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With travel restrictions being lifted, you might be eager for a change of scenery, regardless of what it’s going to cost—even if it means building up debt.
It’s typically better to break out of the debt cycle before booking a big trip, so it might make sense to establish a repayment plan or consolidate your debt to make the road (or air) less bumpy.
How can debt consolidation help you travel while in debt?
When you’re paying off debt, DIY repayment plans like debt snowball and avalanche are great—but they require you to find extra money to put toward your monthly payments. If you want to consolidate debt, you might be confused about how to do it: should you go for a personal loan or balance transfer? Plus, is consolidation worth it?
That’s where Credello comes in. We consider how much debt you’re in, what you can afford to repay, interest rates, and potential savings and debt-free dates to find the best debt consolidation loan or solution for you. In just a few minutes, Credello matches you with products that fit your needs—whether you have bad credit, low income, or a ton of credit card debt.
With the right debt solution, you can lower your monthly payment (and interest rate!) so you’ll have money to book that trip you’ve been dying to take.
How to choose between flying and driving
Whether you’re concerned about COVID-19 safety or traveling on a budget, there are several factors to consider before loading up your car or hopping on a flight.
- How much are you comfortable spending? The cheapest option might not always be what you think it is, so do your homework. Determine your budget for the trip and stick to it.
- How far is your trip? Consider the distance as it relates to time. A 200-mile car ride can take almost 3.5 hours. If you’re flying the same distance, factor in the time it takes to get to the airport and through security (plus baggage claim if you’re checking a bag).
- Are you on a tight schedule? If you’re anything like George Costanza, you know it’s not just enough to get there—you gotta make good time.
- How close is the nearest airport? If you have to drive out of your way to get to an airport on either end of your journey, that might give you your answer.
- Would you be booking flights last-minute? There’s mixed thinking on when you should book a flight to get the best deal, and the timing is different if you’re flying internationally (including Canada or Mexico).
- Who are you traveling with? If you’re paying for the people you’re traveling with—i.e., your partner and/or children—that means buying a ticket for every member of your crew. Depending on the airline, infants and children under 2 can fly for free in the lap of an adult. Flying with a pet? Prices can vary depending on your pet’s size, your destination, and whether you’re bringing them on board or in the cabin. It won’t cost you anything but space to fit the kids or pets in your car.
- Is your car reliable? Will your car make it to Point B? When’s the last time you got an oil change?
- Do you need a car when you get there? Adding the costs of a rental car on top of the costs of a flight might push you over your budget.
When it makes more sense to fly
Taking to the skies has its pros and cons, but in these scenarios, it almost always makes more sense to fly:
- You enjoy flying and it’s within budget
- You’re going cross-country only for a few days, i.e., you’d spend more time driving there than you’d spend at your actual destination
- You’re planning way ahead and flights are cheaper
- You’re traveling with young children who will get restless on a lengthy car ride (though your fellow travelers may resent you)
- You have airline miles/credit card points to use
- You need to get there ASAP (I see you, George)
When it makes more sense to drive
Name a better road trip duo than Harry and Lloyd—I’ll wait. Even if you don’t have those guys around to sing “Mockingbird,” it may make more sense to drive in these situations:
- You’re not comfortable flying, whether it’s a lifelong fear or COVID-19 safety concerns
- Flights are super expensive
- You’re traveling with pets/the whole family and driving is cheaper
- You’re not going far
- You enjoy a good road trip
- You want to sightsee along the way—I mean, have you seen the World’s Largest Ball of Twine?
By Casey Musarra
Casey Musarra is a personal finance writer with over a decade of writing experience and a credit score hovering near 800. She has a penchant for traveling and has visited 30 U.S. states, including both noncontiguous states, and five countries.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.