Travel and debt: How to see the world with debt obligations

Debt is something that almost every adult in the UK encounters at some point in their lives. Find out how you can still see the world, even with debt obligations.

Debt can take many different forms, representing an opportunity for some and hardship for others – whether through entering their overdraft for an unexpectedly expensive grocery shop or taking on a student loan in service of gaining a degree.

Debt is also something which many more people will be encountering, as a result of the current cost-of-living crisis impacting households across the country.

More people are expected to turn to credit cards and loans to make ends meet, as the rising price of both energy and consumer goods outstrips stagnated incomes; rising interest rates on mortgages are also surprising many new homeowners and upending previously affordable household budgets. 

Debt and stigma

There is a form of rhetoric that becomes all too common in times of strife such as these, wherein much is made of the need to moderate spending and ‘tighten the belt’. Struggling households are urged to cut back on luxuries as if spending £7 less per month on a Netflix account will have a meaningful impact on their financial security.

Not only does this serve to reframe the cost-of-living crisis as an individual issue as opposed to a systemic one, but it also perpetuates a damaging idea of what life should be for those shouldering debt and other financial challenges. Put simply, people deserve to have a nice time – and it certainly shouldn’t be incumbent on anyone to live a joyless, Victorian lifestyle in the name of financial 


This brings us to the topic at hand – travel. Wanderlust is very real, and many people find meaning in their lives by taking the opportunity to see new experiences on foreign shores. In hard times, it can be hard – especially for those with debts – to justify feeding the soul in this way. But it isn’t impossible. There are just a few hurdles to leap to make it work.

Managing debt

Firstly, it can be helpful to arrange it so that all your debt is in one place. If you have multiple lines of credit or disparate loans with different repayment terms, it can be difficult to juggle repayments without inevitably falling foul of one creditor – potentially while you’re abroad. By consolidating all your debts in one place, you can reset your repayment terms and bring the entirety of your debt obligation under one roof, and one rate of interest.


Why is it important to do this, though? Well, if you are in the middle of your international travel trip, and one of your debts happens to default, decisions can be made about your situation in absentia.

This could lead to a County Court Judgement (CCJ) being made in your absence, and your domestic property of yours being legally seized. This is also why you should automate debt payments, and even let your new consolidated creditor know of your travel plans.

Sensible budgeting

The elephant in the room here is that travel is a costly thing. But debt does not have to be a bad thing if managed well and kept in check. With some careful budgeting, travelling around debt can be made a trifling matter. Still, it may be sensible to avoid some of the costlier tourist experiences – if not just to find the most authentic possible experiences!