Tips for Your Next Trip
Jun 2, 2022
Like so many others, you may be dreaming of a vacation getaway. The problem is, you don’t have the money right now. This common cash crunch can create a precarious situation. Some methods of paying lead to consequences that could affect your financial well-being. So, before you buy those tickets, take a few minutes to consider these essential guidelines.
SAVE RATHER THAN BORROW
Unless you can pay it off immediately (and there’s no prepayment penalty), you should think twice before taking out a loan. Vacation travel is often pursued in the interest of lowering one’s stress levels. But debt increases stress. Moreover, a loan adds interest to the cost of the trip, which — over the course of making payments for years — can add up to a very expensive adventure. What’s more, if you should miss any payments, that loan could potentially damage your credit.
Ultimately, vacation travel is worth the expense when you can come home refreshed, ready to take on new challenges, and free from the burden of long-term debt that only increases the stress you tried to escape.
Your better alternative comes with a little advance planning. Here are two options:
· Build a vacation fund. Save up the cash in relatively stress-free ways. A Honda FCU associate can assist you in dedicating a savings account to this goal. You might be able to set up an automatic payroll deduction that will deposit the money for you. Isn’t it better to earn interest toward your vacation than to pay interest later?
· Follow a credit card plan. If you just need a little extra cash, a no-interest introductory promotion on a new credit card might be the ticket. Plan on paying off the balance before the promotion ends.
BEWARE OF SCAMS
With travel, you’re vulnerable twice: First, when setting up your trip and then while on the road. Watch for anything that seems too good to be true:
· Big-name brand offers. If you receive an email or robocall that appears to be from an authentic travel brand, don’t respond directly. They may have illegally copied part of a genuine message. Delete the email or hang up on the call. Contact the brand directly to discuss any potential deal.
· Lodging “Deals”. Scammers are targeting lodging costs. If you receive an offer for deep discounts or a free stay at a hotel or other lodging, contact them directly and verify the offer.
· While you’re traveling. Scores of scams abound in every country. Generally, beware of friendly strangers volunteering unexpectedly to help you or save you money. Avoid using unlocked options for Wi-Fi. Always negotiate taxi rates or confirm their meter before getting into a taxi. Travel sites cover more of these important precautions.
SET A VACATION SPENDING BUDGET
It’s common for tourists to discover that everything is more expensive than they thought it would be. You may have your travel, lodging and meals budgeted, but what about everything else? Prevent unpleasant surprises by visiting your destinations online before you go. Explore the region virtually and check prices for excursions, restaurants, upcoming events and attractions. It would be a shame to skip that perfect snorkel cruise just because you didn’t save up for it. Remember, even on a major cruise line, some excursions cost extra. Also, be sure to account for ongoing inflation while saving.
STRE-E-E-E-E-TCH YOUR MONEY
While saving for your ultimate vacation, why not take advantage of some tips to help you get there faster? These cost-cutting tricks can make a difference:
· Go for Honda FCU’s Member Advantage Points program. Available to members using our Visa Gold credit card, this program awards one point for every dollar you spend. Accumulated points can be redeemed for cash back and many other rewards, including travel benefits such as Purchase Protection and Travel Accident Insurance.
· Take the night train. That sleeper will save you a night’s lodging expense by bundling it into your transportation. While admittedly not the most restful shuteye you’ll experience, it’s a true two-for-one deal and can be a fun experience.
· Consider a staycation. While the dream of foreign travel is alluring, you can also enjoy exploring local restaurants, theaters, sporting events, museums, parks, fairs and other attractions. A frugal staycation will help you continue saving for higher-cost travel later on.
Once you’ve planned as many expenses as possible, add some breathing room into your budget that allows you to enjoy a few impulse purchases without worry. Lastly, remember the #1 Vacation Rule: Have fun!