Summer is here, and most of us have vacation on the mind. For those who’ve planned and saved for a summer getaway all year, the warmer months are a welcome escape. But those who’ve spent the past 10 months facing the daily grind and unexpected expenses might be in a bit of scramble. Is a vacation even possible this year? We say, yes!
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Consider these tips for making the most of your time and finances this season. Whether you score a last-minute deal or keep your getaway closer to home, a fun-filled summer vacation is well within reach.
Look for last-minute deals
The internet can be your best friend when it comes to scoring fantastic last-minute vacation deals. If the “where” of your vacation is flexible, look for special rates offered by airlines and hotels to select locations. Budget Travel named Yellowstone National Park; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee; Chicago; and Mackinac Island, Michigan, among the best bargain vacation destinations in 2019.
Also, consider being flexible in your departure/return dates. Departing Thursday and returning Monday rather than departing Friday and returning Sunday can save you up to 20 percent on the cost of your flight. You can also create fare alerts via email (kayak.com and airefarewatchdog.com are two great options) that will alert you of the lowest prices for travel on any given date.
Consider exploring your own backyard
A low-cost staycation is always an option if funds are low. However, if you have a bit more flexibility but still want to keep costs down, think about day trips or overnight trips just a few hours from home. State parks are great for summer exploring, and many city museums and landmarks offer free admission. Staying in a vacation rental vs. a hotel can also help keep costs low. The main takeaway is that a getaway doesn’t have to be far away — it just needs to be fun.
Invest in the experience
Some vacations are worth the investment just for the experience alone, and there are options available to those who want to invest in the experience but don’t have the savings to cover it. Although taking on debt for a vacation is never the ideal financial choice, rather than loading a credit card with vacation debt that could accrue 21+ percent interest, consider the benefits of taking out a small personal loan for your vacation. A personal loan allows you to borrow up to $40,000 with an APR as low as 5 percent (depending on your debt-to-income ratio and credit score). These loans typically come with fixed monthly payments for one to seven years (less years often means less interest).
Of course, do keep in mind that a loan is only a sound option if you have the means to pay it back in a timely manner, without accruing unnecessary interest. By practicing good budgeting and financial habits today, you’ll be better equipped for the vacation you envision without veering off the road to sound financial future.
Call a Landmark lender today to learn more.
Ultimately, your summer vacation doesn't have to be a budget-buster — in fact, it shouldn’t be! Take the time to explore your options and resources, and you can enjoy these warmer months the way you want.