Summer Save Series: Plan For A Debt-Free Vacation

Here are some tips on making your next summer vacation a great memory instead of a stressful financial situation.

Make A List of Destinations You Want To Travel To

This is a super fun part. Choose 5 different destinations you would like to go to. Decide if you want to travel near where you live, throughout your state, across the country or internationally. Just choose some places you've always wanted to go.

Research Your Destinations

One of the best parts of a vacation can be planning it! One evening, or a couple of weekends or evenings Google your preferred destinations and hotels you would like to stay at. Explore Tripadvisor, search different summer dates, see if the rate drastically changes in June v. July v. August.

Look for Deals

You should follow your favorite tourism sites, hotel websites and travel providers on social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. These social accounts will often post deals you can’t find elsewhere.

Then go to their actual websites. There are often book-direct deals, buy 2 nights get the third free for a lot of hotels. Find the best deal possible.

Set a Budget

You should have a good idea what your preferred destination and hotels, flights, meals, and other travel costs. So now set a realistic amount you can afford to spend on your trip. This number should be affordable for your budget.

Save a Little From Each Paycheck

Once you have a budget, you can set an amount to put aside from each paycheck to meet your goal. If you don’t have a budget yet, regularly putting aside small chunks of money will help you build up a sizeable vacation fund. The sooner you get started, the better. Setup automatic withdrawals to help you save.

Go All-Inclusive

Extra expenses, such as meals and entertainment, can break your budget if you haven’t planned for them. While all-inclusive cruises or resorts may seem more expensive up front, their food and beverage packages can be cheaper in the long run. With all-inclusive trips, food and drinks are included and you won’t have to watch your spending as closely and you can just have fun!

Have a Flexible Travel Schedule

If you restrict yourself to traveling on weekends or flying during daylight hours, you could be missing out on the best deals. Weekday hotel reservations and redeye flights can slash your travel costs. See when you can realistically travel and adjust your reservations.

Use Credit Card Benefits

Just because you’re planning a debt-free trip doesn’t mean you should avoid your credit card. Some credit cards offer travel benefits that help you save on common vacation expenses. Just be mindful of your credit card spending so you can stay debt-free. When you use your rewards cards for purchases you can acquire even more points!