What would summer be without a vacation? For many Americans, who are in debt or trying to avoid being in debt, a summer vacation is simply a distant memory. If you think that getting away from it all for a few days is strictly reserved for people who have their finances in order, think again. Here are some ways to enjoy a summer vacation without making existing debt worse:
Don’t Pass Up a Vacation
Taking a vacation seems like a luxury, and for many it is, but everyone can benefit from taking a little time off. While you may not have any vacation time left at work to take a week or two off of work, even a 3 day weekend can do wonders for your health. Vacations (yes, even those “minications”) can leave you feeling rejuvenated, less stressed, happier, and even more productive when you return to work. Whether you have a family that is in dire need of reconnecting or you just need to take some time out for yourself, stop making excuses and allow yourself a little time to get away.
Stay Within Your Budget
Before you plan a summer vacation, it’s important to figure out your everyday summer budget. You may already know what kind of budget you have to work with, but the summer season may change your budget, particularly if you have children that are enrolled in summer activities. Although you may feel pressured to plan a “vacation to remember”, stay within your budget, keep on top of your existing debt, and avoid racking up more debt, such as taking out a loan or using a credit card.
Be Creative with Your Summer Budget
Maybe, for years, your summer vacation consisted of packing up the car and taking the family on a road trip to the West Coast. While road trips can be a fun way to see the country, the expenses from gas to food stops to hotel rooms can quickly add up. Rather than traveling across country, see what your home or neighboring state has to offer. Instead of spending money on a hotel room, consider camping or renting a house through Airbnb.
If traveling away from home is not an option this summer, don’t be quick to brush off the idea of a staycation. While the idea of staying home may not be as exciting as traveling around the country, it’s a inexpensive way to enjoy some time away from the daily grind (and you can sleep in your own bed at night). Take the opportunity to work on projects in the yard, have a garage sale, or attend events in or around your community.
Start Saving For Next Summer
If your summer vacation budget is sparse this year, it’s never too late to start saving and planning for next summer’s vacation. Whether you put aside your garage sale earnings from your staycation or make some adjustments to your everyday budget, it’s easier to save money when you have a goal and time to put money aside.