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 26th, 2006, 04:52 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,633
LoveItaly, you DO pay for bankruptcy costs of others -- not with your credit card but in lots of other ways, including your taxes and the prices you pay for just about everything. It's not unlike whenever you buy something at the grocery YOU are paying for the shoplifting that others do. It is reflected in the prices charged to make up for that.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Dec 26th, 2006, 05:08 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Well you are right Patrick. I agree. I learned quickly when I started in the insurance business that the price of any product covers the cost of shoplifting and employee theft. Just never thought about the cost of bankruptcy being added to the cost of products..but that makes sense of course.

butrflimobrain, I wish you a successful future career wish along with wishes that you will have many wonderful trips throughout your life. May life be good to you!
LoveItaly is offline  
Dec 26th, 2006, 05:16 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1
Hi B-

I graduated three years ago having paid for the majority of my college education out of pocket and now only have a little over $ 10K on a student loan I got my last year of school. However, I worked a full-time job and part-time job while in college so I don't have as much debt as a lot of other people I know.

Since graduation, I worked my way up and have a fairly nice sales + commission job for a recent college graduate. I lived at home until about a year ago so I have a nice cushion. I will have my loan paid off by the end of 2007. I have made the decision to stay with the company I'm at for another year and then quit to fulfill a long-standing dream of traveling the world for a year. Some think I'm crazy and others are jealous. I'm going to ask my company for a leave of absence. If they give it to me great...if they don't I will still by happy with my decision.

Like you, I didn't want to try and cram Europe into the standard two or three-week vacation. Plus my philosophy has always been go big or go home. But at the same time, I live within my means and I don't have any credit card debt. So I'm SAVING for this grand trip. I figured in the long-run it's easy to work for a year to travel for a year.

To make this trip happen, I've made several sacrifices. No more mini-trips on long weekends...no more partying every weekend...no more crazy shopping sprees. But in the end I'll be able to take $ 30K and have the vacation that many die before taking.

And for all those people thinking that I'm crazy and could actually use the money for a down-payment on a home, I've already thought of that and for every dollar I save for my trip I also save a dollar for a down-payment on a starter home or condo upon my return.

Good luck with whatever you decide but I do agree with everyone else that credit card debt isn't the best way to go.

mbs4u is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,225
>after reading all of the responses, I have decided to delay my trip until after I have enough moeny to afford it.<

Good for you, B.

ira is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 09:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 91,848
Do some research on the working angle. You might be able to secure employment 'overseas' if you are persistent enough. Probably not in your field but simply with your degree. If you have a fluent second language will be of help.
suze is online now  
Dec 27th, 2006, 09:58 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,869
LoveItaly is totally correct: she is a USAA member also.
But, NP, if you have no insurance needs (actually, I'm required to have auto liability here in MX), and pay no US taxes other than the now low div and capital gains taxes, buy nothing except stuff on line with free shipping and no state sales taxes, we avoid lots of the US add ons.
We obviously game avoiding any and all unneccessary taxes, fees, etc.
Pays for our many annual travel experiences.
M (SMdA, Gto.)
mikemo is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
After spending a summer and fall in Europe as an undergraduate, I decided I wanted to go back again and again.

As soon as graduating from college came on the scope, I began applying to U.S. companies having foreign offices needing my skill set.

On about the third try, I nailed down a job with TWA as a computer programmer. I didn't travel on business, but as a non-contract employee, I qualified for an unlimited pass for space-available transport anywhere in the system. There were no service fees for the ticket, but we could pay an extra $5 per leg to upgrade to First Class.

I spent the next six years in an orgy of travel - weekend trips to Europe were a regular occurrence (flex time allowed me to put in 40 hours in a 4 day week and travel the other three), and overnights to Shannon to re-stock the liquor cabinet were not uncommon.

So if you want to travel, find some company who wants to pay you to do it.
Robespierre is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 10:21 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 10
My idea is to take an extra couple of thousand out with your student loans at a very low interest rate and go. At least when you pay back the extra money it is at a low rate rather than your credit card rate. Take all your graduation money and put it towards your first loan payments, since you do't have a job lined up. Work an extra job, waitressing maybe, and make some extra money. Just think of every night you work as a meal you have paid for in Europe. Take every student discount you can get and go. Trust me noone else is going to be the one toiling at 2 jobs to pay your bills so make the memories you have of your extra bill a fun one!
chris_john is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
The LAST thing you want to do is to borrow money before your financial future is more predictable.

If you default on one debt (car loan, credit card, whatever), it will be a LONG time before your credit score will support more borrowing - and there went your shot at home ownership.

Pay cash (and not borrowed cash) for everything, and you can retire at 50.
Robespierre is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 12:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 15,363
Good decision. I really relate to Kealoha, between law school and grad school loans, my husband and I don't have a lot of leftover income every month. Retirement, college funds for the daughter, mortgage, and building our own savings have priority over trips to Europe right now.

I think it's great that you're looking into job opportunities. I have a friend that spent 6 months working in the U.K. after college. My sister will be studying abroad next semester.

Regarding bankruptcy and discharging credit card debt, it seems to me that credit card companies should eat a little bit of their losses since they're so willing to hand out credit to any 18 year old college freshman. It's not at all uncommon for bankruptcy debtors to receive credit card offers while they're in the middle of a bankruptcy. If a company is willing to risk loaning money to anyone with bad credit, let the company suffer the loss.
kureiff is online now  
Dec 27th, 2006, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
The company doesn't suffer any loss. They pass this Cost of Doing Business through to their customers (cardholders).
Robespierre is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,766
You've gotten some wonderful advice here from people who know what they are talking about - and I'm really glad you said you will delay the trip. Believe me, as someone already said - "Freedom" is being out of debt. Freedom and peace of mind. You are very young and will have plenty of time for Europe. Going to Europe knowing you can afford it will be the best gift you can give yourself. Good luck, and I'm sure you will get there plenty in the future!
Sue4 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 09:27 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,322
There is an interesting section in the USA Today money section titled "Young and in debt" which would make interesting reading for those who want to finance their wanderlust with CC debt. Lots of possible ways to travel as part of an occupation.
Getting a job with a legacy airline is one way. Joining the Foreign service or Peace corp is another way. If you had a teaching credential you might find a job outide the US. You can get teaching jobs for English in Asia without a credential. Competence in more than one foreign language would be helpful. I actually think there are books written about this topic.
mjs is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 01:41 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
"My question is has anyone else ever charged a whole trip just to Europe for a month?"

Perhaps not for a month but we routinely charge whole trips to Europe and everywhere else on our CC.

But the difference is we probably make a lot more money than you do AND we pay off our CC charges every month and never run a balance.

You do not say what kind of job you may have after graduation OR what sort of money you might be making..only that you won't have time for travel.

If you're making plenty of money and won't be spending it on travel perhaps that means you'll have time and the resources to pay off your debt.

Frankly, I would NEVER advise anyone about finances given this lack of detailed information from you.

Dukey is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 06:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,579
Interesting article on Yahoo Finance "The Psychology of Regret"

jsmith is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 06:42 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,337
Don't go. Dream and plan, even in excruciating detail, but don't debt-finance your vacation without a concrete plan and means to pay it off. You are all of 21 or 22 and you could easily ruin your credit or impair your financial health at the very beginning of your adult life.

You've rationalized the $2500 for a vacation because you're young and free. And once the trip is over, you'll still be young, and you'll feel entitled to other nice things. It could be clothes, a TV, a better car than you can afford, but chances are, this won't be the only expense that you'll "charge" without having the money to pay for. This is how it happens with most everyone in CC debt - the first expense is necessary, and then it just becomes too easy to use.

Trust me on this. In graduate school, I needed suits immediately for a job, and my parents were not around to lend me the money. So I took out a store credit card. Even though I had a good summer job, I didn't pay them off completely. And I got a real credit card, and began to charge more clothes and a few other things (small vacations). When the bills came, it was easier just to pay the minimum, and I was never spending too much. Two years later, I was over $10k in credit card debt. I made minimum payments, but usually not much more.

I was lucky to come out of law school with a well-paying job. One year and several hefty CC checks later, I was finally out of CC debt (but I was incredibly lucky).

The average American is reportedly in CC debt of over $8k. There's a way this starts.

I'll echo the others' sentiments: you have student loan debt, you have no job lined up, and a bachelor's sociology degree doesn't usually translate to a high income immediately. This is a recipe for you to be carrying this trip debt for YEARS, and of course, by the time it's paid off, you'll have paid a huge amount in interest.

Put the word out that you'd like to travel this summer - maybe some family members will lend you the money, but don't expect it. Live within your means, travel within your budget, and enjoy a time in your life when you're not drowning in debt (other than student loans - the mortgage will come).
kgh8m is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 07:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 91,848
Read the entire thread, he already decided to wait
suze is online now  
Dec 29th, 2006, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,037
jsmith, thanks for the link. Interesting that despite the findings, the researcher indicates that he doesn't think one should make choices based on anticipated regret, since it is a bad way to make choices.

That said, I don't regret waiting to travel until we could afford it, but I do regret it now if we are too parsimonious on trips (both spouse and self are apt to be hyperopic in this regard...) I plan this time round to 'manage the memories' as the author suggests, and remind him of the happy times we've had when we did things that were a bit more indulgent than what we might otherwise have done.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Apr 26th, 2005 07:27 PM
Mar 3rd, 2005 10:31 AM
Sep 21st, 2004 11:33 AM
Sep 13th, 2000 10:32 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:24 PM.