The Vacation Debt Dilemma.

The Vacation Debt Dilemma: Why (and How) to Avoid It

Picture this – sandy beaches, exotic destinations, memories in the making. Ye, beneath the allure of an unforgettable summer escape lies a shocking reality. Reports unveil a staggering truth – UAE residents often tread a path of debt to chase their dream getaways. With credit cards as accomplices and budgets stretched thin, the average vacation debt climbs to nearly 4000 dirhams per trip!

In this blog, we delve into the financial enigma of vacation debt, when wanderlust comes with a heavy price tag.

Planning your budget in advance is usually a good idea, regardless of whether you use credit to replenish your travel money or pay for holiday spending up front. The extra planning can help you enjoy your trip without letting financial concerns get in the way. Your time off from work should be a time to unwind and refresh. With little planning and a budget, you can prevent unpleasant surprises from ruining your vacation mood or, worse yet, fees and interest that continue to mount long after the pleasure is over.

So how do you plan a great vacation—without paying for it later? Here are four tips to minimize vacation debt and make the most of your time off.

Set a Saving Goal

The best way to avoid debt is to save up ahead of time. While it may seem daunting to carve a space in your budget for future vacations, every dirham you save now is a dirham you won’t have to scrounge for later.

To figure out how much to save, start by looking at how much you spent on past trips. This helps you get a clear picture of how much you actually pay for a trip, not just what you budget. Consider starting a savings fund just for your vacation on the Sav app. Name your new savings goal something specific, like “Swiss vacation” or “annual family trip,” to keep you focused on your goal. You could also schedule a recurring automatic transfer from your salary account straight into your vacation savings.

The good news? It’s pretty much impossible to save too much for a vacation. The more you put away now, the more stress-free fun you can look forward to.

Plan and pay big expenses first

When you discover a fantastic flight offer, act quickly because purchasing before rates increase could save you a lot of money. Don’t stop there, either. See what additional significant expenses you can pay in full as you plan your trip. It’s frequently simpler to spread out larger purchases rather than making them all at once.

When making a reservation online or over the phone, many hotels offer prepayment. In this manner, your housing is paid for well in advance of your vacation. The cost of excursions, campsites, and rental cars may be pre-paid. If you do pay in advance, be sure to review their cancellation policy and consider purchasing travel insurance in case your plans need to be changed.

Save more with discounts and offers

A penny saved, is a penny earned. Even if you’ve budgeted plenty of money for a trip, you might want to look for good deals on flights and hotels, and rewards such as cashback, airline miles or complimentary services. You’ll save quite a bit and you can stash away this extra money into an emergency or contingency fund, especially if you’re travelling abroad.

That’s not all – Sav rewards you for saving……………………………………………….

Are you already in debt? You still need a break!

So, money’s tight this year and you don’t want to rack up credit card bills. Or maybe you’re still paying off last year’s vacation. Should you skip this year’s trip?

While it might be tempting from a budget perspective, skipping vacation can have negative consequences for your family, your health and even your productivity. Time off is important for reconnecting with your loved ones and relieving the day-to-day stress that can lead to health problems. There’s even evidence that taking a vacation could help you land a promotion at work. So go ahead, file that request for time off!

If traveling isn’t in the budget this year, you can (and should!) still take a break. Save money by planning local road trips instead of flying. Check out books from the library, plan a local hike or dig into your favorite hobby. You can still have a relaxing vacation without running up your credit card bills—which means you can start saving for next year.

If you need a quick getaway (like, right now!), check out these tips to save on last-minute travel.

Purvi Munot, CEO & Co-Founder, Sav

The joyous occasion of Eid is fast approaching, beckoning us to celebrate and take a well-deserved break from our daily routines. While the idea of jetting off to exotic destinations may be enticing, the cost and logistical challenges can often dampen our spirits. However, fear not! This year, why not consider a staycation as an alternative? A staycation allows you to unwind, relax, and explore the wonders of your own surroundings. With some smart money-saving strategies, you can have an enjoyable staycation without breaking the bank. In this article, we will present you with seven practical and savvy ways to save money while ensuring your staycation this Eid is both delightful and memorable.

Set saving goals for a staycation:

Budget is the most underrated nuance of staycation planning. With a plethora of options and activities, your budget could only go topsy-turvy with planning. Stepwise, finalise your destination and itinerary well in advance to allocate spending. Once you have the plan ready, make it your savings goal so you can comfortably spend on activities, dining, and other expenses. A clear budget will help you prioritise your spending and avoid unnecessary costs.

Redeem Discount offers on dining:

Have you mapped the number of discount coupons in your wallet, and how many have you redeemed? Staycations are an excellent opportunity to review the discount coupons you already have. Redeeming discount coupons is rewarding you for saving. While most of us love to dine out and explore new restaurants, dining in-house and bonding over food prep is equally exciting. 

Smart and local exploring:

While staycations are generally associated with beach-facing properties, many cities will have parks, museums, hiking trails, and historical sites that you must explore outside the hotel. During festive times, such local attractions always offer discounted rates and special promotions to attract tourists. Always take advantage of these opportunities to explore your surroundings to learn more about the destination.

Save together as a family:

Making the entire family a part of your staycation planning can make it an exciting event to look forward to. A digital account that helps create group saving goals will also allow you to track the progress and alter saving schedules. The fun in pooling the funds together and spending it together is sure to make your Eid Al Adha staycation memorable. While at it, such family-saving goals will also inculcate discipline and routine along the money-saving run for staycations and other lifestyle needs. 

Deals and Discounts are buzzwords:

Deals and discounts are real money-saving hacks, and those who keep an eye out for these on staycations save the most. With everyone wanting to make the most of this short vacation, hotels, spas, and entertainment venues curate special offers to attract guests. By turning on notifications on social media pages, browsing websites, or subscribing to newsletters, these lesser preferred ways stretch the dirham. You can enjoy a luxurious staycation on a budget with the right combination of promotional deals and discount coupons.

Earn while you spend:

Digital wallets are always crowded with merchants vying for precious consumer attention. Sort merchants by discounts and offerings that fit into your staycation planning and optimise the deals for shopping. Whether clothes, footwear, or accessories, staycations and Eid holidays call for new looks and makeovers. Moreover, shopping from such online interfaces always fetches more value for every purchase and further rewards for spending. It’s a win-win situation for all, we say.  

Always turn on ‘save’ mode:

Explore the lesser-known attractions, too, when on a staycation. Scout for free or low-cost entertainment options like local festivals, concerts, or community events organised to entertain tourists. Such events help soak in the culture, ambience, and thrill of an immersive celebratory experience that’ll add to the memories once back from the staycation.

Festivals, celebrations, outings, or staycations do not always deep into your ssavings if you’re a pro at creating savings goals. With these practical money-saving tips and mindful spending, every staycation experience will become worth recreating.

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