Destination: Summer Vacation Infographic

How to get away with getting into serious credit card debt problems.

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High gas prices and rising airfare costs are leaving many families wondering if they can actually afford to take a summer vacation this year. This infographic is designed to help you plan a summer vacation without breaking the bank, so you can travel in style without taking on debt.

Destination summer vacation

Extraordinary doesn’t always mean extravagant

Families – particularly families with children who haven’t developed a real sense of how much things cost – often get trapped in a mentality that if you don’t “go big” then you shouldn’t bother going at all. However, there are plenty of unique and weird and interesting things to do around the U.S. that might just be in your backyard. Going to these tourist spots may seem cliché, but in fact there’s a reason these places have been so popular for so many years.

Planning a smaller vacation to a hotspot in your state or region can drastically reduce your travel costs. Additionally, these traditional tourist spots are chock full of options for accommodations, so you can find creative ways of cutting more costs, such as opting for a camping site or getting a suite with a kitchenette so you can eat at least breakfast and even some meals in your room instead of going out for another expensive meal.

Credit card traveler’s tips

Often, people use credit cards to pay for vacations – not just because they don’t have cash available in their household budgets, but also because of the convenience. From making travel reservations online to renting a car at an airport, your life as a traveler is much easier if you have a credit card to use. Additionally, if you have a travel rewards credit card, then you can earn extra incentives for using that card.

However, just because you use a credit card to make transactions before and after your vacation, it doesn’t mean you should let those vacation charges become vacation debt that hangs around causing challenges long after you’ve returned to real life. Ideally, you want to have money allocated in your budget or set aside in savings to pay off any debt accrued during your vacation immediately upon your return.

This allows you to reap the benefits of credit – more convenience in reservations, rewards and less of a hassle and a theft risk than carrying cash – without incurring the interest charges that make your vacation cost more. It’s essentially taking a cash-only vacation without having to draw out cash at an ATM every day or carry around a large roll of bills in your suitcase that can be stolen.

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