Some of the most outdated and outrageous debt myths center around one juicy topic — vacations.
Let’s bust the top 3 money myths about taking a vacation.
Myth #1: Vacations are really expensive
Hands up if you think vacations are too expensive! I don’t know a single person (who’s not in the 1%) who feels like they can just up and vacay whenever their heart desires.
In reality, most of us flip through travel magazines and scroll through Pinterest drooling over gorgeous beaches and amazing locations, fantasizing about our dream destinations for months, or even years. Then we plan out every detail and still worry about going into debt.
We hype them up so much it’s no wonder we think vacations will cost a pretty penny!
If your idea of a vacation is a month-long stay on a private island halfway across the world or taking the extended family of 33 on a VIP royalty tour of Disneyworld in Paris, then yeah, it’s going to be expensive. You need a champagne budget for those kinds of trips.
I’ve found the average family isn’t doing anything quite so extravagant. They’re spending a long weekend camping in a jaw-droppingly beautiful national park or flying to the west coast for a week-long all-inclusive beachside resort stay.
You can take a vacation based on your budget and your priorities. The cost of your vacation budget is however much you want it to be. Choose a destination and activities based on the experience you want to have.
Then, get creative about making it happen! Book during off-peak season, plan a house swap with friends across the country, or use credit card rewards to pay for certain expenses. At the end of the day, by tracking your spending and saving a little bit every week, you can build up a vacation fund that will take you where you want to go!
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Myth #2: You can’t take a vacation without going into debt
I have to admit, this myth does have some legs.
While I’m all for not spending what you don’t have, we all need a break from our crazy, hectic lives and we totally deserve taking a well-needed vacation at least once a year. Unfortunately, the result is 81% of American parents charge an average of $1,019 to credit cards for summer vacations.
And that’s just for summer vacations!
Don’t just take it from statistics. Once upon a time, I thought that I could never take a vacation debt-free, so every vacation I did take went on credit cards… until I ultimately had to file bankruptcy.
The truth is there’s an overlap in statistics. In the US, 90% of states have no financial literacy programs in schools. This lack of access to financial education has resulted in nearly half of Americans struggling to cover a $400 emergency in cash.
In our society, money management is not the kind of topic you stumble upon and learn about; it’s the kind you seek out after you’re in the thick of financial woes. So, while this myth is busted, it’s no wonder we all thought it was gospel!
Positive benefits of taking a vacation debt-free: Not only will it boost your net worth, but it can skyrocket your confidence and empower you to tackle other big goals in your life.
When you successfully attain goals within your budget, you experience a sense of relief, freedom, and accomplishment. And those feelings inspire you to do even more! It’s a positive cycle with amazing benefits.
Myth #3: You can’t take a good/fun vacation debt-free
Given the first two myths, it’s no surprise that there’s a belief floating around out there that it’s not possible to take a vacation that’s both fun and debt-free.
When we conjure up stereotypical mental images of “frugal” or “affordable” vacations we sometimes don’t typically think of fun and fanciful trips. In fact, it’s usually the opposite. But I can say from experience that my inexpensive and debt-free vacations have been some of my most fun and rewarding excursions!
And, by the way, traveling — when done right — can actually be cheaper than staying at home!
With the advancements in technology, travel is more accessible to more people and costs relatively less than ever before. And of course, you can have an amazing staycation without spending a dime on transportation costs, which usually accounts for about 44% of your total vacation budget anyway.
Start by making the planning process fun and stress-free for you. Start a vision board with photos of your dream destination, set aside a few hours on the first Sunday of every month to check one thing off your list, or even turn it into a game to find the best deals possible!
How fun or enjoyable your vacation will be is deeply personal and depends largely on your goals, values, and what you find exciting!
Start planning your debt-free Crazy Fun vacation today!
With love and belief in YOU,