With winter time in full force (some places more than other!) people are hitting the slopes for fun in the sun and the snow. Skiing, snowboarding, sledding and or course, the proverbial snow ball fights are all activities that winter lovers delight in. A day on the mountain, much less a week on the slopes, can be expensive. Credit cards, payday loans, and savings accounts can be tapped in an effort to enjoy a much anticipated Winter Wonderland.
Planning a winter vacation can be an arduous task, especially when figuring out the total cost of the vacation. It’s important to have some kind of system to follow in your planning process to make sure every aspect of your vacation has been addressed. Here are a few tips to help you through the planning process:
* Make a budget for your entire trip, not just certain parts. Factor in transportation costs, lodging, ski school and equipment rental (if needed), lift tickets, and of course, meals and snacks.
* Choose a ski resort. Take into consideration the skill level of those in your family making sure the slopes you are skiing or snowboarding on are not too difficult or perhaps not challenging enough. You can find trail maps online at the resort’s website which indicate different aspects of the ski runs. Also, consider off-slope activities for your group: shopping, restaurants and other extra-curricular activities. Do you need a resort that is kid friendly or would you rather have one that is more adult oriented.
* Choose a ski/snowboarding school if necessary. Find out how much lessons costs and what they include: equipment rentals, lift tickets, and even lunch. Many schools offer special programs to meet the needs, ages, and skill levels of those in your group.
* Plan your trip. Pick a few of your favorite resorts and then choose one. Decide on the dates you are going to take your vacation and then book your hotel, condo or rental home. Make sure you have the appropriate clothing, equipment or rental reservations, and transportation arrangements. If you are driving your own vehicle check the snow forecast and buy chains for your car should there be a possibility of needing them.
When all of the preparations have been made, consider how much spending money you will take with you. This can often be a breaking point for many vacation goers as it is often more expensive once you are at your destination. Extra’s such as tourist activities, meals out at restaurants, last minute clothing purchases, car break-downs and an unfortunate (but possible) trip to the hospital with a broken arm, can put you way over your initial budget.
Taking out a payday loan to finance your vacation may be a possibility if you know that you can pay it back once you return home from your vacation. The problems therein lie when you have already taken out a loan to purchase ski equipment, put a deposit down on that pristine condo at the base of the lift, or to buy that “must have” snowboarding outfit that you saw in the most recent magazine.
Taking out multiple payday loans can cause a snowball effect that your finances may not be able to handle. Although that much needed and desired vacation may be something you have been looking forward to for a long time, is it worth getting yourself into payday loan debt?
Consider scaling back on something; opt for a smaller condo or less fancy hotel, commit to cooking your own meals if you have the option or perhaps choose less expensive dining options, and spend only a portion of your time on the slopes in order to save on expensive lift tickets. There’s much fun and excitement to be had in the mountains that doesn’t necessarily cost a lot of money. If you decide to take out a payday loan to compensate for a lack of extra cash, make sure your finances allow for paying it back right away. The last thing you want is to bring home debt as your vacation souvenir!