we always paid up front, however I love to cruise and would charge if I saw a great deal and did not have the cash on hand. I am in Carnival Vacation Club now and use points, not real money atleast thats how it feels.
Thanks for everyones' replies.
We are able to cover the air and cruise cost and pre and post cruise hotels and car rentals but don't have a heck of a lot left over. Ah well ya can't take it with ya and the kids are only young once so we really love to enjoy them and take fun family vacations when we can. Yeah there's guilt about the money (what else we could use it for - like the house) but this is the fun we work so hard for all year !
I grew up in a family that traveled and when we were married 19 years ago we started saving a portion of our pay check every month for vacations. We have been saving every month since. We always pay for a vacation before we go. I don't think I could enjoy it if I had to worry about a big bill when I got home.
I too have done it both ways. Here is my take on it. If you have a good deal or if you have around 80% of it paid for then go ahead and have a good time. The reason why I say this is because you will be able to pay the remaining balance off in just a few month afterwards. Don't cut you vacation short because you don't want to go into a little debt. Now i would not go any more then 20% of the total cost into debt other wise it is just to hard to catch up from it. This of course is if this is the trip of a life time thus far for you and your kids. I have taken a second job bartending saturday night a month before to give us a few hundread dollars more for the trip. It's all about where can i cut from the regular month to month budget and how can I raise my income to be able to save the extra 400 per month for a cruise a year. My fiancee and myself ended up saving over a thousand dollars a month by watching our money more carefully and her picking up two extra shifts a month and myself in sales spend two nights a week at the office late prospecting for new business. Now we are only 23 yrs old so that's easy to do but come up with your own. We are going to Hawaii in the Fall for our honeymoon, flying first class there and back plus a cat 11 suit just by doing though's things for the last year.
After our first cruise,I realized I have a passion for cruising....... I was hooked!!
So now, I have a vacation fund in which I put a portion of my check into every payday., along with any extra over-time pay that I would not have been expecting that paycheck. Then, when final payment for the cruise is due, I have it in the bank awaiting it's final destination. I try and average it out so that we also have some fun money left available to us when cruise day comes along too!
My motto is....I work so that I can vacation!!
Well fortunatly for me I am a Florida resident, we get great discounts on cruises being a resident.. can go for 400 to 500 dollars, and no airfare needed... So i always pay up front as it is not an extream cost.. What else could you do for a week with food included for 400 bucks... I love to scuba dive so most of my shore excursions are cheep I just rent a tank or two bring the rest of my gear and either do a shore dive or get a local to take me out on his boat for a small fee...