budget living travel

Can I Travel While In Debt?

If you’re reading this article, then you’re likely familiar with asking yourself the question, “can I travel while in debt?” Most people have some kind of debt. Most people like to travel. Therefore, it’s a common question. The short answer is yes. You’re an adult and you can do whatever you want. However, you have to think carefully about the consequences of that decision. The real question is, “can I travel while in debt and still meet my financial goals?”

What Kind of Debt Do You Have?

If you’re asking yourself “can I travel while in debt?” then first you should ask yourself what kind of debt you have. Most people who only have mortgage debt are comfortable with traveling. After all, it could take well over a decade to pay off your mortgage. You probably don’t want to wait until it’s all paid off before you take your next vacation.

If you have student loan debt, then you might be on the fence. This one really depends upon your plan for paying off your student loans. If you want to pay them as quickly as possible then perhaps you should delay travel until you’ve checked off that financial box. On the other hand, if you’re comfortable with your repayment plan and it leaves you with enough money leftover to travel, then there’s no reason that you can’t.

If you have credit card debt, then you might want to hold off on travel. Of course, there are caveats. If it’s a manageable amount of debt, then perhaps you’re not too concerned. If it’s debt that’s at a 0% interest rate for the next twelve months and you know that you can repay it before that window is up then you might want to go ahead and travel. Like I said, the question isn’t really as simple as “can I travel while in debt?” Instead, you have to consider the debt that you have and how travel will impact repaying that debt.

How Important is Travel To You?

It’s also important to get really honest with yourself about what role travel plays in your life. How important is it to you? Some people feel like the value they get in life experience is worth some added cost, even if it means that they travel while in debt. On the other hand, some people just feel regret if they travel when they have other debt. What does travel mean to you? What are you willing to sacrifice for it? How will you feel if you opt not to travel? These are important considerations as you ask yourself if you want to travel while you’re in debt.

You may decide that you don’t want to travel generally but that you’ll make some exceptions. For example, you’ll travel to your best friend’s destination wedding. You’ll travel to your ten year reunion. Or you’ll take a trip that you and your partner have been planning for years. If the trip is important enough, and you can make the finances work, then you might decide to travel even if you’re generally cutting back on vacations.

Tips for Travel While in Debt

If you decide that the answer to the question, “Can I travel while in debt?” is a resounding yes, then here are some good tips to keep in mind:

  • Create a financial plan with a budget that includes travel. If the money doesn’t work on paper then it doesn’t work.
  • Don’t take on more debt in order to travel.
  • Don’t fail to repay your debt in order to travel. At the very least, make sure that you make your minimum payments.
  • Prioritize your travel so that you take the most important trips first. That way, if you realize that it’s not working for you to travel while in debt, you won’t be as disappointed.
  • Travel cheaply. There are so many options for reducing travel costs. Implement as many as you can.

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About the author

Kathryn Vercillo

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