Satisfying the travel bug by jet-setting off to some exotic or foreign area sometimes seems too good to be true. Getting the itch to travel and wanting to quench your thirst for wanderlust is often suppressed by the daily realities of bills, work, and responsibility. Though you have plenty of friends who have thrown caution to the wind and spent every last penny backpacking through Europe, your sense of adventure is more dependent upon your financial stability. When it comes to planning your next vacation, you do not have to beg, borrow, or steal to fund your plane ticket. Instead, use these four tips to travel the globe without going bankrupt:
1. Vacation Fund
Just like you would a savings account or retirement account, set up a vacation fund. A good rule of thumb when saving for a vacation is that a once-a-year trip should cost about one week’s salary. While that is a general statement, when it comes to saving for a trip that won’t break the bank, that’s a great place to start.
Setting up a vacation fund can be as simple as a jar on the kitchen counter to a real account you automatically deposit money into. If you prefer the jar method, create a set of rules to go along with the jar so that you actually save an adequate amount of money. For example, determine if you want a fixed amount to go into the jar weekly or monthly. Start with something small like at least 10 dollars a week goes into the jar. Or, if you have a family, allow your children to participate by letting them put in any spare change. As an added incentive, let them know that the more money they put into the jar, the more exciting the vacation will be.
If you’re going with a real account, look to set up one that will generate interest. As the money sits in the account, it will accumulate interest and begin to grow.
2. Vacation Layaway
A relatively new option for travelers is a vacation layaway, meaning you make monthly payments to a tour operator or financial service company prior to your trip. Paying for your trip in installments can be much easier than financing it in bulk.
3. Credit Card
Check into rewards credit cards that offer points or frequent flyer miles that are redeemable for airline tickets or hotel stays. If you use the credit card frequently, you can easily rack up travel points that can significantly cut the cost of your trip.
On the other hand, be careful if you use your credit card to purchase the trip as a whole. If you do not have the money to pay off your balance in full, you can easily rack of a large amount of debt.
4. Other Loans
There are other types of loans to consider such as title loans from companies like TitleMax. If in a pinch for some quick cash, looking into these companies can be a viable option.