Vacations are right around the corner for many families. If you’re not careful, a trip can hurt the family’s finances, making it difficult to pay the bills. To avoid this, the first step to vacation planning is to decide where you want to go, right? Wrong! The first step is to look at your finances and calculate how much vacation you can afford. There’s no sense in looking at a European vacation or Disney cruise if you only have $750 to spend on your family of four. The temptation of window-shopping can be hard to resist, resulting in overspending if you’re not careful.
Once you’ve set a vacation budget you can afford, then start looking around at locations. Shop around for the best prices on hotels and attractions. Pack some of your own food, drinks, and snacks. Ask friends and family for their tips on how they saved money on their get away (people love to share their own experiences!)
The main thing is to plan ahead so you will have a lifetime of memories to enjoy without the agony of overspending to sour your wonderful experience.
Mark Foster is Director of Education with Credit Counseling of Arkansas (CCOA). CCOA is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. To schedule an appointment with a Certified Consumer Credit Counselor contact CCOA at 800.889.4916, or visit CCOA online at www.CCOAcares.com.
Views expressed are the personal views of the author, and do not represent the views of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, its employees, its members, or its clients.