American Consumer Credit Counseling Offers Tips on Saving for Summer Vacation

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ACCC explains what every consumer should consider before planning a summer get away

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A budget is the cornerstone of responsible financial planning. It shows exactly how much money you have and where it’s being spent.

Planning and spending money on vacation without the proper information can be so intimidating that some choose to stay at home rather than budget for a getaway. With the right research and preparation, the process is both manageable and stress-free. Perhaps mo importantly, vacationers should decide ahead of time what they can afford and prepare for the effects the trip may have in the long-term. To help consumers with the process American Consumer Credit Counseling has provided several tips on how to save for a summer getaway.

“A budget is the cornerstone of responsible financial planning. It shows exactly how much money you have and where it’s being spent,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, which is based in Newton, MA. “By creating a budget, you can find ways to save money and plan for that much needed and deserved summer vacation.”

According to the new survey from Coinstar, a leader in self-service coin counting, millennials seem to be more cash-minded than those of an older generation when it comes to credit card use to fund vacations. Sixty-eight percent of U.S. families with children who plan to go away this summer intend to use cash on hand to fund it, and 44 percent have funds already earmarked for vacation. Of the 17 percent of respondents not planning to take a vacation, budget limitations are cited as the main reason.

American Consumer Credit Counseling offers advice for potential summer vacationers:

1.    Develop a spending plan – It is important to budget before consumers immerse themselves in paradise. Consumers should be proactive in determining what they are willing to spend, and when. The most dangerous threat to overspending on vacation is arriving without a limit or plan.

2.    Think beyond a hotel room – Hotel rooms are often the most expensive housing arrangements when it comes to holidays. Alternatively consumers can consider home shares, condos, summer cottages, campsites or offers through sites like Airbnb.com. Especially if you are traveling with a group, these options can keep costs down. If hotels are the only option, check out websites like Hotels.com, Priceline.com, and the app HotelsTonight to score deals.

3.    Consider alternative travel options – Once consumers have decided on their destination, they should take a moment to look at how they will get there. It is important that consumers know their options when it comes to travel. Be sure to factor in travel costs when choosing a destination, because that can be one of the most expensive parts of the trip. Instead of flying and paying for baggage costs, consider driving to your destination or packing a carry-on.

4.    Know what you’re paying for – Do necessary research when booking at an all-inclusive resort or preplanned vacation. Often consumers will find that they are required to pay for amenities they do not intend to use. Research will also inform you of the complimentary benefits you may not be aware of. Paying for a trip using a credit card or point system can get tricky, so be sure to read up before committing. Consumers should consider additional fees they may encounter especially is they are traveling internationally as they can add up quickly.

5.    Consider off-peak travel – Traveling during the week is significantly cheaper than on the weekends. If a consumer can take off week-days and travel Monday through Thursday, they’ll beat the crowds and the weekend prices. Visit popular summer destinations in the winter and vice versa to get a great deal.

6.    Save money now to spend money later – Refrain from spending extra money now to fund that much-needed summer vacation. Consumers should determine the little things they spend money on each week and cut them out. Saving $50 a week makes a big difference in the long run.

7.    Never underestimate the value of free – Consumers should do research ahead of time to see if any special offers are happening where they plan to vacation. Save emails from travel websites, look at Groupon.com and talk to friends that have previously visited the destination. Often checking out the areas outside traditional tourist attractions will reveal the cheapest and best activities the destination has to offer. Also, free activities a few states away can be a great way to road trip and save money.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  • For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  • For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  • For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  • Or visit us online at http://www.ConsumerCredit.com

About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. To help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit http://www.consumercredit.com/financial-education.aspx

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