Should you take vacations while you are paying off debt? If you are focused on getting out of debt is it worth it to take a vacation?
This week I’m at the beach on our vacation with my mom, but I haven’t forgotten about paying off debt! I’m sharing my reasons why we took this vacation, ways to make it cheaper and ways to make it work while paying off debt.
I plan on taking vacations and enjoying them where I can but I also know that keeping things on a budget and staying on the frugal side of traveling helps make it possible while you are still paying off debt.
In the video I share a few of the ways we were able to take thing vacation while paying off debt thanks to some budget tips and tricks for traveling.
Why I Think You Should Take Vacations When In Debt
Personally, I think you should still travel even if you are paying off debt.
Some money experts recommend skipping vacations while you are paying off debt. Personally I’ve struggled with that concept and always traveled in the past when paying off debt. I still plan on traveling and taking vacations while paying off debt because it’s important to me to enjoy life and find the balance between enjoyment and smart personal finance moves.
Life doesn’t end just because you are trying to get out of debt.
Reasons why you should take vacations while in debt:
- You’ll have the chance to relax and refocus on your goals.
- You will be even more motivated to attack your debt after the trip.
- You can still take a trip without delaying debt payoff too long.
- You are not promised a future so you need to live in the moment too.
- Vacations can be done on the cheap and still be fun.
- People value experiences like vacations more than things.
Those are just a few of the reasons I personally found my recent beach vacation was worth it to us. This is definitely one area where I disagree with Dave Ramsey. I still think you can go on vacations while you are in debt.
If you want to take a vacation while you are still paying off debt there are ways to make it work!
How To Decide On Taking A Trip
If you’re on the fence about taking a vacation during your debt payoff period, there are a few ways to decide if it’s worth it for you or not.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you are trying to decide if you should travel when you are in debt:
- How much longer will you be paying off the debt if you take the vacation?
- How many months will it take you to save up for the trip?
- Can you save for the trip and not use credit for it?
- Will you stick to your vacation budget while traveling?
- Is it a once in a lifetime opportunity like a family wedding?
- Is your debt high interest or are you already drowning in payments?
Those are a few of the questions you should ask and answer for yourself before deciding to take a vacation.
Tips For Traveling When In Debt
If you are in debt but still want to travel, know that it is possible! You may have to go about it a different way by lowering the cost of your trip in a variety of ways, but you can still get away and enjoy some relaxation. Paying off debt doesn’t have to mean no travel and no fun!
Split expenses with family.
Stay in a less expensive area.
Go for a shorter time period.
Make a budget for the trip.
Save up the money you need before you go.
Plan for cheaper meals at your hotel or rental.
Find free things to do on your trip.
There are many ways to keep trips on the cheaper side which lets you still get the rest and relaxation you need during debt payoff without breaking the bank.
The Argument For Not Going On Vacation When In Debt
Of course, as a personal finance blogger I still have to make the argument for when you should not go on a vacation.
Travel can be very expensive and many people tend to slip on vacation budgets and spend more than they planned. It’s very easy to incur additional costs when you are traveling that were not planned.
If you are already in debt, especially credit card debt, then you probably don’t need the temptation to spend while on a vacation. If you have high interest debt like credit cards then you should tackle that like it’s an emergency before considering a vacation.
‘Regardless of the type of debt you have, remember that additional expenses like a vacation and additional debt will make achieving debt freedom even more difficult. It will take longer and depending on the amount spent or debt incurred while on vacation, it could make your debt payoff situation much worse.
If any of these fit your situation then you probably should avoid vacations and any type of travel until your high interest credit card debt is gone.