Summer is fast approaching, which means it is almost time for a trip to the beach, a vacation exploring a new part of the world, and endless weekends spent eating ice cream and venturing outdoors. As this warm and vibrant time of year gets closer, it becomes increasingly important to plan a way to avoid debt so you can enjoy the warm days without an indebted haze. By following some of our favorite guidelines for avoiding debt this year as effectively as possible, you can make sure you are able to make the most out of summer vacation.

Set a Budget to Save Up

By planning a summer budget ahead of time, you can actively avoid going into massive vacation debt for a few days of fun. Starting in the winter, or even the previous summer, think about what your ultimate warm-weather vacation or activities would look like. If you are looking to take a trip to a beautiful beach destination for a week or two, make sure you figure out how much flights, hotels, food, local transportation, and other trip amenities will cost. If you would rather stay around home and spend a few weekends at a local festival, water park, or other outing, make sure to track what those costs will be as well.

Once you know what to expect financially, you can begin saving up and planning sooner rather than later. Consider setting a little money aside every month — after the essentials of course — so that you are not blindsided by the costs in June. If you need to purchase a flight, for example, it is okay to charge it, as long as you know the pros and cons of credit cards and are prepared to pay it off. Simply plan to budget a payment on your card for two to three months and include the interest fees.

Consider Getting Some Extra Income

With summer generally being the main time of the year that people take the time to go on vacation, it also means that you will likely end up spending much more money throughout the summer. To avoid going into debt, it may be a good idea to pursue some additional income from fall to spring. You could try freelancing, going through your home and selling items you no longer need, taking up a part time job, babysitting, walking dogs, or even selling items you create, such as baked goods or crafts. These additional tasks do not have to happen all year long, just long enough so that you can have a couple thousand dollars extra in your savings.

By adding more to your income, you are essentially developing a safety net for when your expenses kick into high gear. Summer is the perfect time for some rest and relaxation and to spend some time rejuvenating from the past 9 months of long hours and hard work. There is no need to spend that entire time fussing over going into debt or how much money you have available.

Plan a Vacation with the Money, not the Credit, You Have

A common mistake people make with upcoming vacations is choosing to splurge on an expensive excursion without any financial planning. While doing so might seem like an exciting purchase at the time, the truth is that it could put you into mounds of vacation debt that will be exponentially difficult to pay off as time goes on. You should never fully fund a vacation with money that you do not have available. While it would be okay to make one or two smaller purchases that you can pay off within a month or two, spending thousands of dollars at once will likely leave you in a terrible financial position, regardless of the credit you have available.

By sticking to the money you have already saved and limiting what you put on your credit card, you will be making sure that you can remain worry-free during the summer. Doing so will also make sure that you do not start off the fall season with racked up debt and that you are ready for everything else that the year will hold.

Scout Out Deals

A great way to avoid debt is by scouting the deals that will allow you to do everything you want without breaking your bank account. There are hundreds of ways to find vacation and activity deals for the summer that will allow you to go out, have fun, and still maintain a healthy checking account. Always keep an eye out for inclusive trips that offer a lower price for airfare, hotels, and food. You can also call different locations, hotels, and airlines to see what offers they have available. If you purchase tickets and make reservations in person or over the phone, you may even be eligible for lower prices that you would not get just from going online.

Looking out for the best deals will also allow you to plan ahead and work the costs into your budget. Many deals allow you to make payments over time so they are easier to manage financially. Many of the summer music festivals and cruises, for example, will let you split up the total cost over four to six months, depending on how long you book the event before the date it occurs.

Enjoy a Stress-Free Summer

With a little planning, you can have an affordable and enjoyable summer vacation with your family and friends. There is no need to spend the summer stuck indoors fretting over your finances. If you’re already struggling with debt, contact us at Liberty Debt Relief to find out how you may be able to amend your current situation and begin planning the ultimate summer getaway today.