Being at work of the time is not enjoyable and can really cause motivation to decline which leads many of us to take vacations. Unfortunately, only a small portion creates an actual vacation budget and an even smaller amount actually follow it? Though vacations are meant to relieve stress, they may end raising stress levels due to money.
First off, The USA is the only developed country in which employers do not legally have to offer paid vacation time and paid holiday. Other countries like Austria for example offer 25 paid vacation days and 13 paid holidays. As you can see on this graph from a report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research many others also have the legal right to paid vacation which definitely helps vacationers stay within budget and it helps them not go deeper into debt.
The bigger issue is that not that many people actually create a budget, and not all that do create on actually stick to it.
According to a survey performed by Experian in 2015, only 55% created a strict budget and actually stuck to it, and even then, they still ran into unexpected costs.
Some of these budgets involve the use of credit cards which can lead to deeper debts, not to mention those who did not budget. According to this survey, credit cards are used more often than any other type of currency, including debit. They are used for lodging, transportation, food, and entertainment.
I can understand why it would be used. It is easier and quicker. It is also extra money that you didn’t have that you can always pay back. But do you really want to come back from what was supposed to be a fun and relaxing vacation to debt and higher payments?
Don’t get caught off guard with these fees
We usually tend to think about the bigger picture, the main purchases when we go on vacation. Remembering that things like fees exist can be annoying and bring down the excitement of going out and having a good time. But these little fees can add up dramatically therefore it is a good idea to keep them in the back of your mind.
- Booking: some airlines charge if you book over the phone
- Baggage fees: Check all the destinations/airports/airplanes to avoid fees that others normally don’t charge for
- Hotel: Check everything thoroughly to make sure that you don’t get charged for something like parking or towels
- Car rental fees: These can get out of hand, I rented a car once and was charged $200 extra because I went over the daily mileage allowed and the speed (they used the gps)
- Card usage: many places charge more than you may be used to in order to use your credit card or debit card. From what I read, the credit card is usually more.
The last but most certainly not least, identity theft
I personally haven’t had my identity stolen, but I have heard horrible stories and I have read all the money that may be involved in fixing that. According to the study by Experian, about 53% of those who had their identity stolen still haven’t resolved those issues. This can cost thousands to fix, and if someone does something awful with your identity, it could possibly ruin your life.
Vacations are amazing and should be taken often, but there’s no point in going on one if you end up in deep debt that just causes more stress. Things like not setting aside enough money, relying on credit cards or loans, fees, and identity theft can all turn an enjoyable experience into a bad one.
About 49% of vacationers end up in higher debt due to these issue. About 46% was because they did not set us aside enough money. Approximately 37% of the people who did plan to go on a vacation had to cancel because they did not have enough money set-aside.
Try to make a vacation budget and include a comfortable amount of money for miscellaneous items like those that you do not expect. This does not mean that you should spend that money if you don’t have to of course. It would be nice to come back home to a nice stash of cash that you did not spend.
Have you busted your vacation budget? Did you make a budget and everything went awesome? Leave a comment below! Thank you very much for reading this and have a very lovely day!