Congrats on making it to Memorial Day weekend 2021! If you’ve earned some time off this summer, you can plan a vacation that’s within your budget and headache-free. We have some helpful tips that you’ll find especially useful during this transition back to life as we once knew it.
So, before you pack your bags, here’s your mini guide to a successful summer vacation.
Think twice about renting a car
Industry-wide shortages have seen a drastic spike in the cost of renting a car, which may affect your destination choice. Regardless of prices, a lot of air travelers are finding that they can’t reserve cars at all at their final destinations. Tip: Look into alternative—and frequently cheaper—methods of transportation, like shuttles or ride sharing services, or travel to places with good public transportation, like buses and trains.
More places are requiring reservations due to staff shortages and space limitations. Restaurants, museums, and theme parks that might have offered more casual entry in the past may now require advance planning. Tip: Before you finalize your destination travel plans, make sure you can actually get into the places you want to go!
Though the airline industry has begun ramping up its route options as the economy reopens, flight options are still limited compared to pre-pandemic, which means higher prices and potentially longer and more expensive delays if you have to reschedule. Tip: This might not be the best time for flying to out-of-the-way places with few flight options. Also, check with airlines to see what health information, testing, or other documents related to COVID are required to travel.
Create a travel budget
Determine up front how much money you have to spend on your vacation, and how you’re going to spend it. Your Brightside Financial Assistant can help you do this with an eye toward your overall financial plan.
Prioritize your spending
Research shows that people are happier spending on experiences than objects, so you may end up with a more satisfying vacation if you focus your spending on places and events, rather than souvenirs and shopping.
Pay before you go
As much as possible, try to pay off your travel expenses either before you go or as soon as the bills arrive. This will help you avoid added fees and interest. It will also free your mind up to focus on the fun you’re having instead of worrying about paying for it all once you’re back home. Everyone deserves a vacation, and that’s true now more than ever. By planning ahead, you can help make sure your vacation is exactly the escape you need.
Brightside Client Story
Esther came to Brightside to help eliminate her debt so she could plan ahead and save up for vacations. She was working to pay down her debt but needed a more structured payoff plan. She had six credit cards and one consolidation loan totaling over $21,000. She said emotional spending had led to her credit card debt, which was causing tension in her marriage. She wanted to take the weight of debt off her shoulders and eventually be able to pay for her vacations in cash. Esther reached out to her Brightside Financial Assistant (FA) for help.
How Brightside Helped
- Esther and her FA worked together to create a budget that added $200 per month in cash flow. They allocated some of that extra savings to debt payments and the rest to savings.
- Esther’s FA helped her settle on a snowball debt-payment method, which paying off smallest credit card balances first. Following this guidance, Esther paid off $13,000 of her debt in just six months! And her credit score rose from 630 to 685.
- Thanks to her new emergency savings, Esther didn’t need to user credit cards for the $800 flight home when her father died unexpectedly.
- Esther’s FA also referred her to EAP for help addressing her marital issues and emotional spending.
Brightside members save $1,200 per year on average. Really! Talk to your Financial Assistant today to see what Brightside can do for you.
Just call 855-940-1507 to get started.