How to Vacation with Student Loan Debt
Are you passing on taking a vacation because your student loans are weighing you down?
Student Loans can sometimes (or all the time) feel like handcuffs to college graduates – a never-ending cycle of enormous monthly payments. What if I told you it was possible to travel while in student loan debt? Here are some quick tips to help you travel with those pesky student loans.
Planning ahead can really help keep your vacation within budget. Not only are you more likely to find cheaper hotels and flights, but you’ll have more time to save for these expenses. Consider putting a small amount of money aside into a “vacation fund” each month. This account can give you the motivation to keep adding money and reduce the temptation to withdraw.
If paying with credit, you may want to purchase your flight and accommodations during different months. This way you are not hit with an overwhelming amount of expenses at once, in addition to your student loans.
While your hotel and flight may need to be purchased with a credit card, consider paying cash while you are actually on your vacation for all other expenses. It’s very easy to swipe that piece of plastic and not think twice about your spending. By paying cash, you’ll be much more conscious of how much you are spending and not get shell shock when your credit card statement comes in later. Limit yourself to a certain amount and budget each day. You may want to research the price of excursions, restaurants and other trip details before going. This way you are aware of how much cash you will need per day.
If the price of a hotel and flight are simply not in your budget, consider choosing options that are less expensive. Luckily there are apps for that! Airbnb is a company that lets you rent out vacation homes for a fee often much cheaper than a hotel. When driving is not an option, you may want to download the Hopper app. Hopper lets travelers know when is the best time to purchase a flight. It even lets you purchase directly from the app! All those savings can go towards other expenses on your trip (or your student loans)!
While this may go without saying, living within your means can really put extra money in your “vacation fund.” This doesn’t mean you need to stop making purchases completely, but consider cutting back on things you routinely (and unnecessarily) spend money on. If you order lunch every day at work, consider only ordering once or twice a week. Going out with friends on the weekend can also be a budget buster, so consider going out only once a weekend. While these may seem like tough or strict cutbacks, you’ll be rewarded in the end with a much more substantial vacation fund (and maybe a little extra to put towards your student loans)!
Opt For a Staycation Instead
A staycation can be just as satisfying as a vacation if you prepare and research properly. It can also cut some major costs. Sometimes the best adventures are only a few minutes from home! Consider exploring other regions of your city or home state and see what it has to offer. Museums, hiking trails, landmark buildings, beaches, walking tours, and galleries are just a few of the things you can take advantage of close to home. As long as you’re with friends and/or family, your staycation can be a great way to make memories.
Chances are your student loan debt is hanging over you and it can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. There’s no better time to relax and forget about those student loans for a few days! So take a trip, you deserve it!
Do you have student loan debt but are looking to plan a vacation? What are some other ways to travel with debt? Comment below!