ICFE eNEWS #13-08 - May 29th 2013
Tips To Make Your Vacation More Affordable By Jim Garnett, a/k/a
Ask Mr.G, a member of the ICFE's Board of Educational Advisors.
Family vacations can be great opportunities for making memories.
I still remember vivid scenes from childhood vacations traveling
in our 1960 Nash Rambler. We often traveled to see relatives, but
once in a while headed to a someplace like the Grand Canyon, the
Black Hills, or the Ozarks.
Our family was not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination.
In fact, I discovered later on in life, that we were actually quite
poor. Interestingly enough, not one of those vacation memories I
hold dear has anything to do with an activity that cost money.
Therefore, even when finances are lean, a little forethought
and planning can create a great family vacation filled with one
memory after another.
Here are a few tips that will help you save money on your next
- Stay in one place. The cost of gasoline
can be cut a lot if you travel to one area and stay there. This
presupposes that there is something to see and do in that location.
- Rent multiple nights at a time. Staying
in one area also enables you to rent by the week instead of
one night at a time. Discounts always await those who stay more
than just a night. This also eliminates having to pack up everything
and move the family every day.
- Shop Internet prices. There are bargains
to be found for those who will spend a few minutes on Priceline
or web surf to see if any destination hotels are running specials.
- Try Camping. It costs around $12-$25 to
spend a night at these campgrounds, which is much less than
the cost of a motel room these days. Parks are typically run
by park rangers, who also provide security at the campgrounds.
Each campsite will likely have a fire-pit, charcoal grill, and
a picnic table. There will be an area to set up your tent or
camper, and a place to pull your car off the road. These parks
usually have buildings that enclose bathrooms and showers. You'll
also find drinking water available, placesto do your dishes,
and trash containers.
- Vacation in the non-peak season. If you
vacation in the off-season, the crowds will be smaller, the
lines will be shorter, the beaches will be emptier, and prices
will be lower. Campgrounds can be great placesto stay when
everyone else is gone!
- Stay at relatives. I am sure that this
can be a blessing or a curse, but if both families have kids,
a few days with kinfolk can be pretty neat. Plus, one of the
greatest vacation expenses, lodging is eliminated.
- Look for destinations where the fun is free.
A trip to the Tetons, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, a State
Park, or the beach offers days of exciting things to do at little
- Check out local guidebooks. Most of these
contain discount coupons for local attractions.
- Eat out only once a day. A place with a
built in kitchen can let you choose which meals to eat out.
A hotel with a complimentary breakfast can take care of breakfast.
A cooler with soft drinks, fruit, chips, and sandwiches will
satisfy most families for lunch. This approach can enable your
family you to save hundreds of dollars a week or enjoy eating
the evening meal at a more expensive restaurant.
- Bring home free souvenirs. Most expensive
gift shop souvenirs will hold no better memories than a vase
of sea shells, a piece of driftwood, or best of all - a family
picture on location!
All of these tips can save you money or at least allow you to
spend your vacation money on your vacation priorities. But the last
tip may well be the biggest saver!
- Pay yourself in advance. The average vacation
costs the American family around $1600 and many charge this
cost on credit cards. To pay off a $1600 vacation in minimum
payments, will take 14 years and 9 months, and will actual cost
you a whopping $3399 for your $1600 vacation!
How much better to plan ahead for vacation. That $1600 vacation
would require an auto deduct of only $135 per month from your paycheck
to a vacation account. If you only have 6 months to prepare, $270
needs to be set aside. The point is simple - when vacation is over,
you want its memories to remain for years, not its payments! Paying
for your vacation in advance will allow you to take two vacations
for what the cost of charging one on credit cards would be!
To be sure, family vacations can be a great time for making memories.
I hope these tips can help you focus even more on having fun
because you have your vacation finances under control.
©Jim Garnett. The information
on this site should be understood to be a general discussion of
the subject matter and DOES NOT constitute a legal opinion about
the situation. For further information please consult a qualified
© Jim Garnett, The Debt Doctor
AskMrG Consulting, LLC
2216 SW 35th Street
Ankeny, IA 50023
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Paul S. Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer
Financial Education (ICFE)
About the ICFE:
The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation). The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely.
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.
The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org). CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed. In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.
The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much. ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.
Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org. Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G, a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.