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Destination Summer Vacation

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

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.

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Destination: Summer Vacation Don’t let high costs prevent your travel plans from taking off

Destination: Summer Vacation Don’t let high costs prevent your travel plans from taking off $630: Average cost for Americans taking a domestic, 4-day trip $3,538: Average cost for Americans taking an international, 4-day trip 45%: Amount of adults who save money for travel, higher than those who save for emergencies (37%) and those who save for retirement (30%) 77%: Families that said “best value/price for our budget” was the most important consideration when deciding on the best place to stay 30% will put less than $500 of their vacation on a credit card 21% will use their credit card for between $500 and $999 24% will spend at least $1000 on their credit card 26% won’t put anything on their credit card Want to go to a new destination this year? If you’ve been wanting to visit… Try this more affordable destination! France Quebec Vail or Aspen Stowe, Vermont Florence, Italy Serchio Valley, Italy Aruba Curaçao Hong Kong Singapore Nassau Bimini New York City Toronto Cabo La Paz Miami, Florida Naples, Florida London Edinburgh Getting Your Travel Plans off the Ground ● If you plan a trip for late summer, you can start a vacation budget now to allow you to cover most expenses with cash. ● If you plan on taking a flight to your travel destination, buy your tickets as early as possible and bundle flights with hotel reservations to get a better deal. ○ Make sure to check the airline fees so you don’t pay extra for your bags. ○ Since ⅔ of travelers find car rental taxes much higher than expected, take free shuttles and public transportation ● For road travelers, check tire pressure and avoid over-packing to improve your gas mileage ● In any case, consider getting a travel suite with a kitchen area, so you can cook at least some meals in your room to reduce dining costs. ● Make sure you don’t go overboard with buying mementos and gifts. ● Avoid paying for things on your trip with credit so you don’t have problems with debt by the end of these warm summer days!

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.

Use this infographic

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