Although time off to relax is a necessity, vacations themselves are luxuries these days. The ability to take time off work and go somewhere fun with the family is an expensive endeavor. Many families give up the dream of a proper holiday because of finances. However, credit cards could help you to enjoy a bit of down time and relaxation. You can maximize their benefits without putting yourself into debt or removing money from your savings account.

Inquiring about airport perks

Plenty of credit cards offer travel advantages. Check to see which perks your credit card provides at the airport. For example, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders have access to comfortable lounges, food, and drinks. The American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles card offers free checked bags to account members and as many as eight guests. Look into priority boarding, free upgrades, and similar perks.

Prolonging your stay for free

Do you have any cards that partner with hotels? Both Marriott and Hilton offer rewards cards, for example. Once you have the card for at least a year, you earn the right to stay at one of the hotels for a free night. That can come in handy during a family vacation. A free night can help to offset travel costs, open up funds for a fun attraction, or essentially pay for the annual fee on your card.

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Using your rewards

Do you get rewards or points for purchases you make with your credit card? Check it out. From free miles on JetBlue cards to rewards on traditional credit cards, you can pay for many things with your points. It’s worthwhile to see if you’re due to receive special discounts or rates through your card, as well. Even if you can only save on one plane ticket or a dinner out, that’s something.

Building in your budget

A credit card can help you to create a vacation budget, as well. Granted, it’s tempting to spend to the limit, but as long as you plan your trip and exercise self-control, you can stop yourself from wasting money on your family vacation. Don’t charge more than you can afford to pay off within six months. Calculate the numbers before you book your trip and have a talk with the family.

Keeping your money safe

Misplacing cash on vacation is easy. You might think carrying money keeps you from spending too much until something unexpected happens. Credit cards are safer than physical tender, at least when you’re away from home. Besides, if someone steals your credit card, you can cancel the account and get the charges purged. When someone snatches your cash, you’re never getting it back again.