Stretch Your Vacation Dollars

Before filing bankruptcy, taking a vacation is a big no-no.

Vacations are viewed as a luxury, and any money you spend on luxuries cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. That means you will still be responsible to pay back the vacation debt.

However, after you file, you may feel you need a vacation, but money will likely still be tight. Here are some tips for getting more vacation out of a smaller budget.

  1. Make a Budget. Once you have gotten out of debt, you do not want to get right back into it. A vacation that costs more than you can afford will add to your stress, not relieve it. Determine how much money you can spend and stick firmly to that limit.
  2. Stay Close to Home. If you don’t have to buy a plane ticket to get there, then your vacation will be cheaper. The less money you spend on travel, the more of your budget will be left for the other two major vacation expenses—lodging and food.
  3. Travel in the Off-Season. Everything costs less when there are fewer people traveling. You can often find great deals during the off-season that aren’t otherwise available.
  4. Stay Somewhere Different. It is possible to find good deals on hotels, but check your other options as well. Bed and breakfasts often cost less than traditional hotels. You can also rent someone’s house or apartment using Airbnb.com or VRBO.com. For a unique vacation, you can volunteer with WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and receive room and board in exchange for a half day’s farm work. Don’t forget to consider staying with family and friends. You may be able to eliminate the cost of a hotel entirely.
  5. Cook Your Own Dinner. If you’re staying in a place with a kitchen, plan to prepare your dinner yourself. Dinner is the priciest meal at restaurants. Many restaurants offer an identical menu for lunch at a lower cost.
  6. Check for Coupons. Many attractions offer coupons or discounts to people who purchase admissions online. A little pre-planning can save you a lot of money!

With some planning, you can have a very relaxing vacation without spending a lot of money. A quick getaway could be just what you need to rejuvenate and get started on your new debt-free stage of life.


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