I used my credit cards a lot and I have no idea how I’ll ever be able to afford paying the interest. This trip was the worst financial mistake of my LIFE!!
See above for how to choose a good credit card. Once you’ve got yourself a good credit card, use it wisely.
If you get no rewards use it not at all, unless you have to in order to make an online purchase, or it otherwise saves you fees, such as renting a car with your credit card car insurance, or purchasing items that might benefit from being covered under your credit card insurance.
If you get rewards, use it in a way that maximizes your rewards (check all the fine print)
In both cases, only use your card if you have money in your checking account to pay for the purchase, and do so immediately (unless it’s better for your rewards to pay your bill at the end of the month, in which case schedule your payment immediately) Getting rewards is useless if you’re paying for them in interest.
DO NOT, especially while traveling, and especially if you’re not sure that you’re coming back to a set job, use your credit card for “extras” you don’t have the money for but really want to do anyway. You will regret it. Interest racks up fast, exponentially faster than earning money to pay it back.
The best defence in this case is a good offence. If you see yourself slipping, stop and cut your budget so as to pay back your credit card. Lay low for a while, do free activities and eat street food. Get a job, volunteer somewhere in exchange for free services… be creative, but pay back your card before you start spending again.
Check yo self before you wreck yo self.
If it’s too late and you’re way in the red, contact a trustworthy financial advisor who can get you back on the right track. Those late night consolidation infomercials are a scam. Don’t let money troubles ruin your view of your trip, remember the good times and keep your head high, you’ll get through it and when you’re old you’ll laugh about it.