When you’re struggling to make ends meet and working to pay off debt, you may be inclined to skip the summer vacation. It just doesn’t seem sensible to take a trip when you’re trying to be diligent about saving.
But taking a vacation isn’t impossible, even for the most debt-ridden among us. In fact, getting away may just be the thing you need. Here are some reasons why a vacation shouldn’t be out of the question, even if you’re working to pay off debt.
You can keep it short and close to home
A vacation doesn’t have to involve a three-week European tour. While that’s something you’d love to do one day, it may not be in the cards right now. And that’s OK. A short trip of just a few days can often have the same positive impact on your spirit and mood. Consider a three-day drive down the coast, or a long weekend at a beach house. Maybe even just a few days backpacking will do the trick. I have found that trips of four or five days can be just long enough to disconnect and recharge, but short enough to keep costs at a minimum. (See also: Yes, Affordable Family Travel Is Possible)
You can rough it
A pup tent and a bedroll is far cheaper than a five-star hotel. Camping’s not for everyone, but if you love the outdoors, you can enjoy a wonderful vacation and truly get away. There are many National Parks that offer a low or even no entry fee, with sightseeing that is second to none. And if you have kids, it gets them off the electronics. Take a hike in the Smoky Mountains. Go canoeing on the Buffalo National River. These can be enormously fun and relaxing trips that will hardly cost you a dime. (See also: Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks)
You can share the cost with friends and relatives
No one likes a moocher, but you can save some serious coin by teaming up with friends and relatives. Hotels rates are based on double occupancy, so fill that room! Or consider renting out a house…
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