Vacation Planning Tips From the ICFE
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"Vacation Planning Tips From the ICFE"

Advance Planning is Particularly Important

RELEASE: June 2001
CONTACT: Paul S. Richard, ICFE Executive Director  619-239-1401

San Diego, CA.  " If you plan to take a family vacation now is the time to organize your trip. Advance planning is particularly important if you have a tight budget, advises the nonprofit Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), a San Diego based group helping consumers become better spenders, regular savers and wise users of credit.

"This year, because of a slowdown in business travelers, consumers are getting good deals on air travel and hotel accommodations, however, they may not last. Due to an increasing supply, cruise ship vacation packages are also a bargain," Richard added.

Here are some tips from the ICFE for vacation planning:

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Establish a budget. If you are like the typical American household, you will spend around $1,500 on your family trip, reports the Travel Industry Association of America. Because this figure is an average, it means many families spend more and others less. Your budget will influence your travel plans. If you have a big budget, you might consider flying to a five-star hotel at an exotic location.

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Consider prepaying your vacation. Start saving for your vacation now. You shouldn't have to go into debt to have a good time but you may if you don't save ahead. If you do use credit, commit to paying off your bills in the shortest time possible.

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Find out everything you can about your travel destination. Ask friends who have been there and request information from tourism bureaus and consult the Fodor and Frommer guides. Information available on the Internet: http://www.fodors.com; http://www.frommers.com; http://www.lonelyplanet.comhttp://www.roughguides.com, http://www.vacation-hotline.com and http://www.fairair.com (the latter being a site for resale of airline tickets).

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Stick to the itinerary. A lot of money may be spent if you start wandering. Decide what you want to see, where you want to eat and what you want to spend on miscellaneous items.  Look for the all-inclusive packages that can save money on meals, beverages, especially for children.  With children, an "eco" vacation will give them something to do and retain for school.

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Ask for the bargains. Many people don't like haggling over prices and consequently spend more than they need to. Travel agents, in addition to the Internet are a great resource. Travel agents are often able to get better

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deals than on the Internet.  The Internet is a great planning tool, and t Web sites like http://www.priceline.com, you can name your price and the participating airlines and hotels can either take it or leave it, and you often may get to specify which part of town you want to stay. This is where homework pays off because staying in a not-so-great part of town is no deal. The Internet booking sites include: http://www.previewtravel.com; http://www.travelocity.com; http://www.expedia.com; http://www.1travel.com; http://www.thetrip.com; and http://www.biztravel.com.

The ICFE's Web site at http://www.financial-education-icfe.org has many helpful spending tips and worksheets for setting up a one-page spending plan and more. 

To receive the same information by mail, please send $1 and a self-addressed, 55 cent stamped envelope to: 
ICFE Spending-Plans
PO Box 34070
San Diego, CA 92163

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton - creator of the "certified financial planner” (CFP) designation - is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. The years between 1984 and 2000, the ICFE was also known as the National Center for Financial Education (NCFE).

The ICFE is a nonprofit consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. Over one million "Credit / Debit Card Warning Labels” and "Credit / Debit Card Sleeves” are in circulation world wide.

The ICFE's on-line help for consumers who spend too much was featured in PARADE Magazine (June 9th, 2002) in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the "Money Instruction Book," a course in personal finance, which was completely revised and updated in 2002 and is positioned to become among the premier programs in the new bankruptcy and debtor education initiatives.

The ICFE's "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide," now in its Twelfth Printing, is in use by thousands of consumer credit and debt counselors in addition to tens of thousands of consumers. It received a "buy” rating in July, August and November from nationally syndicated financial columnist, Humberto Cruz in his column, "The Savings Game". BottomLine Personal newsletter gave the Guide a "Send For” rating in September 2001. The ICFE and our do-it-yourself approach to credit file correction was featured on NBC Nightly News on 04-30-02. The Spanish edition of the Guide premiered in January 2002. Syndicated columnist, Robert Heady also gave the ICFE Guide a "buy” rating.

The ICFE Web site at: www.financial-education-icfe.org helps consumers with mending spending, learn about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also access financial education courses and videos and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include a free eNews, and an on-line resource center of financial education learning tools, including videos, books and personal finance courses.

Consumers may learn more on the Internet about the "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide" here, or fill out our request form, indicating your areas of interest.

For more information contact Paul S. Richard ICFE Executive Director at 619-239-1401.

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