With school out and good weather in most areas of the country, many Mississippi residents use the summer months as a time for travel. However, if you aren’t careful, your summer vacation can cause you to rack up some serious debt.

As USA TODAY reported recently, nearly 50 percent of Americans say that they depend on credit cards to fund their vacations when they don’t have enough saved. Additionally, many people tend to go over their budget on vacations, resulting in even more debt.

The good news is that there are steps that you can take to prevent your summer vacation from leaving you with debt problems.

The first step to take is to plan out your vacation budget in advance. Make sure you factor your budget in when making decisions such as where to go and which hotels to stay in.

Next, understand that there will be some unexpected costs. Make a cushion for these expenses in your budget so that they don’t catch you off guard.

Try not to get in “vacation spending mode.” Instead of thinking “oh, what the heck, I’m on vacation,” remember that you have to pay back all of the debt you acquire when you get home.

Make sure to have a plan for paying back your charges. It’s fine if you need to rely on your credit card for some of your vacation expenses, just make sure to have a plan in place for paying it back so that your week-long vacation doesn’t haunt your finances for years.

Finally, consider putting off your vacation until you can pay for it with your savings. If you are looking forward to the freedom vacation provides, just imagine how free you will feel if you know you have the expenses covered ahead of time.

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