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

Keep your vacation budget under control

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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 October 21st, 2018
Name Product Currency Conversion Fee Annual Fee APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases
$550
None (Charge Card)
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. Rates & Fees
$250
See Rates & Fees
25,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months Rates & Fees
None
$0
13.99% variable
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
None
$95
17.74% to 26.74% variable
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Rates & Fees
$0
17.74% to 26.74% variable
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Rates & Fees
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.74% to 26.74% variable
30,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.74% to 26.74% variable
Enjoy a $0 annual fee on the first year and earn up to 2 Starpoints® for every dollar of eligible purchases. Rates & Fees
None
$195
16.99% variable
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
None
$495
16.99% 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
$995
16.99% 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
16.99% to 24.99% variable
An intro offer rewards cardholders with a $250 value (25,000 online bonus points) after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening
None
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.74% to 24.74% variable
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
None
$450
17.74% to 24.74% 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®.

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    Kyle Morgan

    Kyle Morgan is a producer 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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