Planning, paying for and taking a vacation can be a big undertaking, especially if you’re not a frequent traveler. Travel agents, travel sites, travel groups and an abundant amount of resources exist for the purpose of helping simplify the planning process as much as possible, though it can still feel overwhelming.

There are also a number of ways in which to pay for your dream vacation, aside from saving up for months or years and years. Taking your dream vacation to Greece and Italy doesn’t have to be five years in the future, it can easily happen much sooner than you think!

Use your bonus income or overtime

Many employers pay regular bonuses or offer overtime pay in addition to salaries, which are a percentage of the annual income, or some variable of that. If you’re a salaried employee and usually spend your bonus money on frivolous things, or even better – put it into savings, you might consider using that additional income to plan a vacation for yourself and your family. Many trips can be planned on a respectable budget, especially if planned in advance and coordinated resourcefully. With the invention and growth of the sharing economy, it’s easier than ever to find an inexpensive place to stay, and rent a car for much less than major airport brands. Working overtime is often relied upon as a strategy for earning extra to pay off bills and debt, and it can also be used to pay for a nice trip for yourself and your family. Make your hard work worth your time and effort by enjoying the fruits of your labor!

Take out a loan

While some might balk at this at first thought, let’s explore the possibility. Some institutions offer interest rates that are lower than most credit card interest rates, which many a traveler often book their airfare, hotel and rental cars on and take months if not years to pay off, at very high interest rates. Many will argue that it’s worth every penny. Taking out a loan at a much lower rate will lower that total cost significantly, and give you a set budget to stay within, both for planning and taking the vacation, as well as paying it off after you’re back home and have re-entered into your real world. Financing your vacation and finding options like loans San Diego is certainly, on paper, something to consider when weighing your options.

Use a credit card

I know, I know – it’s contradictory to the previous point, but still a very common option: if all else fails, put it on your credit card! Credit cards, like loans, give leverage and immediacy to buying or purchasing something in the present, to pay off at a point in the future. Simply because you don’t have the cash on hand to purchase or pay for something doesn’t mean you can’t have it. It just means you’ll need to leverage credit, or someone else’s money, and pay an interest rate for the balance carried month to month.

While not the most financially savviest of options, it’s certainly a popular one. If you are responsible with paying it off, financing your dream vacation with a credit card can actually have some added perks and benefits compared to just paying cash. Some credit cards offer things like trip cancellation protection, lost baggage or delay insurance and even overall travel insurance to cover medical costs in the rare event they do happen and cause an inconvenience in your travel plans. The benefits outweigh the cost and risk to many travelers for these very reasons.

No matter when you’re wanting to go, what’s on your bucket list, paying for it doesn’t have to be a long process of saving and squirreling away your hard-earned pennies for years and years before booking your airfare. It can be as easy as a loan application, or as quick as pulling out a credit card and going to the trip of your dreams! Paying it off once you’re back will require a bit of discipline and focus, but you’ll have your recent memories to fuel your drive.

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