Taking a gap year, or a year between high school and college for non-academic pursuits, has been a European custom for centuries. Maybe it’s time more American students and their parents realize the benefits of unstructured learning.
There are many more ways to travel on a budget. Because taking vacations are essential for your mental well-being, I want to help you figure out how to do it without getting yourself into debt. And being in debt, I know from experience, is certainly not good for your mental well-being.
While planning your next vacation, it pays to think well in advance about what you want to eat. We’re not talking about choosing now between pasta and lobster on Friday night. The more pressing decision for budget-minded travelers is whether you want to plan and pay for meals as you go, or trust a resort or cruise line to feed you via a dining plan.
There’s no better sign of a renewed confidence in the economy than a rise in travel spending. Many put their vacation plans on hold during the economic downturn and some airlines that fly to tourist destinations were permanently grounded. But lower prices for everything from flights to hotel rooms and rental cars have encouraged Americans to start spending again. The dramatic increase in the number of purchases has driven overall spending upwards as travel deal sites have become some of the web’s most popular destinations.
Traveling involves a lot of trade-offs. Money is always a big issue after the decision is made to fly somewhere exotic or historical; can you afford to see all the sights and live comfortably? It’s never easy to balance what you want to do and what your disposable income allows for. In order to stretch your money the furthest, you need to look for deals from the get-go. All it takes is a little research and creativity, and with the savings, you will be better equipped to experience your destination to the fullest.
Create a personal budget for your upcoming vacation that will help you have a great time without sabotaging your other financial goals. By budgeting your money ahead of time, you’ll find it easier to keep your expenses in check while you’re on your trip and come home with great memories instead of maxed out credit cards.