Traveling On A Budget: 4 Ways To Avoid Vacation Debt As A Millennial

The millennial generation can be a bit of a contradiction. Although 69% of millennials consider themselves to be adventurous, they are also quite cautious — especially when it comes to finances. Adventure comes in many forms, but the greatest adventure of all is travel; whether you’re planning to walk the Great Wall of China or experience the culture in Johannesburg, getting out of your day-to-day comfort zone and hopping on a plane (or a train, or a car) takes some bravery. Keeping a budget in check during such exciting times can be tricky, so let’s take a look at three ways you can stay in the green and avoid vacation debt during your next (adventurous) vacation.

Sunrise in Miami

Plan Ahead!

If you always want to have money available for a trip, you’re going to need to start a vacation fund. Though it may feel incredibly daunting to have to take away from your already tight budget, remember that every dollar you save now is a dollar you won’t have to scrounge for later. The act of saving itself is fairly simple: as soon as you are paid, immediately move a base amount into a separate account. Your brain will adjust to the loss as if it was never there to spend in the first place, and you’ll have money building up in no time.

It helps to have a trip in mind during this process so that you know how much to be moving in order to reach your savings goal in time. For example, a vacation to the Poconos Mountains with its 2,400 square miles of mountains, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and forests is most likely going to cost less than a trip to Paris. While you can weigh the costs of previous vacations to get a general idea, it’s always better to save more than you need; the more you put away now, the more stress-free your vacation will be.

Use Credit — Wisely.

Credit cards are like double-edged swords — they can help as much as hurt you, though most people are only familiar with the latter. If you’ve done well saving in the weeks and months leading up to your getaway, you shouldn’t actually need your credit card, but it is always wise to bring one in case of emergencies. Unforeseen costs can arise suddenly, and it’s smart to have a backup option.

At the same time, vacations provide an opportunity to build your credit. There are a number of factors that go into determining an individual’s credit score, and utilization is one of the major ones; maxed-out credit cards use 100% of this ratio, but FICO recommends that you should not spend more than 30% of your credit limit. As long as you’re able to consistently make payments, relying on your credit card here and there during vacation can actually improve your credit score in the long run.

The possibility of incurring debt while on vacation is a deterrent for many millennials. Although saving is hard and learning the ins and outs (and pros and cons) of credit can be quite the challenge, the payout — which usually comes in the form of exciting adventures, great food, and new experiences — is always worth the price. Start saving today and discover the world tomorrow!

Layaway.

Did you know you can pay for your trip in installments? Thanks to Airforable, the layaway options for travel. Not only can you pay for your dream vacation in monthly or biweekly payment installments, but you can also lock in your low airfare months in advance. Thanks to Airforable’s price protection, you can fully fund your trip without feeling the financial stress of a one-time payment. Airfordable works much like a department store layaway plan. Search for your flight and hotel dates on any air travel website. Snap and upload a screenshot of your proposed trip upload it to the Airfordable website, and they will show you payment plan options. Once you’ve selected your payment plan, you pay 30% of the cost of your travel as a deposit and pay the balance in the installment schedule you’ve chosen. It’s that easy.

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