Travel is an expense, there is no way around that. And while there are definitely lots of ways to cut back on what travel costs like using points and miles, doing your research and traveling in the off-seasons, it still costs money. But how much is too much to spend on travel? When does the cost outweigh what you’re getting out of travel? Sometimes, spending money on travel when you don’t have money for regular life stuff is not the best decision. So when you’re wondering how much is too much to spend on travel, here’s a guide to help you make that decision – should I spend this on travel or not?
If you have to put an entire trip on a credit card and don’t have the money to pay for it – it’s too much to spend.
While we definitely book flights and hotels on credit cards, we pay them off immediately and use cash for all travel expenses while on the road. The problem with putting an entire trip on a credit card and paying it off little by little because you don’t have the money, is that you’ll end up paying so much in interest and it will take a long time to pay it off. The best solution – if you don’t have at least a chunk of the cost of a trip to pay off your credit card, don’t do it. Stay closer to home or choose a trip that will cost less. Putting $5,000 (or whatever the cost) for a trip on your credit card just to be able to travel is not the right decision if you don’t have the money to pay for it.
If there are other cheaper, less expensive options that will give you the same pleasure in travel – it’s too much to spend.
When we travel, we stay in lots of nice hotels but honestly the majority of them are no more than $300 a night. Usually we stay in the $200 range and still stay in really nice places. When there are less expensive options available, take them! If you’re splurging on a $500 a night hotel because you don’t want to spend the time researching to find just as nice of a hotel for cheaper, then you shouldn’t be spending that money. Almost always there are going to be less expensive options that are just as nice and will offer the same travel perks.
Another example of this is when choosing destination, think about if there is another spot that you can get the same pleasure out of but that will be cheaper. I’m always shocked when people go to Hawaii for vacation for a week because truthfully, you could fly your whole family to Europe for cheaper than what people pay for a week in Hawaii. Think about the cost versus what you’re getting out of travel and then choose a destination or travel experience that is worth the money.
If you’re spending more on travel than your monthly expenses at home – it’s too much to spend.
I’m a huge proponent of travel, but not at the expense of your finances and your expenses at home. If you’re spending your rent or mortgage money on travel, then don’t. Save up and take that trip when you have a chunk of cash that won’t mess up your finances at home. Travel isn’t worth ruining your finances or putting yourself in further debt.