How to Afford to Travel While Enrolled in a Debt Consolidation Program

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How to Afford to Travel While Enrolled in a Debt Consolidation Program

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Everyone can come up with money saving ideas; however, keeping it simple seems to work best for me. 

Living on a fixed income as a retiree AND being enrolled in debt consolidation have made me very creative when tackling expensive activities. Here are some very simple money saving ideas that I continually use when traveling and am amazed at how they seem to stretch my money. 

These ideas are so simple that it is very easy to overlook them in your quest for ways to save money.

1. Whenever I leave my house and expect that the travel to my destination is going to take more than an hour or so, I pack snacks and beverages. It's just part of my routine. Usually, I fill up a water bottle and add a bit of lemon juice to it, and I'll look in the pantry to see what we have on hand for snacks. My snack of choice on the road is usually unsalted nuts or a low-sodium trail mix (I actually dislike foods with much salt in them). I'll grab these items, toss them in a canvas bag, and head to the car. Why is this a part of my routine? It saves me money - a surprising amount of money, actually. Plan ahead a bit when you travel and you'll find that money doesn't leak out of your pocket along the way.

2. For longer trips when I don't plan to be home for several days, I bring a cooler. This allows me to bring meat, cheese, yogurt, fruit, and other things you just simply can't find on the road.

3. Find the most direct route to your destinations before you leave. Check the distances on Google Maps using the "directions" link.

4. Stay away from tourist traps. Acquire memories, not stuff. If you want to remember your stop at an amazing place, take a lot of pictures. Record a bit of video. Write about it in your journal. Tell (and show) others about it. A great travel moment lives on in your mind and your heart, not your stuff. Keep your dollars and spend them somewhere where you'll get more meaning and value for your pennies. You'll be glad you did.

5. Check on gas prices ahead of time by using a website like You can even get a mobile app for this site. You do a search of local gas prices (wherever you are in the United States) by either, city, state or zip code and Gas Buddy will help you find cheap gas prices near you.

6. Staying in a Town Next Door - Sometimes the smaller towns close to where you are going have hotels that are much less expensive. If you don't mind the 15 minute ride, you might just save that bundle.

7. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and one you shouldn't skip to save money. Before booking your accommodation, make sure they include breakfast in the rate. That way, you can fill up on free food and eat lighter later in the day.

8. When not staying at a hotel that includes breakfast, I carry my own baggie of instant oatmeal that I mix with raisins, walnuts and cinnamon. I use the coffee maker in the hotel room to heat the water and I've got my own instant, healthy breakfast.

9. Talk with the natives. People familiar with the area will help you steer clear of expensive tourist traps and have a more authentic (and less expensive) experience.

10. Get Off The Beaten Track - Head out and explore your local area. Getting off the well-worn tourist trail can often lead to bargains as you stumble across shops and restaurants frequented more by the locals than tourists.

I find that I can travel inexpensively while enrolled in the CareOne debt management program, with planning. 

My goal is to spend as little as possible on the road so I have more cash for my actual "stay" time. 

Traveling is more fun when you don't have to worry about running out of cash.  Some trips are scrimped and saved for, and others can be spontaneous and exciting. All trips are meant for adventure, relaxation and enjoyment. By planning well, you can ensure you that you and your family can enjoy a hassle-free trip!

Kimberly Johns, Debt Management Plan Customer with Leading Provider of Debt Relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Kimberly Johns

Kimberly is enrolled on the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Kimberly is very active in the Community Forums, some of you may recognize her Community user name; Tiquie. Recently retired, Kim shares how she and her husband manage the financial challenges of living on a fixed income in their home state of Illinois. The John's have found some really creative and fun ways to offset the limitations of a retirement income. Kimberly generously shares smart and tested tips in her A Straight Talk on Debt blogs! Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

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  • Great tips, as usual! I totally agree with you.Any time we travel we take our own food. I keep my glove box in the van cleaned out because it is the perfect size for a loaf of bread. We found the bread always getting smashed LOL I keep a picnic blanket in the back in case there are no rest stops when we want to eat. Cereal is great for breakfast and PB&J sandwiches for lunch. Some type of meat and cheese with crackers makes a light dinner.   We all have water bottles with filters so they can be filled in many places and still taste great. Love the ideas about the hotels!

  • Hi kimmer5000!  Thanks for checking out the blog.  You offer some great tips as well.  I learned about staying in a nearby town rather than booking at a large hotel just by accident.  When our son first moved to Atlanta, Georgia, we always tried to book at a hotel close to him (he lived in Midtown).  I was doing an online booking and accidently put in Alphretta which is really just a surburb of Atlanta and got a much better deal.  The driving time was only 15 minutes from the hotel to his place in Midtown.

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