Learn how to keep your vacation budget under control | finder.com
Keep your vacation budget under control

Keep your vacation budget under control

We know that everyone's situation is unique and we aim to help you find the right product for you. We may receive compensation when you visit our partners' sites or are approved for their products. You can read more about how we maintain editorial independence and how we make money here.

It’s easy to overspend on vacation. Here’s a guide on how to keep your budget under control.

It’s not uncommon to wake up at the end of a vacation and discover a massive credit card bill.

Budgeting is only the first step to keeping your debt and spending under control. In order to control overspending, take a look at our guide on how to keep your holiday money under control.

How to manage you vacation expenses

You need to be constantly aware of your financial situation and see that you are actually sticking to the spending limits you set yourself. A few things you can do to ensure that you won’t spend like rockstar are:

  • Set a realistic budget. There is no point setting a budget that you won’t be able to stick to. Set a budget that seems manageable once you take a look at your finances and think about how much you spent last vacation.
  • Leave your card at home. One way to avoid overspending on vacation is by cutting your line of credit and leaving your card at home. Just bring the amount of cash you have budgeted to spend.
  • Remember your numbers. People tend to forget about their financial situation while on vacation and have an “I’ll deal with it later” attitude — this is how debt happens. Organize your budget and check it regularly to see how your credit cards and bank accounts are holding up.
  • Make plans and stick to them. If you are planning a day out with family or friends, organize how much you are going to spend beforehand. Before you leave, check all of your bank accounts online so your financial situation is fresh in your mind — this will help you to not overspend.
  • Consider a credit card with a purchase rate offer. Credit cards with introductory rates are a great option for vacation as they can let you make purchases during a promotional period without accumulating interest. The key thing to remember with these cards is to pay back all of the money you owe before the promotional period ends.
  • Consider a balance transfer. Balance transfers are a great way to start paying off your credit card debt without incurring interest fees. A balance transfer involves moving the debt from one credit card to another one that offers a lower rate

Spending habits to avoid on vacation

When trying not to overspend, there are some things that make sticking to a budget difficult. Here are some things to avoid when trying to save over the holidays.

  • Shopping in a mood. Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry, right? If you know that a mood will make you forget about your budget, do yourself a favor and avoid frivolous spending.
  • Shopping with someone who doesn’t care about your budget. Only you’re aware of your financial situation and budget. Don’t let someone who doesn’t care about your budget be a bad influence on your spending habits.
  • Getting carried away at a sale. Sales can be a great place to save money, but it also poses the threat of overspending. If you’re planning on going to a sale, avoid impulse purchases and stick to your budget.

It’s important to compare your travel money options. Review the table below to make an informed decision.

Updated June 22nd, 2018
Name Product Currency Conversion Fee Annual Fee APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases
None
$495.00
16.49% Variable
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
None
$0.00
14.49%, 18.49% or 24.49% Variable
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases.
None
$195.00
16.49% Variable
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
None
$995.00
16.49% Variable
Earn points every time you spend. Luxury Card enhances your purchasing power by providing you with one (1) point for every one dollar ($1) you spend. Every purchase gets you closer to the rewards you want.
None
$0.00
16.49%, 22.24% or 25.24% Variable
Get 4% points back on dining, 3% on travel, 2% on Uber rides and online shopping and 1% on other purchases, and redeem points for Uber credits, gift cards or cash back.
None
$0.00
16.49% to 24.49% Variable
20,000 online bonus points offer. Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.
None
$0.00 annual fee for the first year ($95.00 thereafter)
14.49%, 20.49% or 24.49% Variable
Earn 50,000 bonus miles once after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
None
$0.00 annual fee for the first year ($95.00 thereafter)
17.49% to 24.49% Variable
Earn 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of your account opening, and an additional 30,000 points when you spend a total of $30,000 on purchases within the first year of your account opening.
None
$95.00
17.49% to 24.49% Variable
Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
None
$450.00
17.49% to 24.49% Variable
Earn 50,000 BONUS POINTS after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening* ? that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
None
$0.00 annual fee for the first year ($550.00 thereafter)
0% Variable
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
None
$0.00 annual fee for the first year ($450.00 thereafter)
17.49% to 24.49% Variable
Enjoy United Club membership, Premier Access® travel services, free checked bags, plus earn miles on every purchase.
None
$0.00 annual fee for the first year ($75.00 thereafter)
16.49% to 24.49% Variable
Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening. There are no blackout dates.
None
$195.00
17.49% to 26.49% Variable
Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.

Compare up to 4 providers

Promoted
Travelex Money Card

Why we like: Travelex Money Card

Load GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, JPY or MXN onto this prepaid travel money card and use it at millions of locations worldwide.

  • Not linked to your bank account for safety.
  • Convert currency with a 5.50% Foreign Exchange Fee
  • Contactless payments
  • Reload, withdraw, or replace your card for free.

    Kyle Morgan

    Kyle Morgan is a writer and editor for finder.com who has worked for the USA Today network and Relix magazine, among other publications. He can be found writing about everything from the latest car loan stats to tips on saving money when traveling overseas. He lives in Asbury Park, where he loves exploring new places and sipping on hoppy beer. Oh, and he doesn't discriminate against buffalo wings — grilled or fried are just fine.

    Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

    Ask an Expert

    You are about to post a question on finder.com:

    • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
    • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
    • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
    • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

    Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
    Go to site