How to Stay on Budget When Traveling on Thanksgiving
When it comes to Thanksgiving, you can expect three things: turkey, football, and travel.
Plenty of people hit the roads and head to the skies so that they can break bread with family.
But long-distance travel isn’t always a possibility when money is tight.
If you’re worried about how your plans may put your finances in jeopardy, here are some simple tips to help navigate the season on a budget.
1. Don’t Use Thanksgiving as an Excuse to Dip into Credit
When your great aunt Carol lets everyone know she’s hosting Thanksgiving from her bungalow in Florida, you may feel like you have to go even if you can’t afford it.
You can always get a personal line of credit to help you cover those expensive flights, right?
At first, it may seem easier to tap into this credit than saying no to family plans, but it’s just postponing misery.
Traveling despite the costs is a quick way to throw off your budget just in time for the winter holidays.
That’s not to say you should never use a personal line of credit. It’s just better to wait until a true unexpected emergency arrives.
Then you may figure out how to qualify for a personal line of credit to help you cover unforeseen bills.
2. Learn How to Say No
Admittedly, telling your family you won’t be able to pull apart the wishbone is probably the last thing you want to do.
Money is a difficult topic of conversation that easily leads to feelings of shame.
But you shouldn’t feel ashamed for taking control of your finances! You can talk about money without ruining everyone’s festive mood.
Here are four tips to help you broach the subject:
- Make a call instead of texting or emailing — it’s more a personal way to deliver the news.
- Be honest about your financial situation.
- Try to not be defensive if they have questions.
- Brainstorm what you think they might ask, so you aren’t floundering during the call.
3. Find Cheap Alternatives
Just because you can’t travel across the country doesn’t mean you have to stay home and do nothing.
If you can’t afford to visit friends and family who live far away, you may still plan a fun, yet frugal, Thanksgiving celebration.
Be a local host
Check in with friends and other loved ones who live nearby to see what their plans are for the holidays.
If they’re staying back just like you, think about inviting them over for a potluck.
Colorado is home to four amazing national parks, making it an easy place to hike, ski, or find some other early-winter adventure.
But it’s hardly the only place like this in the country.
Find out what your local park system and city has to offer and pretend to be a tourist.
If your family’s plans aren’t set in stone, try suggesting an alternative location. Have a few suggestions lined up.
Suggest a closer Airbnb or family member’s home. Just remember to check-in with them first.
This way, you’ll have something ready when they ask, “like what?”.
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Travel may seem as important to Thanksgiving as the turkey and stuffing itself, but don’t let that convince you to spend more than you can afford.
Thanksgiving marks the start of an expensive holiday season, and how you spend your money now may help you when the big celebration arrives.
Now you have a few tips on how to stay on budget when traveling on Thanksgiving.
Do you go all out for Thanksgiving or wait until Christmas?
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I am a girl from the UK with a lot of thoughts. Not a fan of the online world but, every once in awhile I let my thoughts out. I write about life, finances, home design, and more. Hoping to inspire people every day. I’m a writer, a reader, and an old soul.