about your destination, time of year, and travel day.
Flying in the middle of the week and during the off-season can save hundreds or even thousands off your trip. When demand for flights to your destination of choice is low, you can get huge discounts on your flight.
Peak season will be the most expensive time to travel, thus increasing your travel expenses. And you will pay almost double for the same trip!
Get Creative When Traveling
If it’s been awhile since you’ve taken a trip, you may have to travel a little differently than you used to. This may involve making a few sacrifices to afford travel.
If you feel like you can’t afford the travel expenses, it might be time to sit down and reevaluate your priorities while on vacation.
Eat Like A Local
While cooking is going to save you the most money when eating on vacation, it’s not always an option. Whether you are unable to get a room with a kitchen, or just want to eat out while on vacation, eating like a local can help you save money while still enjoying the local cuisine.
Touristy destinations can make finding cheap eats impossible, and prices will be more expensive. If you want to truly experience what the city your visiting has to offer, ask the locals where the best places to eat are, and go there instead.
Our favorite app for finding great places to eat is TripAdvisor. It’s a great app that tells you what the #1 rated restaurant is in the area. Start there for the top five ‘must eat at’ locations!
You don’t have to have a ton of money to travel, and you can still enjoy a nice vacation even while you are paying off debt. If you are willing to negotiate a few critical parts of your trip, you can still make payments on your debt and enjoy a nice vacation every year. Don’t let your debt keep you from traveling with your family, and don’t forget that when you are trying to pay off your debt, you should never add to it even if it means you could take a fabulous vacation.
YOUR TURN: Where would you like to vacation? How can you go there without a hardship on your budget? Let me know in the comments below!
More Fun Articles To Read:
I've always believed that the grocery budget is one of the most flexible categories in your budget. So here's how to save money on groceries. There are so many things you can do to lower your grocery budget, and maximize your savings. I spoke about this topic on my...read more
So you may have seen those silly 365 Day Money Saving Challenges, and they sound all glamorous, "Save Over $1,000 this year!" but when you look at the nitty gritty penny challenge details, you have to sock away around $50 EACH WEEK by the time November...read more