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Smart People Plan Summer Vacation as Winter Encroaches


Don’t rely on credit cards to fund your vacations. Start thinking about next summer today, and you can save yourself a lot of money in years to come.

(Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn/Flickr)

A quick Google search of credit cards and vacations brings up pages and pages of offers for earning bonus airplane miles and various and sundry reward programs. The best advice, however, is to resist the temptation to fund your vacation with your credit card.

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Financial Headaches

We all need a vacation, and the rest and relaxation do our minds and bodies a world of good. Relying upon credit cards to pay for your good time off, however, may cost you more money and loads of unnecessary emotional stress after you return.

When you take a “buy now, pay later” approach to vacation you may end up paying for one summer getaway for the next ten years. Then you get to pay the interest on one vacation instead of saving up for the next. After a few years, it ceases to feel worth it.

Vacation Savings Plans

CNN Travel recommends setting up a separate savings account, and putting money away just for time off. Even if you find yourself pulling out the credit card for an unexpected expense, you will still be much better off if you have saved up ahead of time for your excursion.

One common mistake people make when budgeting for a vacation is underestimating costs. Start planning as soon as possible, and look at realistic airfare and lodging costs during the season you wish to travel. Remember, off-season prices are often lower, so don’t budget February hotel costs for a July vacation.

Planning ahead and saving what you can helps you avoid using a credit card with double-digit interest rates. This enables you to save next year for the next vacation, instead of maxxing out your cards and never being able to pay them off.

Tell Us What You Think

When do you start planning for vacation? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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