We all dream of travel. Some of us long for tropical beaches in the Caribbean with white sand and crystal clear water. Some long for the powdered ski slopes of Colorado or the Alps. Still others dream of breaking into a fresh baguette in Paris, knocking back a proper pint in Ireland or settling in for crab back at Swan Oyster Depot, Anthony Bourdain’s favorite restaurant in San Francisco. Maybe you want to stay in the finest hotels, or perhaps you want to travel with everything you need in a backpack. Whatever your dream is made of, we all yearn for the horizon; we all long to wake up someplace that isn’t our bedroom tomorrow morning.
How Debt Can Keep You Stuck at Home
One of the biggest obstacles to traveling is credit card debt, and some of the biggest ways credit card debt can prevent us from travel include:
Nagging Guilt – Once your credit card balance reaches a certain point–and it’s a different point for all of us–a feeling of guilt begins to undermine everything in our lives. We start to feel like we shouldn’t order delivery on Monday night, meet our friends for a happy hour on Thursday, or take a much-needed date night on Saturday. Guilt related to debt also stops us from taking advantage of travel opportunities such as cheap flights and invitations from loved ones. We think, “Well, I probably shouldn’t. I owe so much…”
Depression – Like guilt, debt can carry a depressing feeling with it that stops you from becoming excited at the possibility of adventure. Instead of being filled with a sense of excitement when you see a picture on Instagram or hear your friends tell you about a vacation they’re planning, you think, “Must be nice. I’ll never get to do anything like that because I owe so much money.”
Lack of available balance to use when you need it – If your credit cards are maxed out, you might not be able to even book a trip. Many hotels and rental car companies, for example, require that you use a credit card, not a debit card. You’ll need an available balance for that to work.
The First Step to Freedom
The first step to getting back the financial freedom to travel–and removing guilt, depression, and other obstacles–is to understand the following about credit card debt: You’re not just paying back the money you borrowed. In many cases, you’re still accumulating interest, which is set at an incredibly high rate. It’s almost as though the credit card companies don’t want you to be able to break free.
Each month that you make a minimum payment, you’re digging yourself deeper. Instead, look to a company like Polo Funding to help you breakthrough that wall of interest. How does it work? You might be surprised to find that working with a company like this is a lot easier than other options you have considered.
Can I Still Have Credit Cards?
Credit cards are not in and of themselves evil. When used judiciously, credit cards can help you compile rewards to redeem for airline flights or other travel expenses. In fact, a rewards credit card is almost a must-have for the modern adventurer. A credit card doesn’t have to be part of a travel-oriented rewards program to be useful, however. It could provide cash-back or other rewards that might be more suitable to your lifestyle.
How to Travel Debt-Free
Working to become debt-free can help you become a more frequent traveler. Get rid of high-interest credit-card debt; use a company like Polo Funding to help you resolve the ever-accruing monthly interest payments.
Don’t spend money you don’t have. Start saving money to travel a little at a time. When you have a mound of debt to worry about, this seems impossible. But even if you tuck away a small amount each paycheck, your nest egg can add up. If you get paid 26 times a year (that’s a pay schedule of every other Friday) and set aside just $30 a paycheck, you’d have $780 at the end of the year for your next vacation.