Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Is it worth it to charge a trip to Europe on a Credit Card?

Is it worth it to charge a trip to Europe on a Credit Card?

Dec 24th, 2006, 12:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6
Is it worth it to charge a trip to Europe on a Credit Card?

I have a serious case of wanderlust. I went to study in Lyon, France last year and I want to go back soon. The only problem is that I am a college student and I can only go in summer of 2007 and I would have to charge the trip on a credit card. I graduate from college in December of 2007. Once I graduate, i will have to start working full- time and I won't have time to travel to europe. I would charge the plane ticket and housing and food, which I expect would be around $2500. I would pay it off within a year. My question is has anyone else ever charged a whole trip just to Europe for a month?
butrflimobrain is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 01:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 241
IMO yes, many will disagree.

Back in '99 I was 29 years old, living paycheck to paycheck, no savings, still paying off college loans, car loan, you get the idea. I had always wanted to go to Paris. I was nearing 30, damnit, and I just *had* to go! So yes I charged the whole trip, to the tune of about $2,500 for one week.

I fell in love with Paris.

About a year later, I was just paying off the first trip, when I decided I absolutely must go again. So I charged another trip.

No regrets.

My finances have improved a bit since then. Instead of taking a year to pay off a trip, it only takes 1-3 months depending on how much shopping I do, or how many Michelin star restos I dine at.

Obviously traveling is a huge priority of mine. Being in debt for a couple months is no biggie, I don't lose any sleep over it.

Only you can decide what is best for YOU. Only you can decide if it is worth it.
luveurop is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 02:05 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,533
If you start saving money immediately, you won't have to charge so much.
kerouac is online now  
Dec 24th, 2006, 02:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,214
Hi B,

>Once I graduate, i will have to start working full- time and I won't have time to travel to europe.<

This might come as a surprise to you, but there are millions of us who work full time, have mortgages and families and still manage the occasional trip to Europe.

>I would pay it off within a year.<

Why not put the $250 or so per month that would go to the CC company into a savings account for a year and NOT GO DEEPLY INTO DEBT BEFORE YOU HAVE EVEN STARTED OUT?

Sheesh, kids today. No self-discipline. Everything is instant gratification. No concept of saving instead of going into debt...yada yada yada yada... uphill both ways.
ira is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 02:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,998
A math question. What will the total interest cost be? My Visa says that my annual interest rate is 36%. Can you get a bank loan?
GSteed is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 03:14 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 542
Time and money don't often come together.

I say it is worth it to leverage a little for taking a trip. The key is to minimize the debt by 1) finding the best source for your debt (NOT a high interest credit card) and 2) minimizing the amount of debt by sticking to a budget (it is easy sometimg to be on the trip and say - well I am charging the whole thing anyway what is another $100 of debt -might as well stay in the nice hotel/have the nice dinner etc. Be honest with yourself - will you be willing to do this super budget. and also saving ahead to minimize the total amount.

The other thing to assess is your long term prospects. Are you graduating with 100K in school loans and going into a low paying job without rapid salary increases. Then this burden could become greater than your realize.

These are my thoughts - this however is coming from a person whose 2005/2006 travel expenditures were so big I am still suffering and having to buckle down with no trips for 2007.

sfmaster is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 03:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,154
sfmaster, you said it very well and I'm in the same boat with you for 2007 (although I'm sure I will eventually violate and get out a bit.) The thing is that what we will all run out of eventually is time, which is life itself. I'm enjoying the ride and there is a reason that "a wealth of experience" is an apt figure of speech. Be reasonable, but realize that time and health are assets in the equation along with money.
Flyboy is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 03:44 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,862
If you have to charge it, you can't afford it. That goes for everything in life. The only thing you should ever have to pay interest on in life is a home and an education. Period.

No one loves travel more than I do, and the reason I can travel as much as I do now, with little worry, is because I have always lived within my means. On a modest salary. Don't be one of the sad folks earning tons of money and never being able to get ahead because they don't know how to postpone the things they don't really need.

Europe ain't going anywhere. How about a backpacking trip to colonial mexico instead?
Cimbrone is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 05:49 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 13,323
$2500? Heck, I don't even pull out my plastic for something that puny. If you have to use a CC, then go first class and live it up big time in ***** hotels. You only go around once, so go around in grand style. It will be good practice for the American way of debt accumulation.

Seriously, save for a year and then go. CC debt is a slippery slope.

degas is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 06:05 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 136
I'm normally fiscally conservative and would say to not charge, BUT, in this case you may have an argument for it.

You wisely realize that it will be some time before you have this block of time available again. You can move blocks of money around in your life by borrowing. but you can't move time around and NOW is when you can manage the time.

I say it is OK to go for it only if you don't already have huge student loans and will hold your hand over your heart (or other important body part) and swear that this will be a one time debt and you will study the virtues of savings and compound intrest. Please pay off the debts quickly and start a savings plan after you are working.
gforaker is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 06:06 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 768
Yes, credit is a slippery slope.

I don't know what degree you are pursuing, but for most of us, immediate employment in our field is NOT a certainty. In the US, most professional jobs start with two weeks of paid vacation. You will be able to travel.

Maybe a spring break trip will soothe your need for awhile.
Big_Red is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 06:18 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,224
If you know you can pay it off in a year, then I'd accept one of those promotional 0% interest for 8 months-1 year on purchases CC offers. The interest rate usually rockets after the promo period but if you're disciplined about paying it off, this is the best option if you're going to charge it.
fishee is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 06:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,605
Are you sure you can spend a month in Europe for $2500?
flight = $800
50E rooms x 30 = $1500
>>> that's already $2300 and you haven't bought a train ticket, a meal, or an entrance fee to one thing yet.

GSteed, I don't understand the credit card rate of 36% per year, either.
Travelnut is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 06:25 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 460
Travelnut, I was thinking the very same thing. Maybe they are staying with friends or relatives?
Cato is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 06:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,283

you forgot to tell us how many miles you had to walk to school....in the snow....in a threadbare coat

Well, I'm very conservative when it comes to money, so you'd know what my position would be --

On the other hand, an extreme case is my sister in law. She and her husband have never had any money (mainly because he would decide to quit a job before having another one lined up, so periods of time with no income.

and learn from THAT be a piece of information to keep Butrflimobrain!)

Btw, I should mention that they are in their early 60's. Last year her husband, who's never liked their house, decided they should move out of basically downtown Reno (where Karen works) to someplace called Fernly where they could get a bigger / nicer house for the $$ they'd get from selling their current house.

This would mean a 30 min/ea way commute for her, and living out in the sticks. But Karen had always fantasized about going to Italy and struck a deal with Bob -- she'd move if they could go to Italy.

Imagine my surprise when Karen called me and said 'I'M GOING TO ROME AND WE'RE SELLING OUR HOUSE!"

And we even met up with them in Rome, where we had dinner together several nights!

wlzmatilida is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,630
I have a great niece who graduated college a year ago summa cum laude, so she's supposed to be bright. She is working now but ran up incredible credit card debts. She found a new card that would combine all her other debts at a very low interest so she did that. But she couldn't make one payment which voided the contract and the interest raised to something like 20% plus fines PER MONTH. In 6 months the debt more than doubled. She's now under advisement to file for bankruptcy. What a way to start a life!!
NeoPatrick is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 06:44 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 460
Summa cum laude is fine, but Summa cum comma sensa is much better.
Cato is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 06:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,605
Any chance of giving big hints for a graduation gift?
Travelnut is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 06:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 793
How about incorporating work into a European visit or extended stay?

Our daughter has tentative plans to do that (she's only a college freshaman).

Our niece is spending a semester in the Netherlands and has tentative plans to return to Europe and work at some point.

Don't think that working will preclude you from traveling. You can definitely do both!
canterbury is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 06:52 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,630
Cato -- AMEN! That seems to be the biggest missing link in today's education.

What was she thinking? Incidentally she sent something like $500 of the required $750 payment and then sent the other $250 a week later, but that was beyond the deadline -- so that's what voided her entire contract and sent the fines and rates through the roof. Those credit card companies can be brutal if you don't read the fine print -- or even if you do.
NeoPatrick is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:44 PM.