Can you travel when you have credit card debts?
Some individuals will say this is a bad financial move. You should think about saving money instead of planning a vacation. You need to think about the ways to pay off debt. But is it true? Let’s find out.
I don’t feel that it’s irresponsible to travel when you have credit card debts. You can travel and pay off debt simultaneously. You just need to be cautious and financially responsible. Plus it’s not practically possible to deprive yourself of fun throughout the loan repayment term. Suppose, you have student loan debt. Usually, the loan repayment terms of student loan debt stretch for a long time. So does this mean that you won’t travel for 10-20 years? It’s totally unrealistic and impossible. You can control yourself for a short term period. But it’s impossible to stop yourself from having fun all the time.
Smart budgets can help you have fun even with debt. You can dine out, shop and travel. Basically, you can do a lot of things. All you need to do is plan carefully and follow your budget.
Rules you need to follow to travel with debt
Here are a few rules you need to follow to travel with debt.
- Don’t incur fresh debts: Have a look at your savings account before planning your vacation. Do you have enough money in your savings account? If ‘no’, then you can postpone your trip. Save enough money to enjoy a trip comfortably.
It isn’t that you have to pay cash for every transaction. Just make sure you have sufficient cash in your savings account. If you’re planning to use a credit card for covering expenses, then pay off the outstanding balance as soon as possible.
- Create 2 separate accounts: Set up a separate savings account and save money there to pay for your trip. You can have 2 separate savings accounts – (i) saving travel money (ii) saving debt repayment money. This will help you track your savings. You can figure out how much you have saved for traveling and how much you saved for paying off your debts. This will help you plan your vacation comfortably.
- Make your monthly payments: Have you enrolled in a debt relief program to pay back your creditors? If so, then make sure you have money to make the required monthly payments. If you pay $250 every month, then keep doing that even when you’re traveling. If you can’t pay this money, then don’t have a vacation right now.
Don’t travel if you don’t have a debt repayment plan. Calculate how much you owe on your debts and then formulate a plan to pay off them. Ask yourself how long it will take to pay back your creditors and the amount you need to pay every month. This is your debt payoff plan. Use it wisely.
- Do extensive research: Before traveling, do extensive research on your desired destination. Calculate the average cost of food and accommodation. Know about the fun activities you can do in that place. Ask your friends about the local foods you can eat and the free activities you can do. Just post a message on Facebook. You’ll get lots of suggestions.
Postpone your debt repayments: If it is possible, then postpone your debt repayments without being charged an additional interest. You can transfer your balance to another credit card with 0% interest rate. Some credit cards charge 0% interest rate for 12-18 months. You can transfer the balance to one such card. Just remember you have to pay off the balance within the introductory period. If you can’t, then be ready to pay the higher interest rate.
You can take a job abroad to pay off your debts and travel simultaneously. Obviously, this option is not a suitable one if you’re thinking about making a short trip. You’ll be out of station for several months. Plus, you have to get a job at your destination before leaving home. There are other factors you need to consider too. For instance, you have to think about the relocation expenses and the cost of living. If the cost of living is too high and your expected monthly income is less, you’ll be in trouble. It’ll be difficult for you to live there. So make sure you get a job that will help to cover your monthly expenses and debt repayments. Otherwise, it’ll be a wrong financial move to relocate.
The best option is to think about a few ways to make money when traveling. First, you can ask your employer to arrange a free accommodation for you. This will help you save a lot of money. You can.
This post is contributed by Patricia Sanders from wiki.debtcc.com.