My husband and I do not by any means take elaborate, expensive vacations. In fact, we never even really had a proper tropical honeymoon because we are both too strict with our spending money and we really felt that we had spent too much on the wedding as it was.
So we’re not the most seasoned travelers outside of the continental US. I plan for all of that to change in our golden years of retirement, since I feel that in exchange for this sacrifice in our youth, we will have a very nice retirement to live on when the time comes thanks to diligent saving and thrifty spending.
However, this year we kind of got hit with two travelling obligations. Both are within the US, but both will cost money. Neither of us likes the fact that we have to spend money on vacations, but we do like to get away from it all and visit other areas. There is just something so very relaxing about getting away.
We decided that rather than put it on low interest credit cards, we would squirrel away some of our earnings from our jobs and respective side ventures each month. This is so that we would at least have spending money that was guilt free because we had already set it aside rather than “spending money we don’t have”.
A vacation should never be financed by a credit card unless it’s a prepaid one, no matter how good the interest rate is. Now, if you plan on paying the credit card off as soon as you get home and have only used that said card so you can get points or rewards of some kind, that is just fine.
Or if you’re doing it for the sheer easiness of using a credit card for everything and plan to pay it all off when home, that’s fine as well. As long as there is a plan to get it all paid off, and a budget to not go over so you CAN pay it off when you get home it’s all good.
The important thing to realize is that vacations are luxuries. Don’t spend more than you have to on them. Simply the act of getting away is enough to relax your mind and rejuvenate your spirits. You can make it as simple as a weekend away in a cheap cabin somewhere and dine on meals that are cheap the whole time.
I think when I’m away, it’s really more about the fact that I’m not at home that relaxes me, not how much I’m spending on some five star restaurant that I know I can’t pay back when it’s all over and all I have are some fond memories and lots of bills for months! See our past article about living paycheck to paycheck and addiction to credit cards.