I’ve had a number of songs flitting around in my head lately – Come Sail Away, I’m Leaving On A Jet Plane & the Go Go’s Vacation. Then there’s the part of my brain telling me that I can’t possibly take a vacation while still in debt. I find myself back to my conundrum of whether to take an all or nothing approach to paying off debt or find some middle ground.
I have also been haunted by the capsizing of the Costa Concordia. A retired couple from my hometown raised four children and scrimped and saved to take their dream vacation in Europe. It turned out to be their first and last. Morbid, I know, but I continue to dwell on the notion that tomorrow is not guaranteed.
My husband and I have had the good fortune to do a fair bit of traveling together to Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, and stateside to Door County, Arkansas, The Black Hills, Colorado, Seattle to San Francisco, Boston and Cape Cod, Orlando, Las Vegas, Chicago, Kentucky, St. Louis and Michigan. We have both been to Germany on separate occasions.
We’re looking forward to resuming our travels, but I want to be as practical as possible about it. I’m going to use one or more of the following in planning my future trips.
- Compare air, hotel and car rental on websites like Kayak, Priceline or Orbitz.
- Visit family or friends (if they’ll have you). We’re hoping to visit a friend in Portland in April, but only if airfare drops dramatically.
- Set up a vacation fund and have automatic deposits made into it. We’re saving now for a tropical vacation in Winter 2013.
- Combine business and pleasure. We’re going to Fincon12 a day early and staying a day after.
- Consider alternative accommodations – campgrounds, condo rental, all-inclusive. We have camped on several of our trips and have also stayed at all-inclusive resorts.
- Research attractions ahead of time. There may be online or early booking discounts or coupons.
Do you still go on vacation while in debt? What are your tips to save money on the cost of your trip?