personal loan for vacation

Consumers may use most personal loans to pay for costs and expenses related to a vacation. However, it’s important to factor in repayment before taking out a personal loan for vacation to ensure you don’t accumulate unmanageable debts.  

A vacation may seem ideal if you need a break from your monotonous life. On average, Americans take 2.29 billion domestic tourist trips each year.1  If you’re interested in taking a break from your stressful job to recline on a beach, you may start looking for a personal loan for vacation. But before applying with a lender, consider the pros and cons of vacation financing.  

What Is a Vacation Loan?

Vacation loans are short or long-term loans with an installment payment plan. Many people use personal loans to finance a vacation because they have flexible approval requirements, and don’t require collateral. You could be eligible for a loan despite a low credit score if you can provide proof of reliable income. 

The benefit of a vacation loan is that you can enjoy it now and pay later. Suppose you want to book an all-inclusive Caribbean vacation but lack the money. In that case, you can apply for an installment loan. You can pay off a costly vacation through monthly payments made over a few months or years. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of Vacation Loans?

A vacation is great for your overall happiness and mental health. Using a personal installment loan to afford the cost of a luxury vacation seems like an easy choice to make. But there are several factors to consider, such as the long-term effects on your finances. 

Pros of Vacation Loans

  • Instant gratification 
  • Accessibility 
  • Convenient terms

Instant Gratification

The single most significant benefit of using a vacation loan is instant gratification. If you want to plan a vacation now and start counting the days until takeoff, a personal loan can help you make concrete plans. You do not have to wait until you save enough money since a lender will provide a lump sum payment. 


Personal loans can be even very convenient if you apply with online lenders. You can avoid the hassle of traveling to a store location and waiting in line by simply starting an inquiry from home. The online loan approval process is streamlined and quick. You could get credit approval despite a low credit score if you can show proof of your ability to make payments on time. 

Convenient Terms

Various vacation loan options are available, but a personal loan may offer more convenient loan terms. Personal loans typically have fixed monthly payments, so you always know how much you have to pay and when the payment is due. 

The loan amount is highly flexible with personal loans. You could quickly get a few thousand dollars to book a guided tour of the French countryside! But if you only need 100 dollars right now, know that the minimum loan amount is low. You do not have to take out more or less than what you need with personal loans. 

Cons of Vacation Loans

  • Unnecessary Stress
  • High costs
  • Potentially limited financial options in the future 

Unnecessary Stress

Having to pay off another loan can add more stress to your life. If you struggle to pay down your debts, taking out a vacation loan may not be ideal for your finances. 

If you cannot afford the cost of a vacation without taking out a personal loan, your budgeting plan may need some work. Suppose you are experiencing difficulty saving money for a coastal getaway. In that case, you may struggle more after taking on one more loan. Even if the loan terms are affordable, adding an extra bill to your calendar can make it harder for you to afford additional large purchases in the future. 

High Cost 

A personal loan can be expensive, even if you acquire affordable loan terms. A longer repayment length will reduce your fixed monthly payments so you can maintain necessary expenses like a flexible grocery shopping budget. However, you may end up paying thousands of dollars in interest fees over several years! 

Suppose you pay off a $2,000 personal loan over 12 months. If the APR rate is 199%, you will end up paying $3,980 in just interest fees! You could use that extra money to afford another vacation or pay off credit card debt. 

Limited Future Financial Options

Your loans and credit card debt will appear on a credit report for lenders to review. If you plan on borrowing money in the future, your financial options may be limited. Lenders tend to avoid working with high-risk borrowers with too many debt payment obligations. A vacation loan may prevent you from qualifying for a mortgage loan or auto loan in the future. 

If you’re working on improving your credit score, keep in mind that a high debt to income ratio can decrease your credit score. If your debt exceeds 28% of your income, your credit score will decrease by a few points. Lower credit scores will limit your financial opportunities and raise your monthly payments. 

Can I Afford To Take Out Personal Loans?

If you are dead set on taking out personal loans to afford the cost of a well-deserved vacation, consider if you can afford the cost. Many personal loan lenders offer informative resources online for potential borrowers, such as a loan calculator. 

You can use an online calculator to determine your monthly payments and what you will spend on interest fees. To get an idea of the overall cost of borrowing money, you will need to know the loan amount, APR rate, and repayment length. 

Suppose you apply for a vacation loan and determine you cannot afford the monthly payments. In that case, you can talk to a loan officer about adjusting your terms. An extended repayment length will lower your monthly payment, but you will pay more through interest fees. 

Is There a Good Time To Use a Vacation Loan?

Financial experts agree that borrowers should avoid taking out unnecessary loans that do not add anything to their financial portfolio. A vacation loan is ideal for emergency travel, such as when a family member is sick, or a loved one has recently passed away. 

Of course, you are free to apply for loans at any time. If you think a vacation is what you need right now, it may be best to take one! But ensure you compare multiple loan offers before formally applying with a lender. Personal loans offer decent interest rates for borrowers, but some lenders offer additional fees. Avoid working with personal loan lenders that require a loan origination fee or penalize you for paying your loan early. 

Budgeting and Debt Payment Methods To Afford a Vacation 

Various budgeting and debt payment methods allow you to tackle debt and grow your emergency fund quickly. If you want a vacation, try establishing a plan first. Below is more information about some budgeting methods, like learning how to do the 100 envelope challenge to save $5,000, you may want to try instead of getting a vacation loan. 

Detailed Breakdown

100 Envelope ChallengeInvolves 100 envelopes numbered 1 to 100. Each day, randomly pick an envelope and put in cash equal to the number on it. Continue for 100 days to save $5,000. Ideal for saving for specific goals like a vacation.To save a substantial amount ($5,000) systematically for a specific purpose like a vacation.
Zero Sum BudgetAllocate every dollar of your income to various categories, including savings, ensuring that your income minus your expenses equals zero. This method is effective for disciplined saving and spending.To ensure all income is allocated, including savings, leading to more organized finances.
Avalanche MethodFocus on paying off debts with the highest interest rates first while paying minimums on others. This method reduces the amount of interest paid over time but may take longer to see overall debt reduction.To minimize interest fees by eliminating high-interest debts first.
Snowball MethodPrioritize paying off smaller debts first, regardless of interest rate, for quick wins. This method provides motivation as you see debts being cleared more rapidly.To quickly reduce the number of debts, providing psychological motivation.

FAQ: When You Need to Borrow Money for Vacation 

What are the eligibility criteria for vacation loans?

The eligibility criteria for a vacation loan typically include a stable income, a good credit history, and meeting minimum credit score requirements. Lenders, including banks and credit unions, assess these factors to determine your ability to repay the loan. For unsecured personal loans, which are common for vacation financing, the criteria might be more stringent.

How much can I borrow with vacation loans?

The amount you can borrow with a loan for vacation varies based on your financial situation and the lender’s policies. Personal loans range can differ significantly, with some lenders offering larger amounts for extensive travel plans. A credit union or online lender might have different maximum loan limits.

What is the typical interest rate for a vacation loan?

The typical interest rate for a loan for vacation depends on the lender, your credit score, and other financial factors. Rates can vary widely, with credit unions often offering competitive rates. Paying interest is an important consideration, as it adds to the overall loan costs.

How long do I have to repay a loan for vacation?

Repayment terms for a loan for vacation can range from a few months to several years. These loans often come with fixed monthly installments, allowing for predictable repayment schedules. The term length will affect both your monthly payment amount and the total interest paid over the life of the loan.

Are there any specific documents required to apply for a loan for vacation?

Applying for a loan for vacation typically requires proof of income, identification, and credit history documentation. Some lenders might also request additional information related to your travel plans, although this isn’t always a requirement.

Do I need to provide proof of travel plans or itinerary to get a loan for vacation?

It’s not always necessary to provide proof of travel plans or an itinerary to get a loan for vacation. However, some lenders might request this information to understand the purpose of the loan, especially if it’s marketed specifically as a travel loan.

Are there any fees associated with applying or processing a loan for vacation?

Yes, some vacation loans may come with fees, such as origination fees or application fees. These fees can add to the overall cost of borrowing money and should be considered when comparing vacation loans.

Can I use a loan for additional expenses during my vacation?

Yes, you can use a loan to cover additional expenses during your vacation. Unsecured loans offer flexibility in how you can use the funds, whether for travel expenses, accommodations, or other vacation-related costs.

How do I choose the best lender for vacation loans?

To choose the best lender for unsecured loans for vacation, compare vacation loans from multiple sources. Look at interest rates, repayment terms, fees, and customer reviews. Also, consider how quickly they can process your loan, as some lenders offer approval and funding within one business day.

How can I make sure I can afford the monthly payments on vacation loans?

To ensure you can afford the monthly payments on a vacation loan, create a budget that includes all your expenses and income. Consider the fixed monthly installments of the loan and ensure they fit comfortably within your budget. Avoid borrowing more than you need, even if you qualify for a larger amount.

Who should consider getting vacation loans?

Individuals who need immediate funding for travel but lack the necessary savings should consider getting vacation loans. This is especially viable for those with good credit scores who can secure lower interest rates. However, it’s important to assess whether the additional debt is manageable.

What are the pros and cons of using a personal loan versus a credit card for financing a vacation?

The pros of using an installment loan include potentially lower interest rates compared to credit cards and fixed repayment terms. The cons include the risk of paying interest over a longer period and the possibility of higher overall loan costs. Credit cards might offer more flexibility but you may have to pay interest at higher rates and deal with variable payments. 

What happens if I can’t repay the unsecured personal loan taken out for my vacation?

If you can’t repay the vacation loan, it could lead to negative impacts on your credit score, additional fees, and increased financial strain. In severe cases, the lender may take legal action. It’s crucial to contact your lender to discuss potential solutions if you anticipate difficulty in making payments.

A Word From CreditNinja About Getting a Personal Loan for Vacation 

We all need a vacation every now and then. In fact, studies have shown that taking a vacation can lower the risk of heart disease!2 However, you don’t need to break the bank just to get some time away. Instead of taking out installment loans for vacation or looking into who will give you a loan when no one else will, CreditNinja suggests you seek out non-loan alternatives first, such as: 

  • Dipping into funds from your savings account
  • Getting a temporary part-time job to earn additional income
  • Have a garage sale or sell unwanted items online to get some extra cash

CreditNinja doesn’t want you to go into debt just because you need a vacation. We are also dedicated to ensuring everyone has access to basic financial information so they can easily educate themselves on how to handle their finances wisely. That’s why we have hundreds of free resources on our website like educational articles, debt calculators, and other financial tools. Check them out to learn more today! 

1. U.S. Travel & Tourism Statistics 2020-2021 | Tourism Academy
2. Fun Travel Facts and Trivia | Sundance Vacations
3. Should You Use a Vacation Loan to Finance Your Next Trip? | Money News
4. The Truth About Using Vacation Loans | Forbes

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