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

Keep your vacation budget under control

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.

Rates last updated April 20th, 2018
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
0% of transaction value
$10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Enjoy 40000
bonus miles after you spend on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum
of transaction value
The Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers multiple perks, including one of the lowest available APRs on the market.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
0% of transaction value
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
0% of transaction value
Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

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