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Consolidated Credit Reveals Vacation Hacks: Enjoy a Debt-Free, Budget-Friendly Getaway this Summer

May 22, 2024 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Consolidated Credit, a leading nonprofit financial education and counseling organization, shares summer planning tips that help consumers get away, without getting into debt.

Nearly 82% of American adults plan to travel this summer. With more than 42% saying they will travel more than once it’s even more important to set a vacation budget before booking flights or reserving hotel rooms. * 

“Sticking to a travel budget is not just a smart move—it’s a lifeline that can prevent you from drowning in debt. Credit cards can be your ally, offering crucial insurance and fraud protection, but beware, this ally can turn into a foe if not handled wisely,” says April Lewis-Parks, Consolidated Credit’s Education Director.

Consolidated Credit offers tips:

Set up a vacation fund and don’t use credit cards

“If people don’t pay their balances in full, they risk being trapped in a vicious debt cycle. With APRs soaring above 24%, even a small balance can balloon into a financial nightmare. The stakes are high, and debts can grow at a dangerous speed,” continued Lewis-Parks.

  • Put money aside in a separate vacation savings account.
  • Set up automatic deposits to build vacation savings.

Keep currency exchange rates and taxes in mind

  • If traveling internationally, research exchange rates, local taxes, tipping, and ATM availability before leaving for the trip.
  • If using a credit card, make sure it’s one that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

Avoid travel during peak times and know when to book a flight

“The time of year you travel, as well as the specific day of the week, can make a big difference on your wallet. Airlines and hotels know that summer tends to be more expensive, so try to travel off peak-season,” says Lewis-Parks.

  • Tuesday is known for being the least expensive day to fly whereas the weekend is the most popular and expensive.
  • Hotels are more crowded on weekends too so booking a trip for Monday – Friday may be more cost-effective.

Find free things to do

  • Find discounts and coupons on local activities. When staying at a hotel, ask the concierge if they have a coupon book for local attractions.
  • Vacationers may also be able to find museums, music, art galleries, and cultural events that are either free or discounted.

Minimize food expenses

  • Skip the vending machines, minibars, and don’t order room service.
  • Pack food for the trip instead of buying food at the airport.
  • Avoid tourist-trap restaurants and eat where the locals eat.

Figure out transportation

  • If the destination isn’t walkable, rent a bike/scooter or use public transportation.
  • Many hotels offer complimentary shuttles that go to destinations, so be sure to ask!
  • If you think you need a car, first compare the costs of taxis or ride sharing services would be. You might be surprised at which choice is most cost effective.

Everyone needs to take a break to get away and recharge. If people fund a trip with credit cards, debt could be a lasting souvenir. Follow the tips outlined here to have a less stressful get-a-way this summer.

About: Consolidated Credit is a non-profit organization, which has helped more than 10 million people overcome debt and financial challenges in 30 years. Their mission is to assist families throughout the United States to end financial crises and solve money management issues through education and counseling.

Media contact: Jill Randolph [email protected]

*Recent survey by The Vacationer

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