With summer just a few months away, you might have ideas of your dream vacation running around in your head. Of course, you can’t take that coveted vacation without a plan and a budget for your finances. Adjustments need to be made with your spending habits so that you can purchase the basic essentials such as airfare, hotel rooms and ground transportation. Without the proper planning and budgeting, you may set yourself up for a financial disaster by overspending on your travel.
Look for flight savings
Summer is peak travel time, so flight costs will be higher. Although, they tend to be much higher on days surrounding holidays. If you don’t mind, traveling on a holiday such as July 4th, can save you some money. You may even save up to 50 percent of the cost to fly the day before or the day after. In addition, you can set up a flight alert on Kayak.com to get notified when prices drop along your favorite routes. This way you can purchase a deal before it sells out. Also, choose an airline that doesn’t charge too many fees for baggage and seats. That low-cost carrier might not be a deal if you have to pay for baggage, a seat change, food and more. That is why it is critical to read all the details of any package offers and to check the airline’s website for information on extra fees.
Get extra spending money
One way to have money for anything is to sell your structured payments. You can sell your future payments in order to get a lump sum now. This can come in handy after paying for your vacation package, while living paycheck to paycheck.
Major destinations such as Los Angeles or New York City can be quite expensive during the summer. So, instead of booking a fancy hotel, consider staying at a business hotel. These have comparable rooms and amenities while offering reasonable rates. Many of their business customers are also on vacation, so you might find lower rates.
When you use online saving sites, you can also find last minute deals on flights and hotel packages. If you have a lump sum available from selling your structured settlement payments, you’ll have the money on hand to make a cost-saving purchase when you need it. Try visiting areas off the beaten path. They tend to be more fun because you feel like an explorer. It will be a new experience you can share, and it will be less crowded with more budget-friendly activities.
Many people consider a payday loan before a major excursion. These work by using your next paycheck as collateral for a cash advance. You write a check dated for your payday, and you give it to the lender. You then receive the loaned amount minus the service fee. In addition, you have to pay the loan back plus interest. The average interest on a $100 loan is around $25 every two weeks. This is an astounding annual rate of 652 percent.
If you can’t pay back on time, you have the choice to “roll over” or extend the loan for another fee. Only 15 percent of borrowers repay their payday loans on time. Most borrowers extend the loan for five months. If you have a financial emergency, short term loans can help. Although, if you don’t pay the loan back quickly, you can get into an even worse debt cycle. Then, there is payday loan fraud. Many complaints against Payday loan lenders include:
- Financial information sold to a third party without permission.
- Unauthorized withdrawals resulting in bank overdraft fees.
- Having to close a bank account to stop unauthorized withdrawals.
If you need cash fast, a lump sump for structured settlement payments is still your best option.
Packing and scheduling
Getting ready for your vacation can be a fast and furious time. You need to make sure all your bills at home are paid so you don’t come back to your electricity cut off or an eviction notice. Moreover, you want to make sure you have some food to eat when you return. You have to take care of all of your work responsibilities before you leave so your boss doesn’t get mad. If you have a pet, you need to either buy them a plane ticket or set them up with someone to take care of them while you’re away–a pet sitter, pet hotel or family member.
You’ll need enough of the right type of attire without overpacking, because you’ll want to have some room for vacation purchases. You’ll want all your necessary electronic devices and chargers. Furthermore, have your money ready. In addition, let close relatives or friends know of your vacation plans in case of an emergency. Understand your destination by studying it on a map. Make sure you have everything packed by the night before and have transportation to and from the airport. Not to mention, you need to follow TSA guidelines. Last but not least, get to the airport several hours before to give you time to get checked in and go through security without risking missing your flight.
Vacations are a lot more fun when you’re prepared and financially ready. Make memories that last a lifetime with the guidelines above.