Valley First

Vacation Without
Breaking the Bank

Simple tips to enjoy your summer vacation without breaking the bank
June 21, 2013

Penticton, B.C.—With summer vacation fast approaching, many families are making plans to get the most from their time off. However, vacations can turn out costly and far from the relaxing break people have in mind.

“We live in a user-pays world,” says Nicole Diachuk, a branch manager at Valley First. “Vacation can be expensive. However, it’s possible to create great summer memories without burning a hole in the budget.”

When it comes to spending, many of us reach straight for our credit cards, explains Diachuk. Although, this may be an easy short-term solution, all bills eventually need to be paid.

“For many families, credit cards provide a quick and easy way to finance a summer vacation,” says Diachuk. “But, we need to be careful. Unless you are able to pay off the full amount when your statement is due, the interest charged could hang over your head long after the holiday snaps have been downloaded from your camera.”

Over the past few years, the Government of Canada has expanded the types programs eligible for tax deductions. From recreation programs to the arts, children’s summer program may provide a little kickback next tax season.

“You could be earning important tax credits while your kids are splashing about during swim lessons or running around playing lacrosse,” explains Diachuk. “Hold on to your kids’ program receipts and share them with your tax advisor for consideration when filing your next tax return.”

If you’re venturing further afield the increasingly popular staycation, Diachuk advises to check your travel insurance as broken bones can often heal faster than broken bank balances.

“We’ve all heard the horror stories of travelers owing thousands of dollars in medical bills when travelling to places like the US or Mexico, but what many people don’t know is that there are limitations on what is covered even when travelling within Canada,” says Diachuk. “I always advise people to play it safe and look into additional travel insurance because it’s better to be over prepared than not.”

Ultimately, explains Diachuk, there are two foolproof ways to ensure your dream holiday doesn’t break the bank—saving for your vacation and spending within your means.

“Ideally, if you can save up for your vacation beforehand, that is the best way to avoid post-vacation bills. If you have to borrow, look at less costly alternatives like a personal line of credit that offer lower interest rate than credit cards. One of the easiest ways to get ahead is set up a savings account specifically for a vacation fund and have a set amount directly deposited every payday. When it comes time to take your vacation next year, you’ll have a solid lump sum saved up already.”

About Valley First

Valley First is a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union, which has 40 branches and 29 insurance offices throughout the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Kitimat and Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. Led by Launi Skinner, First West has $7.1 billion in assets under administration, more than 171,000 members and close to 1,300 employees.

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