Washington D.C. – Memories of relaxation and stress-free days has many families thinking about their summer vacation plans. Financial Counseling Association of America, formerly known as AICCCA, urges consumers to avoid problem vacation debt that counselors say they see every fall. In order to do so, consumers need a plan to keep from adding to their debt loads.
“For those consumers that overspent on last year’s vacation, stop and ask yourselves, ‘Do I want to repeat the same pattern this year?’” said Kevin Weeks, president, FCAA. “A little planning and compromise will allow you to have a great vacation and return home knowing you have avoided additional debt.”
FCAA says to ask yourself three questions to begin:
- How much have we saved? Determining your budget is the key to avoiding vacation debt. Calculate what you will have saved before your scheduled vacation and then plan your trip and activities based on that total amount.
- Do our expectations match our budget? While a Hawaiian beach vacation may sound great, if your budget won’t allow it you may have to consider a beach closer to home. By compromising on location, you may be able to upgrade your lodging or add an excursion to the trip. The main thing is keep your expenses within the funds you have allocated for your vacation.
- Can we stay home and still have fun? Should you find that your budget simply won’t allow traveling for vacation, you can still enjoy time off from your normal daily routine. Become a tourist in your own city or town and take advantage of the cultural and fun venues that are in your own backyard.
If you need help planning for your vacation, FCAA counselors are available nationwide with free budgeting advice. Visit FCAA.org to find a member office.