• Go to page :
  • 1 2
  • Text Only
Voting History
rated:
I plan on traveling abroad for about 4 months before I start working next summer. I already have a decent job and could easily pay off $10k or so once I start work. I would probably be able to pay off a 10k loan after 2-3 months considering my signing bonus and salary. The problem is that I have less than $1k cash right now. I have a $9k 0% APR credit line w/ Discover which I will try to use wherever Discover is accepted abroad. I can also get a $7k 0% APR balance transfer w/ Citi but this has a 3% transfer fee. Would taking the $7k Citi BT be the best way to pay for my trip?

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
Give the kid a break. At least he's thinking about the financial impact of doing this. Many are saying save up and go la... (more)

scottybweyy (Dec. 17, 2012 @ 6:25a) |

Thanks for all of the comments. I plan on using my Discover card and British Airways Visa card most of the time since th... (more)

linedrivekid123 (Dec. 17, 2012 @ 8:34p) |

Personally, if you can stand it, I'd just bring a small school backpack. It qualifies as a carry on everywhere, easy to ... (more)

Jonomatic (Dec. 17, 2012 @ 9:02p) |


Assuming you have limited credit the max you will get on an unsecured loan from a bank will be around $3k and it will be 8ish%. App-o-rama time for you, pay it off when you get back. Discover sucks abroad go for a higher limit AMEX.

Instead of worrying about BT's, which have fees, why not find a card w/0% on purchases. My Chase Freedom is 0% for 15 months; Citi Forward is for 12.

CptSavAHo said:   Assuming you have limited credit the max you will get on an unsecured loan from a bank will be around $3k and it will be 8ish%. App-o-rama time for you, pay it off when you get back. Discover sucks abroad go for a higher limit AMEX.FWIW, Discover is now accepted in many countries (see country map) and does not charge foreign exchange transaction fees.

My Citi card has 0% APR for purchases but also has foreign transaction fees. Another reason why I need cash is because I plan on staying mostly at hostels which don't accept credit cards.

you should check out couchsurfing.org... that'd be an option on your travels.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch. Work for a year. Save up vacation time. Then pay cash.

If you have 1k in the bank, I wouldn't be thinking of flying to Europe or staying there for 4 months.

It's fiscally unwise, but when else are you going to have time to do this? Could you hit up the Bank of Mom and Dad? Or maybe use a credit card with 0% on purchases to pay their mortgage for a few months and they give you cash?

The best way to finance a vacation is not to spend much money in the first place: Use a hostel instead of a hotel, check train fares in advance, look into cheap ways of getting around like bikes/weekly & daily transit passes/day trains versus night trains, buy a plane ticket during the cheap season (like right now), and check multiple cheap ticket sites for the best price (Orbitz, Hotwire, yahoo travel, travelzoo, etc.).

If you can't wait to save before your trip, I would look for a 0% apr promo on a credit card to use. There's no rate like 0%.

RedCelicaGT said:   Don't count your chickens before they hatch. Work for a year. Save up vacation time. Then pay cash.

Please give me details on this company that gives employees 4 months of vacation time after only working there a year!

If you're under 30 you can get a "working holiday" visa and work legally in a most of Europe, Australia, New Zealand or Singapore. Why not combine your work with your travels?

Gauss44 said:   The best way to finance a vacation is not to spend much money in the first place: Use a hostel instead of a hotel, check train fares in advance, look into cheap ways of getting around like bikes/weekly & daily transit passes/day trains versus night trains, buy a plane ticket during the cheap season (like right now), and check multiple cheap ticket sites for the best price (Orbitz, Hotwire, yahoo travel, travelzoo, etc.).

If you can't wait to save before your trip, I would look for a 0% apr promo on a credit card to use. There's no rate like 0%.


I'll try to use my 0% Discover card as much as possible. I'll be travelling mostly in Asia where credit cards aren't always accepted making this strategy a bit difficult. I've used Couchsurfing before but would rather just stay in hostels since they are already pretty cheap in Asia. I can pay $20-$30 for my own room and I really enjoy the hostel atmosphere.

I have also taken advantage of credit card signup bonuses which will pay for some of my flights. I have 50k BA Avios which can be used w/ Cathay Pacific. Right now I plan of travelling to Hong Kong, Korea, China, and Vietnam. Might also visit Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines but these countries are a little more risky...

linedrivekid123 said:   Gauss44 said:   The best way to finance a vacation is not to spend much money in the first place: Use a hostel instead of a hotel, check train fares in advance, look into cheap ways of getting around like bikes/weekly & daily transit passes/day trains versus night trains, buy a plane ticket during the cheap season (like right now), and check multiple cheap ticket sites for the best price (Orbitz, Hotwire, yahoo travel, travelzoo, etc.).

If you can't wait to save before your trip, I would look for a 0% apr promo on a credit card to use. There's no rate like 0%.


I'll try to use my 0% Discover card as much as possible. I'll be travelling mostly in Asia where credit cards aren't always accepted making this strategy a bit difficult. I've used Couchsurfing before but would rather just stay in hostels since they are already pretty cheap in Asia. I can pay $20-$30 for my own room and I really enjoy the hostel atmosphere.

I have also taken advantage of credit card signup bonuses which will pay for some of my flights. I have 50k BA Avios which can be used w/ Cathay Pacific. Right now I plan of travelling to Hong Kong, Korea, China, and Vietnam. Might also visit Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines but these countries are a little more risky...


China, Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand will all require that you have a flight booked to exit the country in order to enter through customs. A lot of local airlines will let you book cheap flights and are way more flexible on changing dates than American airline companies. Good luck with a Myanmar visa. Stay out of Mindanao when you go to the Philippines. Be very careful with transport there as well. Avoid Bangkok.

linedrivekid123 said:   Gauss44 said:   The best way to finance a vacation is not to spend much money in the first place: Use a hostel instead of a hotel, check train fares in advance, look into cheap ways of getting around like bikes/weekly & daily transit passes/day trains versus night trains, buy a plane ticket during the cheap season (like right now), and check multiple cheap ticket sites for the best price (Orbitz, Hotwire, yahoo travel, travelzoo, etc.).

If you can't wait to save before your trip, I would look for a 0% apr promo on a credit card to use. There's no rate like 0%.


I'll try to use my 0% Discover card as much as possible. I'll be travelling mostly in Asia where credit cards aren't always accepted making this strategy a bit difficult. I've used Couchsurfing before but would rather just stay in hostels since they are already pretty cheap in Asia. I can pay $20-$30 for my own room and I really enjoy the hostel atmosphere.

I have also taken advantage of credit card signup bonuses which will pay for some of my flights. I have 50k BA Avios which can be used w/ Cathay Pacific. Right now I plan of travelling to Hong Kong, Korea, China, and Vietnam. Might also visit Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines but these countries are a little more risky...


Some credit cards offer a 0% apr promo on balance transfers. Then you can usually request a balance transfer check written to yourself. Deposit in your checking account. Then you have cash at 0% apr for the promo period.

linedrivekid123 said:   I plan on traveling abroad for about 4 months before I start working next summer. I already have a decent job and could easily pay off $10k or so once I start work. I would probably be able to pay off a 10k loan after 2-3 months considering my signing bonus and salary. The problem is that I have less than $1k cash right now. I have a $9k 0% APR credit line w/ Discover which I will try to use wherever Discover is accepted abroad. I can also get a $7k 0% APR balance transfer w/ Citi but this has a 3% transfer fee. Would taking the $7k Citi BT be the best way to pay for my trip?

I would ask your future employer for a salary advance on the signing bonus.

There is no need to spend 10k on a trip like this, especially if you can use points to get to Asia. I would try to keep costs in the 5k range (entirely doable if you are savvy).

How is your credit? If I were you, I would apply for a few additional cards as Discover is not widely accepted. If you can meet the spending requirements, I'd consider the Chase Sapphire which has zero forex fees and would give you 40k ultimate reward points which can be converted to $400 cash or transferred to a number of travel partners including BA. Alternatively or in addition, you could apply for the Chase Slate which I believe offers a 0% no fee balance transfer for 15 months (I think, however, Chase tends to give modest credit lines for this product so I wouldn't necessarily count on being able to finance the whole thing through this card).

This is a textbook example of what's wrong with our education system.

Instead of starting work and actually paying off said loans people are taking vacations because they "can".

When I was finished with school I started a business(and in the past decade have started 6, all successful), put my head down and worked, ate ramen every day for two years out of college, and now can travel when I want, where I want, and often for as long as I want(as long as I have internet access I can check on my businesses).

Kids nowadays have this entitlement attitude that they can just defer responsibility and enjoy life even if they can't finance it.

Pro tip, assuming you have a job by the time you get back is folly and assuming you'll be able to pay off your loans is even worse.

What happens if the company you got a "job" for goes belly up in the next year?

What happens if you get in an accident and rack up serious hospital bills while you're on your joy ride of a vacation?

What happens if your family member that you're closest to gets hurt and needs help fiscally or gets cancer and needs your support?

To recap, you're finishing school, you have a job lined up, but you want to go on a vacation using money you don't have, financing it with hypothetical future earnings, only really because you have the time available to travel.

I rest my case, you're clearly entitled to a vacation, after all you've put in a whole four years(I'm guessing here) of higher "education", so go for it, borrow money that you "know" you can repay in the future instead of being fiscally responsible and building up a safety net before you even think about taking a vacation.

You have a point, but the assumption that anyone can start a business (or 6) that can be operated remotely through hard work and ramen is rather dreamy too.

technolich said:   This is a textbook example of what's wrong with our education system.

Instead of starting work and actually paying off said loans people are taking vacations because they "can".

When I was finished with school I started a business(and in the past decade have started 6, all successful), put my head down and worked, ate ramen every day for two years out of college, and now can travel when I want, where I want, and often for as long as I want(as long as I have internet access I can check on my businesses).

Kids nowadays have this entitlement attitude that they can just defer responsibility and enjoy life even if they can't finance it.

Pro tip, assuming you have a job by the time you get back is folly and assuming you'll be able to pay off your loans is even worse.

What happens if the company you got a "job" for goes belly up in the next year?

What happens if you get in an accident and rack up serious hospital bills while you're on your joy ride of a vacation?

What happens if your family member that you're closest to gets hurt and needs help fiscally or gets cancer and needs your support?

To recap, you're finishing school, you have a job lined up, but you want to go on a vacation using money you don't have, financing it with hypothetical future earnings, only really because you have the time available to travel.

I rest my case, you're clearly entitled to a vacation, after all you've put in a whole four years(I'm guessing here) of higher "education", so go for it, borrow money that you "know" you can repay in the future instead of being fiscally responsible and building up a safety net before you even think about taking a vacation.


I agree with your post in part, but as you said, there is only one time in your life when you can responsibly travel the world on the cheap. Whether or not the OP is responsible depends on how he manages the trip, not whether or not he takes it. Life isn't just about racking up the money, it's also about the experiences. Once you have kids in the picture, it would be very irresponsible to do what OP is doing. Only time to do it, is before laying down roots in a single location.

Now, for my simple advice for OP,

1. (and this is a big one), don't count on "Available" credit to finance your trip. Credit can be cutoff at any time. Plan your trip (even if it is a loose fluid plan) and have a budget on how much it would cost. Always have a limit and a plan on how to get home.

2. Once you have an idea of how much your trip is going to cost, work your hardest to lower that cost as you travel. There are many websites for advice on backpacking across the world. FWF is not the best one. Good websites will give advice on how to travel/sleep cheaply specific to locations, advice on how to protect your documents, advice on how to access your money, etc...

3. If you are going to rely on credit, borrow the money now and put it in an account at a bank different than the one that lent it to your. This way, you are not at risk of being cut off in the middle of no where with no easy access to call the creditor or verify any of their requirements.

Like I said, find a website with forums where you can ask questions, and make a plan for the trip. A good website should be able to help you not forget stupid little details that could end up costing you more money later (like bring neosporin with you).

Enjoy

50k BA miles won't get you Very far.
New York to hong kong is 70k miles in economy.

gatzdon said:   

I agree with your post in part, but as you said, there is only one time in your life when you can responsibly travel the world on the cheap. Whether or not the OP is responsible depends on how he manages the trip, not whether or not he takes it. Life isn't just about racking up the money, it's also about the experiences. Once you have kids in the picture, it would be very irresponsible to do what OP is doing. Only time to do it, is before laying down roots in a single location.


I'd say it's irresponsible to do trips like this with the current economic crisis and the amount of poverty/people dying of hunger in the world, regardless of whether or not you have kids in the picture.

The mentality that college graduates should just go travel the world(not even for humanitarian aid) because if they wait it would be irresponsible IMO is reprehensible, the environmental cost of millions of college coeds "traveling" for the hell of it is staggering if not incredibly costly.

The responsible thing to do as a college graduate would be to have a job and save money, not go blow it on a trip around the world financed based on the idea of future earnings.

Life is about experiences and I agree that while vacations are great experiences, I think if you're going to do something like a trip after college it should at least be for humanitarian work to help those that will barely have food,running water, and power much less a vacation overseas.


From a purely fiscal point of view spending money you don't have socked away in the event you have to pay back the loan immediately is stupid.

If he had the money in the bank to pay for the trip in full I would still be against the trip but at least he would have a safety net regardless of whatever tricks he uses to get lowered rates/cheaper traveling expenses.

^^ Is that how you travel ...when I want, where I want, and often for as long as I want... or is social responsibility only for someone else. Why dont you highlight some of your recent humanitarian travels. Lead by example as they say.

technolich said:
I'd say it's irresponsible to do trips like this with the current economic crisis and the amount of poverty/people dying of hunger in the world, regardless of whether or not you have kids in the picture.

The mentality that college graduates should just go travel the world(not even for humanitarian aid) because if they wait it would be irresponsible IMO is reprehensible, the environmental cost of millions of college coeds "traveling" for the hell of it is staggering if not incredibly costly.

The responsible thing to do as a college graduate would be to have a job and save money, not go blow it on a trip around the world financed based on the idea of future earnings.

Life is about experiences and I agree that while vacations are great experiences, I think if you're going to do something like a trip after college it should at least be for humanitarian work to help those that will barely have food,running water, and power much less a vacation overseas.


From a purely fiscal point of view spending money you don't have socked away in the event you have to pay back the loan immediately is stupid.

If he had the money in the bank to pay for the trip in full I would still be against the trip but at least he would have a safety net regardless of whatever tricks he uses to get lowered rates/cheaper traveling expenses.


If the OP doesn't take this trip, there is no telling when he can. Once you start working, getting more than 2 continuous weeks off each year will be tough.
On the other hand, like you mention, it is risky to go into debt to finance a discretionary item like a vacation. If it were me, I would still travel
but find a way to slash the cost. It may involve shortening the length of the trip or picking a new destination altogether.


The point about humanitarian work is noble. One can spend her whole life serving others selflessly, and will derive great joy from such work. Ironically, for such humanitarian opportunities to be available,
there needs to be misery in the world. There needs to be people without water, without food, without love or hope. We can wish for more humanitarians, or we can wish for less misery

technolich said:   
If he had the money in the bank to pay for the trip in full I would still be against the trip but at least he would have a safety net regardless of whatever tricks he uses to get lowered rates/cheaper traveling expenses.


I'm giving your post red only because of this. If OP had the money and assuming his financial house otherwise is in order, who are you to say how he spends it?

technolich said:   This is a textbook example of what's wrong with our education system.

Instead of starting work and actually paying off said loans people are taking vacations because they "can".

When I was finished with school I started a business(and in the past decade have started 6, all successful), put my head down and worked, ate ramen every day for two years out of college, and now can travel when I want, where I want, and often for as long as I want(as long as I have internet access I can check on my businesses).

Kids nowadays have this entitlement attitude that they can just defer responsibility and enjoy life even if they can't finance it.

Pro tip, assuming you have a job by the time you get back is folly and assuming you'll be able to pay off your loans is even worse.

What happens if the company you got a "job" for goes belly up in the next year?

What happens if you get in an accident and rack up serious hospital bills while you're on your joy ride of a vacation?

What happens if your family member that you're closest to gets hurt and needs help fiscally or gets cancer and needs your support?

To recap, you're finishing school, you have a job lined up, but you want to go on a vacation using money you don't have, financing it with hypothetical future earnings, only really because you have the time available to travel.

I rest my case, you're clearly entitled to a vacation, after all you've put in a whole four years(I'm guessing here) of higher "education", so go for it, borrow money that you "know" you can repay in the future instead of being fiscally responsible and building up a safety net before you even think about taking a vacation.


I have a pretty high chance of paying everything off within a few months. The job I accepted is for a large company which I also previously interned for. Its very unlikely that my job would belly up in the next year.

I have traveled cheaply in Asia before and can usually spend less than $40/day (hostel, food, taxi, etc.) depending on the country. Estimating conservatively that I might spend $80/day at 120 days, I would owe ~$10k by the time I start work.

I always purchase medical insurance before going abroad and the chances of ending up in a serious accident are low.

imbatman said:   50k BA miles won't get you Very far.
New York to hong kong is 70k miles in economy.


BA miles work very well for short haul trips. HKG to Vietnam(Hanoi)/(Southern)China/Taiwan(Taipei) is only 4.5k miles. I also have 60k AA miles which I'll be saving most of for my trip back home.

I already have 4 Chase Credit Cards none of which have 0% APR. Maybe I can cancel my Chase United card and then try applying for the Slate card. Below is a history of my Chase cards

1.Freedom - opened 2 years ago - $300 sign up bonus
2.United - opened in Feb. - 50k miles (mostly gone now) - $95/yr fee starting 2nd year -- will probably cancel soon...
3.Hyatt - opened in March - 2 free nights already used at Park Hyatt hotels - $75/yr fee but get 2 free nights every year
4.BA - opened in June - 100k avios (50k a year) - $95/yr fee -- will cancel after 2nd year

Is it too early to cancel the United card and then apply for the Slate card? I'm only allowed to have 4 cards at a time according to a Chase phone rep.

You might be able to borrow from a P2P lender like LendingClub or Prosper.

crhptic said:   You might be able to borrow from a P2P lender like LendingClub or Prosper.

Both sites have 6%+ APR.

linedrivekid123 said:   crhptic said:   You might be able to borrow from a P2P lender like LendingClub or Prosper.

Both sites have 6%+ APR.


That is true, but it's a way to get cash without incurring cash advance fees, and I would bet your credit cards have higher rates than 6% for cash advances.

crhptic said:   linedrivekid123 said:   crhptic said:   You might be able to borrow from a P2P lender like LendingClub or Prosper.

Both sites have 6%+ APR.


That is true, but it's a way to get cash without incurring cash advance fees, and I would bet your credit cards have higher rates than 6% for cash advances.


The $7k 0% APR balance transfer w/ a 3% fee I can get is still better.

linedrivekid123 said:   imbatman said:   50k BA miles won't get you Very far.
New York to hong kong is 70k miles in economy.


BA miles work very well for short haul trips. HKG to Vietnam(Hanoi)/(Southern)China/Taiwan(Taipei) is only 4.5k miles. I also have 60k AA miles which I'll be saving most of for my trip back home.

I already have 4 Chase Credit Cards none of which have 0% APR. Maybe I can cancel my Chase United card and then try applying for the Slate card. Below is a history of my Chase cards

1.Freedom - opened 2 years ago - $300 sign up bonus
2.United - opened in Feb. - 50k miles (mostly gone now) - $95/yr fee starting 2nd year -- will probably cancel soon...
3.Hyatt - opened in March - 2 free nights already used at Park Hyatt hotels - $75/yr fee but get 2 free nights every year
4.BA - opened in June - 100k avios (50k a year) - $95/yr fee -- will cancel after 2nd year

Is it too early to cancel the United card and then apply for the Slate card? I'm only allowed to have 4 cards at a time according to a Chase phone rep.


I figured you were implying use of BA avios to get over there. Yes, using BA for short haul = great use of avios.


You can apply for Chase Slate now. It's been longer than 90 days. That phone rep doesn't know what he/she was talking about.
But if you apply for Slate, keep your united card open. If they deny your slate app because you have too many open accounts, then (on phone with reconsideration line) ask them if they would approve you for Slate if you cancel the United card an transfer the balance to the new Slate card. Very high success rate when people do that. Never cancel an old card just because you want a new one before applying for the new one. Use the cancellation of the old card as leverage.

imbatman said:   linedrivekid123 said:   imbatman said:   50k BA miles won't get you Very far.
New York to hong kong is 70k miles in economy.


BA miles work very well for short haul trips. HKG to Vietnam(Hanoi)/(Southern)China/Taiwan(Taipei) is only 4.5k miles. I also have 60k AA miles which I'll be saving most of for my trip back home.

I already have 4 Chase Credit Cards none of which have 0% APR. Maybe I can cancel my Chase United card and then try applying for the Slate card. Below is a history of my Chase cards

1.Freedom - opened 2 years ago - $300 sign up bonus
2.United - opened in Feb. - 50k miles (mostly gone now) - $95/yr fee starting 2nd year -- will probably cancel soon...
3.Hyatt - opened in March - 2 free nights already used at Park Hyatt hotels - $75/yr fee but get 2 free nights every year
4.BA - opened in June - 100k avios (50k a year) - $95/yr fee -- will cancel after 2nd year

Is it too early to cancel the United card and then apply for the Slate card? I'm only allowed to have 4 cards at a time according to a Chase phone rep.


I figured you were implying use of BA avios to get over there. Yes, using BA for short haul = great use of avios.


You can apply for Chase Slate now. It's been longer than 90 days. That phone rep doesn't know what he/she was talking about.
But if you apply for Slate, keep your united card open. If they deny your slate app because you have too many open accounts, then (on phone with reconsideration line) ask them if they would approve you for Slate if you cancel the United card an transfer the balance to the new Slate card. Very high success rate when people do that. Never cancel an old card just because you want a new one before applying for the new one. Use the cancellation of the old card as leverage.


I applied for the Slate card online and got the 7-10 day wait message. I called Chase and the rep didn't seem happy that I haven't been using my Chase cards enough. I've probably purchased ~$4k at ~100 transaction this year but I guess this isn't "enough". Rep also wasn't happy that I've opened 5 new cards this year (3 Chase, 1 Barclay, 1 Citi). She closed my United card and opened the Slate card but then said I wouldn't quality for the "elite pricing benefits" which include the 0% BT. Oh well, at least I got the $95/year United card closed.

I don't think I should be applying for any more cards now. I'll probably just take the 0% BT offer from Citi for $7k w/ the 3% fee.

Edit: Something else I found strange was that the rep said I never took advantage of the Chase United offer. I guess she couldn't see that I did because I already got the 50k miles from it.

Firstly...don't worry about they naysayers, your plan sounds great. Some things you only get a chance to do once, and are worth getting into a bit of debt for.

I would rather see kids spend money on getting some exposure to different ideas and cultures than making a down payment on a new BMW.

I would say however do make sure you have that BT money in the bank before you go, don't rely solely on credit cards. When I do things like this, I try to carry enough cash to last me a few weeks at a time (just don't access your primary stash where folks can see you!), and a couple of different credit cards (i.e. a Visa and Mastercard) for ATM withdrawals in case one malfunctions or gets shutdown for 'unusual activity'.

Make sure the major portion of your money is in a major bank with an international presence, and not the Podunk Bank of Kentucky... as it will be a lot easier to get hold of it.

Don't forget to setup autopay on those credit cards before you leave, I wouldn't advise logging on to online banking in an Internet Cafe to make a payment

This is spending money you don't have for something you don't need. I'd work for a few years at your consulting firm; when you burn out on it in a few years, you should have some cash stashed up. Take a 4 month sabbatical and do your trip before starting your next job. There's nothing wrong with taking a graduation trip; there's something wrong with taking a graduation trip when you haven't bothered to work and save up money during college to pay for it. If this were that important to you, you would have worked to accomplish it.

http://www.amazon.com/Wait-Science-Delay-Frank-Partnoy/dp/161039...

technolich said:   This is a textbook example of what's wrong with our education system.

Instead of starting work and actually paying off said loans people are taking vacations because they "can".

When I was finished with school I started a business(and in the past decade have started 6, all successful), put my head down and worked, ate ramen every day for two years out of college, and now can travel when I want, where I want, and often for as long as I want(as long as I have internet access I can check on my businesses).

Kids nowadays have this entitlement attitude that they can just defer responsibility and enjoy life even if they can't finance it.

Pro tip, assuming you have a job by the time you get back is folly and assuming you'll be able to pay off your loans is even worse.

What happens if the company you got a "job" for goes belly up in the next year?

What happens if you get in an accident and rack up serious hospital bills while you're on your joy ride of a vacation?

What happens if your family member that you're closest to gets hurt and needs help fiscally or gets cancer and needs your support?

To recap, you're finishing school, you have a job lined up, but you want to go on a vacation using money you don't have, financing it with hypothetical future earnings, only really because you have the time available to travel.

I rest my case, you're clearly entitled to a vacation, after all you've put in a whole four years(I'm guessing here) of higher "education", so go for it, borrow money that you "know" you can repay in the future instead of being fiscally responsible and building up a safety net before you even think about taking a vacation.


How does any of this show what wrong with our education system? You could say this is what (you view) is wrong with our culture, but education, not so much.

A little off topic, but the OP should be accumulating a stash of miles and points from credit card bonuses to have free flights and a few hotel nights here and there. BA points work pretty well for short intra-Europe flights, as one example. If you start now you could have 500k miles by summer.

edit- Ooops. Looks like the OP's already on it.

OP, please let us know how it turns out.

I wouldn't personally go on such a trip -- taking on $7K or $10K in CC debt for a vacation is out of my realm of possibilities. I'm now 4 years out of college, with a stable job (same job for 4 years), and I still wouldn't do it.

I can't fault you for it, though. To each his own.

-mike

If you have good credit scores, my recommendation is to load up on miles of all sorts and you can virtually fund your trip on them. At least the planes, and many hotels.

This will give you a good place to start looking:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/milesbuzz/1177334-special-credit-...

blogs like viewfromthewing.com, thepointsguy.com, etc will give you some more simplified explanations if you are not into diving into a time consuming forum like flyertalk.

Airline miles and points can go towards car rentals, hotels, trains etc...

Couchsurfing.com is an amazing way to meet locals and avoid heavy hotel fees. Hostels are the obviously cheap way to bridge the gap. I know people who have spent months meeting people on couchsurfing and moving from one couch to the next. If you are looking to get a real taste of the travels, this is the way to go... Have you thought about possibly working at a hostel? Nice way to live subsidized for little work and a lot of party. Great way to meet foreigners and line up other trips...

I was set to graduate, and I extended my college years, by not taking the final class needed to graduate. I then applied for a semester in Oslo Norway, followed by a semester in Singapore. Best move I could have ever made. I had the time of my life, and the travel/accommodations were subsidized by my college and a couple grants.

You make time for what you want to make time for...

Good luck!

Pay for it as you go.

Find any number of work at home jobs, and work while you travel. Tutoring online is one such option, there are others. If you have an internet connection, you can work. Better yet? Start working now, anywhere, save a cushion in advance, and work less when you go.

Side benefit: less debt or no debt when you return.

PM if you want the name of a reputable tutoring company. If you can tutor higher levels of math/science, or even some business courses, you'll get hired pretty quickly.

lol, OP negged my post telling him he should have planned in advance for his sweet trip by earning some money for it if he actually wanted to go on the trip so badly.

Skipping 5 Messages...
linedrivekid123 said:   Thanks for all of the comments. I plan on using my Discover card and British Airways Visa card most of the time since these both have no foreign transaction fees. I am also bringing my Charles Schwab debit card that has no ATM fees worldwide. I was able to get a $4k balance transfer from the Chase Slate card and have also been getting some money from family for graduating college.

I have about $8k cash available now ($6k is 0% loans for 8-15 months). I can get another $500 in cash from my Discover card each month at 0% APR. I will also get a few thousand dollars in relocation money from my company soon. I think I will have plenty of cash now for my trip. I just need to keep to a reasonable budget.

I have an idea of where I will be travelling to and am now starting to pack my backpack. I am traveling as light as possible and bringing just clothes, toiletries, iPhone, wallet, camera, tablet (w/ microSD card slot to upload photos), and a Kindle.

I appreciate all the advice everyone's been giving and will post again once I come back from my trip.


Personally, if you can stand it, I'd just bring a small school backpack. It qualifies as a carry on everywhere, easy to carry, you can use it as a pillow.

Bring non cotton clothes, stuff that quick dries. 1 pair of khakis that zip off to make shorts, 1 maybe 2 shirts, and a few pairs of quick dry underwear / socks. A lightweight jacket (if you are going in July) will work as well. Avoid Northface, only because it's a very American brand and will make you a pickpocket target.

The people I met while on the trip (who traveled for months upon months) tended to favor large hiking backpacks. They also brought a tent, sleeping pad, and did a lot of 'urban camping'. (Read: cheap). I did a lot of couch surfing and hostel staying (read: not as cheap, but I didn't want a hiking backpack )

Few tips (mine are Europe specific):

1. Many automated train ticket machines do not accept non chip and pin cards (meaning you will have to pay cash). So bring Euros with you on the plane (or convert cash USD in the airport upon arrival). Yes, this is painful money wise, but being stuck in 2am in Gare Du Nord, Paris, France (shithole of a train station) with no cash (and in my case no working ATM card), and no way to pay for a train ticket, you will thank me.

2. 1 brings me to the second point: Bring multiple ATM cards, bring multiple credit cards. I thankfully had a second ATM card, but (stupidly) did not know the PIN on it. 2am, Paris, Gare Du Nord, trying to call collect to my bank just to find that they didn't accept international collect calls (f**k!). Thankfully, I had WIFI / A laptop with Skype with an American number, so I got it sorted out, again, at 2AM.

3. Learn enough of the languages of the countries that you are visiting that you know: "Where is the bathroom?" "I would like a X, please" "I'm sorry, I do not speak Y, Do you speak English?" "I would like another beer" and most importantly "Would you like to come back to my room?". It shows some respect, and you'll find that even though they most likely speak passable English, and your attempt at a language is laughable pathetic, they really do appreciate you giving enough of a shit to try.

4. Germany is a very cash based society. No idea why. This means you may not even be able to use your Visa at the Gyro stand. Conversely, you can drink on the streets (this saves $$$) (Bars are stupid expensive in Europe).

5. Buy food in a supermarket, prep your own meals in kitchens (if you have them in your hostel). Eating out in Europe is $$$$$. If you must eat out, food stands typically provide the best bang for your buck.



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2014