Vacation & Travel Loans – How to Finance a Trip to Florida When You're on a Budget?


It's already been already said and written much about the positive effects that vacation has on our mental health. Going on vacation helps people change the environment, switch from endless thoughts about work, and focus on other areas of their everyday life. It's also a good way to clear your head and gain new pleasant impressions and memories that will keep you warm until your next holiday. And you can get all of this when you come to Florida.

However, preparing for a trip can be quite a tedious deal. Although most people think it usually starts with planning dates and thinking about destinations you and your family members want to visit, it's only half true. In most cases, the preparation starts with budgeting. And sometimes, you can get upset while making all the calculations if they result in costs that you can't cover without additional financial support. But don't worry! We're here to help you find out how to finance a trip to Florida when you're on a budget.

What Is The Average Cost of Vacation in Florida?

Going to Florida often comes with high flight, accommodation, and recreation costs. In total, an average family of four spends nearly $5,600 for a one-week trip. However, Florida keeps attracting tourists from all over the world for a reason. It's a place where everyone can get what they expect from a dream vacation. You can enjoy sunbathing or spearfishing in the Caribbean, visit plenty of theme and natural parks, galleries, and museums, or just merge with nature and touch the beauty of every moment. But even if you find yourself unable to afford a vacation in Florida, there's an option that can help you out. Instead of letting financial hardships come between you and your dream holiday, you can turn to vacation loans and enjoy the comfort you deserve.

What Are Vacation Loans?

Vacation loans are a form of personal debt that an individual can use to cover their travel expenses. As personal loans typically set no restrictions on a loan purpose, you can use the funds to cover any trip-related cost, from paying for stay and car rental to covering flight costs and various admission fees.

Most vacation loans are unsecured, which means you don't need to put up collateral to get one. Also, this form of borrowing typically comes with fixed interest rates. This way, your monthly loan payments will be the same within the loan lifetime.

The maximum loan amount you can take out is usually determined by a lender based on your income. Loan terms and interest rates can also fluctuate depending on the conditions of a particular loan provider. Commonly, you can access up to $50,000 financing for up to 60 months and at an APR between 5.99% and 35.99%. But keep in mind that your solvency and credit score will also affect loan conditions a lender can offer you.

What Credit Score Do I Need to Get a Loan for Vacation?

Let's start with the very beginning. When you apply for a loan from a traditional lender, it typically checks your credit history to estimate whether you're a reliable borrower. To make this, it reviews your payment history and, of course, your credit score, which demonstrates your overall creditworthiness. That is why many lenders set minimum credit score requirements borrowers must meet to apply for a loan.

On average, you need to have a credit rating that is 580 and over to apply for a vacation loan. Some traditional lenders like banks and credit unions may even ask you to demonstrate a credit score of at least 670 to qualify. However, there are some lenders that set no minimum for your credit score. At the same time, their loans are typically more expensive compared to traditional ones. Therefore, an interest rate on such a loan can be over 36%.

Best Ways to Finance Your Vacation

When you need a travel loan, there are two common options you can consider. The first variant is a personal loan that you can use to cover any personal needs you have. The second option is a travel rewards credit card. It works like a regular credit card, meaning it allows you to pay for almost any purchase you make in your daily life. However, for each of them, you earn miles, points, or cashback that you can use to cover your future travel-related expenses. Let's take a closer look at these two.

Personal Loans

As we've already mentioned, personal loans are borrowed amounts that people can use for any purpose, including vacation financing. These loans allow you to cover all the expenses associated with your trip. Most personal loans require no collateral backing, so you just need to demonstrate a sufficient income and a high-enough credit score to apply.

However, there are also personal loan options for people with credit issues that may require a pledge. This way, you need to pawn some of your valuable property, such as your car or house, to get the amount you need. Secured personal loans usually offer lower interest rates for bad credit borrowers but also carry more risks to them. Therefore, you need to make sure your secured loan payments fit your budget. This is because you can lose your property in case of non-payment.

Travel Rewards Credit Cards

General travel cards are issued by banks and aren't tied to any single airline or hotel group. With their help, you earn points for every purchase you make, typically from 1 to 2 points per dollar spent. Some issuers also make great welcome offers for new applicants that implies big sign-up bonuses in the form of tens of thousands of miles. These bonuses can be earned by spending a certain sum on the card within the agreed term, commonly the first few months. The points and miles earned can be used to redeem the flight or book travel through the issuer's website.

Pros and Cons of Vacation Financing

Before applying for a vacation loan, you need to estimate all the pros and cons to make an informed decision.


Reasonable rates for some groups of borrowers. If you have good credit (670 or above), you can count on an affordable loan offer with the lowest possible annual percentage rate.

A lump-sum money deposit. A lender will transfer money to your bank account all at once, so you can plan your vacation budget and stick to it. This feature applies to personal loans, not travel rewards credit cards.

Flexible loan terms. Most vacation loan providers offer a flexible payment schedule for your stress-free borrowing experience. Thanks to these, it will be much easier to repay a loan without overburdening yourself.

Fixed loan payments. Your monthly installments will be predictable within the whole repayment period due to a fixed interest rate. Therefore, you will always know how much you need to pay this month.


It may require collateral. If you have bad credit and want to access a loan at fair rates, a lender may require you to provide a pledge.

This debt can add financial stress. If your financial situation is not stable or your income always fluctuates, obtaining a vacation loan may result in stress. Also, if you fail in your loan payment, it will drop your credit score and cause penalties.

Years of repayment. An average personal loan term is 60 months, which means you will be obliged to service your debt long after you've returned home from a trip.

How Can You Get a Loan for Vacation?

If you weigh the pros and cons and decide to take out a vacation loan, here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Review your credit report. You can use a special service to check it for free once a year. When you know your credit score, it will be easier for you to choose a loan that you can qualify for. Also, it's recommended to check your credit report for mistakes and fix them to improve your rating.
  2. Find the right lender. When comparing lenders, pay attention to interest rates, loan amounts, repayment terms, fees, and other important conditions.
  3. Pre-qualify for a loan. You can even make it several times through different websites to have a better understanding of the terms that lenders can offer you at the moment. But make sure that a lender offers pre-qualifying that doesn't affect your credit score.
  4. Collect all the required documents. You may need proof of identity, income confirmation, Social Security and bank account numbers, and more.

Final Thoughts on Vacation Loans

Vacation loans can come to the rescue when your savings are not enough to cover all the trip-related costs. There are two common forms of vacation financing – personal loans and travel rewards credit cards. A personal loan can be either unsecured or secured. It allows you to get the whole loan amount at once, so it will be easier for you to plan your vacation. General travel cards allow you to earn miles and points for each purchase. These bonuses can be used toward your travel expenses in the future.

Although most financial experts recommend avoiding taking out debt to pay for luxuries like vacations, sometimes it can work for you. Borrowing can make sense when you need to make an urgent trip or if it's your best option due to a reasonable price. However, make sure the monthly payments are within your means and make a commitment to make on-time payments by the due date.