budget living

Should You Go on Vacation When You’re Still in Debt?

A vacation can sound very tempting, especially when you have been working long hours to chisel down that debt that is weighing on your shoulders. You just need a break, and no one wants their vacation days to go to waste, after all.

However, should you really go on vacation when you are still in debt? Vacations are for splurging and travel tends to get expensive. Although we agree that a break may be needed, and very good for your mental health, we think a big vacation is not a good financial decision for those who are sinking in debt.

Whatever spare money you think you could scrap up for vacation is just money that you could be contributing to paying off your debt sooner. Remember, interest is a real thing! The sooner you are debt-free, the less you pay in the long run. Don’t ruin all of your hard work at being free from debt just to splurge on the Bahamas.

Now… about that mental health break. We know that too much work can be stressful and unhealthy. Everyone deserves some fresh air, and time with friends and family is very important. Well, we have one word for you: StayCation! Vacation from home! This is the perfect fix. You still get a break, but you save so much money by sleeping in your own bed and eating your own food.

Here are some ideas of ways to “staycation” without spending so much money:

  1. Camp out in the backyard. How long has it been since you gazed up at the stars? Break out the s’mores ingredients and get to roasting.
  2. Have a movie marathon. Gather up your family’s favorite classics or some new films you’ve been dying to see. Make sure you have plenty of popcorn and candy on hand. No one leaves the couch all day long!
  3. After all that lounging, go for a hike. Nature is one of the healthiest breaks you can give your mind. For any hiking novices, find an easier trail and give it a shot. AllTrails is an app that you can download on your phone. It will show you the closest hikes to your location, as well as their difficulty levels.
  4. If it’s warm outside, go swimming at a local pool, beach, river or pond. Nothing beats lounging on the sand on a warm day.
  5. If it’s cold, go ice skating or skiing. If you happen to have snow, don’t pass up an opportunity for Snow Olympics with the family. Be sure to include the Best Snowman Contest, Prettiest Snow Angel, and the biggest snow ball fight to ever exist.
  6. Enjoy time alone. Read some long novels and take a few bubble baths. Sometimes being quiet and still is all the break you need.
  7. Sleep in! No 6am wake ups when you are on staycation. Rest at last!
  8. Play a game of basketball with your friends or go roller blading. If you are really feeling social, take a group bowling or putt-putting. Being active with friends will make us quickly feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

Do whatever you want. No, seriously. Turn your staycation into a time to relax, have fun and to do whatever you feel like doing each day. You do deserve a break, but there is a responsible way to enjoy breaks while still in debt. By being conservative, you will bypass the post-vacation guilt completely. Enjoy your StayCation and happy resting!

Enjoy Blonde & Balanced?

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About the author

Emilie Burke

Emilie is a politics-major turned data engineer. She graduated from Princeton University in 2015 and from Smartly with her MBA in 2016. She lives in North Carolina with her college sweetheart Casey who is currently stationed at Fort Bragg. She enjoys eating food, cuddling with her dog, and binge watching HGTV. She blogs at Burke Does. You can find her around the web at @emilielimaburke.

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