We recently went on our first vacation as a family of 4 and will be going to Topsail Island, North Carolina. This was our first vacation as a family since Logan was born in 2014. I do not know how people with small kids vacation all over the world. It seems like a foreign concept to me. My husband works for the airline and he says that there are tons of parents with kids 6 months and younger who travel all the time on airplanes. I personally don’t think I was built to be one of those parents. I can’t fathom all the stuff that has to go along and how to entertain 2 kids on a plane, etc. For that reason, we are decided to drive to North Carolina. Anyways, we created this goal even though we are working on debt payoff. There are several reasons why I think you should still live a normal life despite working to pay off debt.
We created goals this year which were personal and financial and this was on of our goals- to take a vacation as a family. We all need a little sand and sun in our lives right now. We had heard that the Topsail area is beautiful and very quiet. It is not a tourist area so it was really nice to just relax with the boys and play on the beach.
Taking a vacation got me thinking about our debt payoff schedule and what advice I would give to others on a strict debt payoff plan. I also had a friend ask me if she should take a vacation with her family while she and her husband were working on debt payoff. Here is my answer: Absolutely yes.
I personally feel that if you can plan for the vacation, you can find ways in your budget to save money or make extra money to take the vacation. If you plan far enough in advance, you have plenty of time to forsee about how much money you think you will need to pay for the vacation up front.
So here are some tips on how to continue with debt payoff and take a vacation:
- Plan Plan Plan: If you can plan even 6 months in advance, do it. The longer you have to plan for the vacation, the easier it will be to pay for the vacation upfront.
- Figure out ways to make extra money to pay for the vacation. I know I mentioned in my ways to pay unexpected expenses post that there are surveys you can take and lots of other ways to make side money. Get creative and do some of these to make extra cash so you aren’t interfering with your debt payoff. Work a few extra shifts if you can or work overtime. It is a win, win if you make the money you need for the vacation in advance.
- Look at what you will be doing for vacation. Think about activities, food, alcoholic beverages, cost of all inclusive versus non all inclusive vacation. Try to factor everything in. Be as prepared as possible. Even think about any new clothes you may need for the vacation and factor that in to your clothing budget ahead of time.
- Vacation is a lot more fun when you don’t go in debt taking a vacation. Think about coming home after a nice relaxing vacation and realizing you put the entire vacation on a credit card. You now have to pay that card off for months or years for a vacation you already took. Think about how long it may be before you can take another vacation because you have to pay for the one you just took. Think about all the interest you would have to pay for taking that one single vacation. It just doesn’t seem worth it. Especially if you have waged a war on your debt and you are on a strict debt payoff schedule. Do whatever you can possibly do to get it paid for before you even take it.
- You can and should have both debt payoff and vacation simultaneously. I do not feel that you should not make memories while you are paying off debt. I feel that tomorrow is never promised for any of us and memories and experiences should be a priority. Yes there are tons of things you can do for cheap or for free at home, but why not have experiences that will last a lifetime. Take a vacation with your entire family, do a once in a lifetime trip with you and your spouse, create the epic camping experience. Whatever floats your boat, do it…. just prepare for it well in advance.
- Really take the time to enjoy every minute. I personally think it is important to have time away from the grind of regular life. With our crazy busy schedules, it can be very taxing on our psyches without a break from it all. When you take your vacation, just take the time to relax. And think about how much better you will feel if you paid for everything in advance (or at least have the money to pay for everything without using a credit card).
Vacation as a family is a way to make memories and get away from the everyday pressures of life. I think at every stage of life making memories is important. You just never know what lies ahead for the future so why not take the time to create a wonderful bonding experience with the family. What better way to do it than exploring a new area with the family?
Get your detailed Vacation checklist to help you organize the details for your vacation way in advance!
Even during the strictest debt payoff times, you should find some way to account for vacation. It can be done without spending a lot of money and going into debt. You should be able to enjoy your vacation and not worry about how you will pay for it.
What other tips do you have to save for vacation?
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