Vacations are one of my favorite times of the year and I know I’m not the only person that feels that way. If you’re lucky enough to get paid time off from work you even get a paycheck while you’re relaxing on a beach or riding the roller coasters (read our Disney World trip cost report) in your favorite theme park. The sad part is we all know that vacations aren’t free unless you win a contest or pay for your vacation with credit card sign up bonuses.
Vacations Aren’t Cheap!
In fact, vacations can be extremely expensive if you’re not careful. Many people easily overspend on vacations to make their families happy or because the particular vacation you are on is a once in a lifetime trip. It is easy to relax your wallet at the same time that you’re trying to escape your daily life. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen to others many times in the few vacations I’ve been on so far in my working life.
On our last cruise (read the 7 day cruise cost report here) we saw plenty of evidence of people overspending on vacation all within about 5 minutes of each other. We were waiting in the guest services line to ask a question and overheard two people arguing with guest services about their bills.
The Crazy Bar Tab Denial
The first was a group of three girls in expensive clothes arguing about their bar tab. They were certain there was no way they charged $700 of drinks in just 4 days. The funny part was it wasn’t $700 between the three of them, it was around $700 each! Insane! If I had to guess, they probably did charge the drinks and were just trying to get out of it once they saw the bill.
Maxed Out Credit Card Denial
The second example of overspending on vacation was a lady who was asking why she couldn’t charge any more money on her onboard cruise ship account. The guest services clerk had to explain that she had maxed out her credit card at her limit of $7,000 and they could put cash on the card or give a different credit card to make more charges. She argued with the guest service clerk for a while, but eventually left without giving another card or cash for future purchases.
Take On Debt To Go On Vacation? No Thanks!
Personally, I don’t think anyone should take on debt to go on vacation. While I will charge my purchases on a credit card when I’m on vacation, I always ensure I have enough cash to pay my credit card bill in full as soon as I get home. Plus I get rewards for money I would have spent anyway so it is a win-win for me.
So how do you determine how much to spend on vacations? It all depends on your values and how much value you place on getting away versus living your everyday life. Personally, we put aside a set amount of money every paycheck for any vacation we’d want to take. Once we have enough money in the account we get to go on the vacation, assuming we can get the time off from work together.
I Want To Know! How Much Do You Spend On Vacation?
I am extremely curious when it comes to average vacation spending so I thought who better to ask than you! How much do you spend on vacation? How much do you spend in dollars or a percentage of your income. What does a typical vacation include for you? Do you use a particular method to save for your vacations such as saving up credit card rewards?