If you want to relax and enjoy your vacation without worrying about your credit card debt when you return home then leave your credit card behind. Credit makes if far too easy to buy something impulsively when you are away on vacation, and has been the cause of many a tacky souvenir being brought home when it would have been better left behind. All good intentions of vacationing on a reasonable budget can be blown away when your plastic is vacationing with you, so give it a well earned rest whilst you are away on your travels.
If you are booking a holiday it makes sense to pop it onto the plastic for the safety of the inbuilt insurance protection, but this amount can be paid off before you depart. If you are heading abroad and prefer the idea of a card, rather than carrying cash, opt for a pre paid debit card which you can pre load with your holiday spending money. As you will only be withdrawing your own cash on it you won’t be charged any interest on the transaction as you would with a credit card. They make a convenient option for getting cash when out of the country.
Debit cards and cash are much better options than credit when it comes to controlling your vacation spending. An excellent cash tip is to divide the money you have allocated into the days of your vacation and have a set daily budget. That way you know that if you splurge on that must have lobster by the seafront for lunch you’ll be eating bread and water for dinner. Alternatively you can plan at the beginning of your vacation for how much you will allocate to trips out and treats, and save the rest for eating out or other necessities.
Away from the cities many countries don’t use credit very much so you will be much more appreciated if you use cash. Cash also gives you the luxury of bartering which is a fun tradition in many countries but doesn’t sit hand in hand with credit card use. Often using cash will get you a discount if you aren’t in a major store.
If you are travelling abroad it makes sense to check in advance if you will get a better exchange rate at home or abroad. Sometimes you may get a better rate in your destination than at home but don’t forget to factor the commission charge in. You could be really savvy of course and plan in advance and pay for your currency whenever the exchange rate is in your favour, particularly if your destination currency will be in euros or the pound. Currency fluctuations can make a huge difference so if you are organized it pays to keep an eye out and change your money in advance of your vacation if the rate moves in your favour.
The best thing about vacationing without credit is returning home to know you don’t regret impulse purchases which you could end up paying for over the next year, with added interest. Instead of paying off your vacation spending when you return you can start saving up for the next one.