Tips for enjoying budget-friendly vacation | Business

If you’re dreaming of a summer getaway, you’re not alone. However, higher prices are leading many to rethink their vacation plans.

According to a recent survey by Bankrate.com, 69% of adults who say they will take a vacation this summer anticipate changing their travel plans as prices have skyrocketed to record levels.

It’s always important to evaluate your financing options to keep your summer fun affordable, but this year shopping around for the best loan option may be even more important.

Here are a few tips to help free up cash or finance a fun, yet affordable, vacation:

1. If you’re a homeowner, consider putting your equity to work. Using a home equity loan or home equity line of credit, commonly called HELOC, may be the most affordable financing option for major purchases like a dream vacation or large home renovations like a new pool or recreation room. It can also be a great way to consolidate multiple, higher-rate debts to free up cash each month by lowering your overall monthly payments.

2. Consider options closer to home. From enjoying your own backyard with a staycation to opting for a lower cost getaway at one of Kentucky’s 31 beautiful state park campgrounds or other can’t miss campsites, relaxing and recharging doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you do need extra cash for smaller purchases, a low interest rate personal loan may be the right option for you as it offers fixed payments for a set term.

3. Look for rewards programs that fit your lifestyle. Credit cards can be a convenient and rewarding way to pay for vacation expenses or daily necessities, just be sure to look at your interest rate and any cash advance or other fees very closely. With prices up, now is also a great time to look at reward programs that offer automatic cash back on gasoline and other essentials.

No matter where your summer vacation takes you, it’s important to understand your financing options if extra cash is required. Here are some key questions to ask about any loan:

What is the interest rate you will be charged?

Is the interest rate fixed or adjustable?

What is the term of your loan — length of time to repay?

What is the total monthly payment?

Is additional insurance required? What will that monthly expense look like?

Are there any upfront or out-of-pocket costs?

Are any additional fees rolled into the loan amount?

Are there any prepayment penalties, annual fees or other important details to note?

Free online calculators can help you estimate your monthly payments and explore your options, but you also may want to speak with an knowledgeable representative about which type of loan makes the most sense for your specific situation.

Spending a little time evaluating your financing options now can make a big difference in how much those summer plans end up costing you over time.

Wishing you a fun, relaxing and affordable vacation season.

Charles Eads is the chief lending officer for Abound Credit Union.

Charles Eads is the chief lending officer for Abound Credit Union.

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