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Why You Shouldn't Depend on Taxes to Book or Payoff Your Trip.

(c) Increasing Your Travel-ability

Whether you planning to book your trip when taxes hit or pay it off once they hit your account, this article is written in hopes of giving you the opportunity to save your taxes and enjoy your trip without going bankrupt.

With trip registrations as low as $12.50 and deposits starting at just $50 per person, the easiest part of booking a trip is really your ironclad decision to go! So often we add irrelevant factors and people into that decision making process. Waiting around for friends and family members to decide if they're going to go, or overthinking the idea beyond ensuring that your work, home and responsibilities can be taken care of during your sabbatical. Unless you're traveling soon, those details can be worked out over time. Which (time) is of the essence when it comes to your ability to pay off your trip.

Once you've made the decision to go - don't create the mindset that you're going to pay the absolute minimum each month and pay your trip off with your taxes; unless you have to. Instead, devise a plan, inclusive of some sacrifices and or adjustments that can help you chip away at your balance over time, that way if there is anything left to pay when your taxes hit, it doesn't take up your whole refund.

One thing that many travelers don't consider is, what factors or new laws might be in place that may prevent their return from paying out as much as they expect, offsets and delays. Better yet, what circumstances might they be facing in their personal/financial landscape that may make paying off a trip absurd in the midst of everything going on. Most of us, can't predict the future so only time will tell what your situation looks like when that time comes. Instead of planning for something that you can't have absolute certainty on, here are some tips that you can use to help you chip away at your travel reservation and be able to enjoy the bulk of your tax return for other things...

If you're looking for ways to pay for a trip without using your tax return, there are several options you can consider:

  • Create a budget: Look at your income and expenses and see if you can find ways to cut back on your spending. This may free up some money that you can put towards your trip.

  • Save money: In my book, saving money is just like making money! I'd be too easy for me to simply say "set aside a certain amount of money from each paycheck to save up for your trip." Be creative in your saving efforts. Maybe take on the art of couponing. Use your receipt to tell you how much you can tuck away into a travel account. Fast. Cut out or reduce a habit such as buying fast food.

In my family, we have a several travel piggy banks. One on my desk, another in the main room and so on. Everyone chips in. Before we head to the airport, the kids take the banks to the coin machine and cash in. That's their vacation spending money! It takes a load off me, tremendously because on trip expenses are just as important as the payoff of the trip itself. If I'm able, I match what they've saved or offer a bonus to whatever they've saved up.

  • Monetize your time and talents: Look for ways to earn extra income, you may be good at crafting, catering or freelance work. Maybe an annual garage sale for your yearly wanderlust, or taking on a part-time job at your leisure such as food delivery or rideshares. The possibilities really are endless when you think with ink and brainstorm.

  • Use credit card rewards: If you have a credit card with rewards points, you may be able to use those points to pay for some or all of your trip. Check with your credit card company to see what options are available.

  • Make small payments: It may seem inferior, but $10 here and there adds up. $25 a week is $100 a month...$600 in six months. You get my drift? Go ahead and drop a few coins on your reservation now.

  • Apply for a travel loan: When used responsibly, obtaining a loan to pay off your trip isn't always a bad idea. We suggest, if our travelers use our Loan Partnerships as a last resort. First by paying off as much as the balance as they can, then using the loan for what they cannot. With this, picking the right loan and terms is important. For instance, some companies offer 0% interest, while others are nearly to the sky. Your credit worthiness plays a part in what terms are offered to you. Never take a loan that you cannot guarantee you keep up with the monthly payments or pay off. Doing so will be catastrophic to your credit standing. Remember, it's important to only spend what you can afford and to not go into debt for your trip. Make sure you have a plan to pay off any loans or credit card balances as soon as possible.

  • Look for travel deals: As in our other articles on travel dates, keep an eye out for discounts and deals on flights, hotels, and other travel expenses. There are many apps for that! As well, as resorts, cruise and airlines fight to try to fill unsold spaces, you can often find amazing last minute deals. But with this, you must be prepared to pay the deal off when you see it as most entities do not accept payment plans within a 90-120 day window of a trip date.

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