Summer vacations are idolized to some degree. Everyone has this idea of getting away somewhere that’s fun and exotic where they can do nothing but enjoy themselves. The normal rules and limits they live by are put on pause so they can relax.
The trouble is, vacations so often don’t go as planned. And more importantly, they can come at a high cost.
That cost doesn’t stop many Americans from taking vacations, even if they don’t have the money. This is especially true for families.
On average, Americans charge $1019 on their credit cards for summer family travel. While some may argue that charging expensive vacations to their credit card can earn big points, those gains are easily swallowed up by credit card interest unless they’re paying off the cost right away.
And too often, they aren’t.
All of this lends to the question, are summer vacations worth it? Yes, vacations can create fond memories for friends and family. They’ve also been shown to decrease stress.
On the other hand, debt has proven to be one of the greatest causes of stress and anxiety for adults. And for many, debt will remain long after the joy of vacation wears away. That’s why many financial professionals would advise against vacations when you’re under debt.
Even if you’ve saved up money so you don’t have to put it on credit, that money could instead go to existed debt. It’s not fun to think about, but the joy and relief of being debt free for life is far greater than the few days of being on vacation.
And once you’re free from debt, you can save up for a bigger, better vacation.
You Can Still Take Vacation Time without Taking a Vacation
Think about what you’re really trying to accomplish with a vacation. You’re trying to take a break from work. You’re trying to live a few days at a different pace. You’re trying to craft experiences with loved ones.
All of this can be done without having to go on a pricey vacation. If you have vacation days for your job, use them. For families, take the kids out for the day. Spend extra time with them around the house.
For those without kids, try a new restaurant. Reach out to some local friends you haven’t seen in a while and reconnect with them. Or if you have friends who live somewhere you’d like to visit, see if you can stay with them for a night or two.
The truth is, you can create a lot of the vacation experience without spending $1000+.
And for those taking proper vacations, whether you’re debt free or not, you should still budget on the actual vacation. It’s easy to look at the cost of flights and hotels and mentally lock that in as the total expense.
Many of us, however, spend money much more quickly while on vacation. The cost of meals, souvenirs, and spontaneous activities adds up very quickly. It’s very important to maintain control of your money.
The best way to control your money is with professional accountability. At KB&P Partners, we provide a wide range of professional financial services to help you make the most of the money you have. For financial planning in Springfield, Ohio and beyond, contact KB&P today!