How To Go On Vacation, Without Going Into Debt – Vacation Guide For People With ADHD

Do you know what’s fun? Going on vacation! Do you know what is even more fun? Going on vacation and knowing that you can afford it!

Have you made your summer vacation plans already?  Do you know where you’re going?  Do you know how much it’s going to cost you?  Making a plan for these things ahead of time will give you even more peace of mind on your vacation.

Three Ways You Can Ease Your Vacation Stress

Here are three ways to start planning your summer vacation. Taking the time now to think it through will save you stress later!

1. Make a Vacation Plan

Decide where & when you’re going to go.  This allows you to look up where you’re going to stay, how you’re going to get there, and what activities you might want to do while you’re there. This is exciting! Hyperfocus anyone?! If you have trouble getting yourself to make the plan, consider utilizing  accountability partners ADHD digital community or body double with a friend.

2. ADHD and Budgeting – Add Up Planned Vacation Expenses

Now you know where you want to go, when you’re going, how you’re going to get there, and what you’re going to do while you’re there. (Shall we leave a little space for ADHD spontaneity?!)  Now that you have a plan, you can make a budget for your trip!  Start by making a list of all the things you’re going to need to pay for (gas, meals, lodging, activities, flights, etc) and how much you think they could cost.  Add them all up, and that’s how much your trip may cost you! *REMINDER* This is just a guess – just to give you ballpark estimate of what it could cost

3. ADHD Money Smart – Add That Number to Your Monthly Budget

Now that you know how much your vacation might cost, divide that number by the number of months until your vacation, and add *that* number to your monthly budget with a new line item.  Something like “Vacation 2023” would work just fine. Budgeting with ADHD is possible if you take the time to do it! Be aware that although you may have figured out how much you need to set aside monthly, it may not be fully accurate if you need to pay 50% upfront when reserving lodging or activities. In those cases, you need to be prepared to increase your monthly number so that you can reserve those things in plenty of time.

Can’t Afford the Vacation Plan You Just Created?

After identifying how much your summer vacation may cost, you need to ask yourself, “Is this realistic? Can I actually afford that?”.  If the answer is ‘Yes’, then you’re ready to roll! 🚙 Start saving & enjoy your vacation. If you realize that the plan is a tad unrealistic financially, that’s ok – you may just need to make some other considerations.

Below are some possible adjustments you could make in order to make that trip more feasible:

1. Cut Back on Other Expenses

This may be easier said than done, but if you’ve got your heart set on going to Hawaii this summer, you may need to cut other things out of your budget in order to save enough money for your vacation.  Some common expenses to cut back on are eating out, streaming services, and fancy morning coffees.  What you cut back is entirely up to you. How bad do you want that ideal vacation?  It depends how much you’re looking forward to sticking your feet in the Pacific Ocean! People with ADHD tend to be visual. Print out a photo to remind yourself to continue making sacrifices to get to the beach!

2. Scale Your Vacation Plan Back

If you had your heart set on finally taking your kids to Disneyland, but discovered once you ran the numbers that your plan just isn’t all that feasible this year, you might need to scale back.  Maybe this looks like a long weekend at one of the smaller theme parks nearby, or even a day trip to the beach! Remind yourself there’s nothing like going on vacation knowing that it’s all been paid for and you won’t be getting a huge credit card statement a month after you get home with charges that you may regret. Stand firm against the ADHD impulsivity. Your future self will thank you.  A smaller trip can still produce big memories!

3. Consider a “Stay-cation”!

People with ADHD can tend to get swept up by “big dreams”, but there’s nothing wrong with taking time off work and staying home.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t do some fun, free activities around your town!  Use your ADHD Creativity! Maybe there’s a children’s museum you drive by every day to go to work that you always wanted to visit.  This could be the perfect opportunity to take your kids there.  Or, for older kids, you could try geocaching, or visit an escape room!  Have a picnic at home and eat on the floor while you watch a movie.  The list of things you can do at home for free is as long as your imagination (or internet search) can make it!

An Adult With ADHD May Benefit From Talking Through Their Options With a Money Coach

If you find yourself struggling with indecision, overwhelm, or not knowing if you have enough money for the vacation you want to take, you may benefit from working with a Money Coach who is familiar with ADHD & budgeting challenges.  A Money Coach can help you decide what’s important to you, what’s not important to you, and what you really want, despite your ADHD. Once you have a money management plan in place for your getaway, you’ll avoid unexpected expenses, and be able to be MUCH more relaxed on your vacation. 👏🏽 

Speaking of that, I think that every ADHD adult should book a call with Money Coach Stephanie Berman – she is changing lives! (Psst: This is one of the times that I will tell you it’s actually ok to make the impulsive decision – you’ll be so happy you did!)

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About Ryan Mayer

Professional Life Coach Ryan Mayer is an Accountability and Mindset Coach, specializing in working with adult men and women with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
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