Enter our "summer vacation" contest!


With summer around the corner, you may be planning a vacation. Or, maybe you’re avoiding high gas prices and planning a “staycation.” Either way, we want to hear about it!


Tell us in the comments box below. You could win one of SIX prizes we’ll be awarding, including one $100 Amazon Gift Certificate and five prizes of your choice of a $25 dining gift certificate or a personally autographed copy of my best-selling book, Bank On Yourself, for yourself or to give as a gift to someone you care about.

Here’s how to enter…  

We’d love for you to tell your Facebook friends about this contest

Just click the “recommend” button at the top of this blog to post it to your Facebook wall!

Two entries will be picked at random to each receive a dining certificate/autographed book prize.  Three entries will be chosen by members of the Bank On Yourself team to receive dining certificate/autographed book prizes.  The Bank On Yourself team members will also choose the most inspiring or interesting entry to receive a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate (Sorry – U.S. residents only.)

Just post your entry in the comment box below by Monday, May 16

Vacation savings

All prizewinners will be notified by email on Friday, May 20, and the winning entries will be featured in our next blog post. So, post away!

Vacation savings

Tell us what kind of vacation you’re planning this summer. And be sure to include how you’re paying for it. Have you been saving up for it? If so, how long did it take you? Are you using your Bank On Yourself policy to self-finance it? Are you putting it on a credit card?

And don’t feel left out if you’re not planning a vacation this summer. Tell us that too! Be sure to include why you’re not. Are gas prices too high? Are you working two jobs just to make ends meet and can’t afford to take off work? Are you reluctant to put it on a credit card?

Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Tell us what kind of vacation you’re planning this summer
  • Tell us how you’re paying for it
  • Have you been saving up for it? If so, how long did it take you?
  • Are you using your Bank On Yourself policy to self-finance it?
  • Are you putting it on a credit card?  And how do you feel about that?
  • Tell us why you’re not going on a vacation this year
  • Post the contest to Facebook by hitting the “Recommend” button (optional)


  1. We are planning a driving vacation from Omaha, NE to Fort Lauderdale, FL. My Children are getting older, starting their own families, and between that and jobs it’s getting harder to schedule two weeks away for 9 people. We’ve saved up for the fuel/lodging costs for the past 5 months. I’m not using my Bank On Yourself policy to self-finance it this time.

    • I work for a hotel chain. Go to roomsaver.com enter cities where you plan to stop and get majjor discount coupons for “walk-in” guests. You can call ahead, ask how full the hotel is to know if it can work! Enjoy!

  2. We are going on vacation this year to Corpus Christi, Padre Island, Rock Port, and the Gulf Coast area for our vacation as we do every year. We always pay for it with careful planning on a budget, and never go into debt for it. However this year is going to be a little tighter on our budget than normal so we are considering using our BOY Policy for a small loan this year. I always save my overtime money in a separate account for our vacation. I cannot stress how many times our BOY policy has been there in our time of need and we are Bank On Yourself users for the rest of our lives. Thanks

    Roger G Flemming
    San Antonio TX

  3. Here’s what we’re looking for:
    Tell us what kind of vacation you’re planning this summer:
    Trip to San Jose to visit with family to catch up.
    Tell us how you’re paying for it:
    Credit card.
    Have you been saving up for it?:
    No. If so, how long did it take you?
    Are you using your Bank On Yourself policy to self-finance it?:
    Are you putting it on a credit card?:
    And how do you feel about that?:
    Tell us why you’re not going on a vacation this year:
    Post the contest to Facebook by hitting the “Recommend” button (optional):
    No thank you.

  4. I am not planning a vacation this summer as I have one child entering college and another wanting to go to summer camp. Anything “vacation” that we do will be around where we live. We do not use credit cards to pay, but make sure we save the money in advance. I like to find things that have coupons and/or discounts that we can do. I make sure to have a small part of my salary automatically deposited into a credit union account that we use to pay for travel and emergencies. This way we can avoid using credit cards and getting deeper into debt.

  5. I will be taking 2 vacations this year. Both being paid for from my Bank on yourself plan. The first one I will be going to Virginia beach for Memorial day weekend (4 days). That is to keep me motivated Thru the summer and for my next vacation for 2 weeks to Florida in November. I am not going to florida in the summer because I will not have enough PTO with my company. Since I am off for memorial though I figured we could take a Mini vacation to keep us motivated.

  6. I am planning a trip to Costa Rica to see rain forest, turtles, zip line and enjoy the tropical spendor of the area.

    It goes on a credit card, which gets paid when the bill comes in.

    It was saved for and it took two months to put aside the vacation funds.

    I am not using Bank on Yourself policy to pay for it, and have no problems putting it on a credit card. That way I get
    cash back, miles back and if a credit card is paid each month in full, it has no interest costs to me or finance charges.

    This is a change from my first choice, which was to swim with the whales at the Great Barrier Reef, but that vacation is being put on hold for next year when it won’t conflict with previous plans

  7. We’re planning on driving an hour or so South to Key Largo, FL to spend a week laying on the beach and unwinding from our hectic lives. I’m taking my wife, my oldest son (turned 18 today), my daughter (14), and my baby boy (10.5 months – his first family vacation!). My oldest heads to college in August (financed by BOY) so it may be the last one with the whole family for awhile. The vacation will go on the Credit Card, but will be paid in full with money from our savings (we save throughout the year). I wouldn’t mind getting one of those prizes to help pay for some frozen Margarita’s by the hotel pool!

  8. Our vacation this summer – A flight in our personal airplane from Michigan to Arizona, Colorado, Texas and back. This will be both for business and pleasure! All vacations and large expenditures currently go through our 13 cash value policies. We are always saving our income in the form of premium deposits and loan interest payments. We have been banking for over 15 years and are at 60% premium from our income. We put everything on a credit card that gives us points for gifts and cash, and use the policy cash values to pay for the card when additional expenditures, such as a family vacation, go over and above our general monthly spending. We feel great about this because we are using OUR money, paying interest to our insurance carriers while they credit us with interest and dividends, building cash access for our future, allowing our policy loans to accumulate to a level where our cost of money is positive knowing there are “windfall profits” coming in the future from outside investments and possible family inheritances that will bring the dollars we currently have on loan today – up to future dollar standards in the future, at deposit, hence – guaranteeing we will be close to matching or beating inflation. We love Banking!

  9. We go on vacations all the time! Just got back from a Caribbean cruise, our third in 6 months! Booked it at the last minute for $800 total for 7 days, charged to my Discover card to be paid off next month. Drove to New Orleans in our brand new Dodge Challenger and cruised to Costa Maya, Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. No BOY policy…no one would ever give me life insurance with all the pills I take to stay alive. Got plenty of money stashed in the mutual funds so we go when we want. We visit casinos a few times a week and make a trip out of it every month or so. Get free and cheap hotels, and make plenty of money out of the slots! No recession here! Pretty inspiring, huh? I already have your book…send me the Amazon certificate! The 16th just happens to be my birthday…it would be perfect to give it to me on that occasion. Thanks

  10. We have decided that we will not be able to afford to remain in the Left Coast state of CA for our retirement. This was a sad but necessary decision to come to. Always forward looking, we subscribed to a magazine which posts profiles on numerous towns in terms of their retirement potential on a number of fronts. As a part of our research, we will be mapping out a driving trip this summer to visit some of the top contenders. Naturally we will drive (who wants to be gate-raped?) and will of necessity put gas on credit cards, praying gas prices come down a bit. We haven’t started bank on yourself savings as we have no excess to save yet –until we get out of this black hole of a cash-draining state! We are excited for a potentially better future in another part of the country–East of here both geographically, financially, & politically. Cheers!

  11. I am thinking to sending my two kids to Japan,where my family lives while I have a staycation in U.S. I am going to use my policy for the first time.
    I am excited to use my policy for this.

  12. I will not be taking a vacation this year due to being unemployed now for 3 yeras. I haven’t been on vacation since 2007. It would be wonderful to go some place but it is not in the cards at this time. Also due to the gas prices being so high it is not worth the hassle. I will have another stay at home vacation if you want to call it that. It would be nice to win one of the prizes you are offering. I sure could use a break.

  13. Wish we could take a vacation this year but since our son just got married recently we are short of funds.

  14. Our son graduates from High School this June so we’re heading to Maui in July as a last hurrah before he starts college. We’ve accumulated enough miles via a mileage visa (that we pay off each month) so we’re essentially getting free airfares and saved for the rest over the past 2 years. Beach front condo, zip lining, Haleakela bike ride, snorkel cruise, surfing lessons – Here we come!

  15. Usually to go on any vacation we have to plan ahead where we want to go and then do what it takes to save up for it, which includes giving up other things. This year we are not going anywhere except to a new home and will spend time unpacking. We needed a bigger place in case one of our parents die and we can take care of the spouse.

  16. This summer we’ll probably do one, or possibly two, micro-vacations. A day at the coast, a night at the hotel, and back to work. We’ll pay cash. We always pay cash. We don’t believe in credit but haven’t saved up enough to start a BoY account yet.

  17. I will be observing my traditional non-taking-of-the-vacation again this year. As I stand in the unemployment line, I will browse through a few brochures of getaway places to pass the time. Perhaps I’ll wear my two-piece bathing suit, especially if it’ll get me to the front of the line faster.

  18. My daughter and I will be going to Louisiana in July. This is an annual trek except this year we will be without my Mother since she passed on in March. I am retiring at the end of June and wanted to use my IRA from retirement to fund BOY so I could set up this or future trips, but since BOY wants post taxed dollars, I won’t be able to use or fund BOY. I’ll be using some cash and a CC.

  19. Officially we’re not a BOY client as of yet however we will be soon.
    The vacation we’re planning to take (if reasonable and affordable) is to visit our daughter who is studying overseas (South America and Spain). This trip like others are typically paid for by extra commissions earned in my sales position or thru AMEX and then paid off shortly upon our return.

  20. My wife is working as a contractor in Afghanistan. She took the job so that we could afford to live in southern California. She has been gone for a month. By August, when I will finally get a week to see her, it will have been four months. I will only be able to see her every 3 months until she decides that she has had enough and decides to come home.
    We are planning to meet up for a week in Dubai, UAE. It is near enough to Afghanistan that she wont have many problems getting there. We had gone to Dubai a couple of times when we were working in Iraq 5 years ago. I know that her parents probably are going to come and maybe my parents too.
    My parents are retired and are on a fixed income now and that concerns me (especially the cost of the trip). I have talked to my wife about us incurring a lot of the cost for their trip. I want to show them some of the nicer areas of the world that I have been to.
    Well as far as paying for it we are having to save up for it and my wife is going to have to cover most of the cost seeing that she has the high paying job right now. So we will up to when we go have been saving up for five months.
    After reading the Bank on Yourself 18 page report I was interested enough that I bought the book and am in the middle of that. I really like what I am reading. I only wish that I had found out about this decades ago. I could have saved myself and my parents hundreds of thousands of dollars. Plus we could have used B.O.Y. to fund our trip. So needless to say that I will probably be in contact to get started so that our next trip will be paid through B.O.Y.
    As a rule we don’t use credit cards unless we can afford to pay off the entire bill at once.
    We wouldn’t even be taking a vacation this year if my wife wasn’t working over seas. We haven’t been on a vacation in five years since we came home from Iraq and stopped off in Germany for ten days to visit with family and friends there.
    So that is our plan.

  21. “Staycations” this year for me — splitting up my vacation into several long weekends — will be spending some of them with family in San Antonio, some with friends on Lake Livingston, some attending local Houston workshops I’ve wanted to do for awhile — all of which are well within a 3-hour drive. Paying for it with cash saved during the year. Not yet a BOY client but working on it.

  22. My Wife and I are planning to take a trip to Vegas. We don’t have any credit cards, thank God. This may be considered our summer vacation trip. Currently we don’t have a Bank On Your Self Policy yet. But, even if we did, we would not use policy money to pay for our trip. I have some family members in Australia and like to visit them some day. But I think this will take long time to save some money for it. We are going to pay cash for our summer trip to Vegas.

  23. Sadly I will not be going anywhere. I’ve spent my life working, helping my children and getting into debt. Unfortunately, like many, one of my sons returned home without a job and plenty of debts. Of course I had to help. This put me in the hole a little deeper. Being in public education does not a rich life make. I have no knowledge on ‘Bank on Yourself’ but I’m very anxious to find out about it. Because of the previous information stated and a recent bad experienc with a banking institution, I’m searching, ‘mentally’ not yet actively for a more reasonable and humane way to get out of debt. Having retired early to start my own business has proven to be difficult. I desperately need a home to start my business and have a decent income. Maybe then I can go on on vacation which I think I deserve. I don’t want to be old, poor and alone. Hopefully some new knowldege will enlighten me and allow me a life breather.

  24. We have multiple destinations in mind for this summer, despite the recession. I do not put travel (other than business expenses) on credit and then only use American Express, so always self-finance travel in some way.

    My 2 youngest daughters (18 and 15), a friend (15) and I will be going to Japan for 2 weeks this summer. We financed it partly through savings and partly through fundraising, as it is an educational trip. This was planned prior to the Earthquakes and Tsunami, and although we are not going to be in an affected area, we will be meeting with displaced students, thereby giving them something to look forward to. since our group conducted a fundrasing effort to help rebuild the devestaed areas, we will take part in a formal presentation ceremony.

    Additionally, my husband just started a long term project in Puerto Rico. I’m hoping to go visit him at some point during his stay, and can hopefully take my girls, depending on their work and school schedules, and of course, financing. Since we started our plan less than a year ago, I can not really use that to help yet, so will either pay cash or not go.

    Our third destination is to see my oldest daughter and her family (3 grandchildren) and my in-laws in Iowa. We would drive there and spend about a week – but that is more dependant on scheduling, and not so much on cost. This trip might end up being in late fall, rather than the summer since we did know know about my husband’s work schedule until today.

    Working out the financing for all this has not been easy since my husband had very little work for the first half of this year. We know once we are able to start really using the money from our plan, we will have much more flexibility to do the things we really want to do, while building up our retirement income.

  25. it’s been a long hard struggle. I lost my job at home depot and then got in a jam with a DWI charge. I’m planning on taking a trip to see my family back in Dallas. I’ve been trying to find work in Hollywood california and unfortunately got addicted to drugs. To send money to my kids, i was forwced into putting myself out on craigslist. Hey i had to make ends meet. Well enough of the sad stories, I’m getting now and looking to reunite with family. I plan on funding this trip with my fathers BOY policy from Lafayette life insurance company. My dad really came through for me and explained how he was able to do this for me. I’m greatful. I hope I get those cool prizes especially the amazon money because im due in court next month for the drunk driving charges. Hope you pick me. with the luck I’ve had, I hope there’s a silver lining for my life. Thank you for helping my dad and helping him set up the policy. Pick me pleeze

  26. Pamela:

    We did our summer vacation as a family in March/April – the end of summer in New Zealand. We went from Singapore to Christchurch, picked up an RV (motorhome in NZ speak), and toured the south island for 9 days. We had a blast – balloon ride over Queenstown on the morning of my 50th birthday, driving through the Southern Alps and Arthur’s Pass – gorgeous, seeing an albatross chick being fed at one of the very few mainland albatross rookeries in the world, white water rafting, and much more. We had a great time.

    Today we landed in Beijing for a long weekend with my wife, daughter and I before I have business meetings next week. Our 25th wedding anniversary is in a couple of weeks so this our gift to each other. Great Wall tomorrow, Forbidden City, and other tours with a guide so we don’t have think too much. Should be a blast.

    So those are our big trips so far this while on this side of the world. Wife and daughter go back to US for 5 weeks in the summer and I will travel for work or try to find a couple of places to do some scuba in Malaysia.

    Have fun – hope I win something 🙂


  27. I’m going to celebrate my parents 60th anniversary by staying home. I cannot afford to go back home. I was going to the beach in Texas but I will just stay in the desert in AZ.

  28. We will probably do a couple of small, local weekend vacations to campgrounds with various friends and family, but our big vacation this year will be taking our 2-year old son to Sesame Street Place in Pennsylvania to go visit all of his favorite Sesame Street characters (especially Elmo and Ernie… figure that combo out). While we knew of his love for Elmo, the turning point in deciding to make this trip was when we took him to a Sesame Street Live show a few months ago and he sat there in awe at all of the different characters as they performed on the stage. We’re also being smart and bringing Grandma along with us so we can have a couple hours during the trip to go and enjoy an adult evening together (which usually means dinner, two drinks and bed by 10pm!).

    Since I’m only into my second year as a BOY client and I’m trying to hold onto the money in that account for another year or two to use on purchasing a new car, we are funding this trip by cashing in a couple weeks of extra vacation we each have at our work. We’ll put everything first onto a credit card (two words: rewards points), then pay off the balance on the card the next month with the extra vacation money.

  29. We’re going to my wife’s family cabin on a lake in northern Minnesota. We’ll pay for the trip by exchanging typical monthly expense, plus some extra for gas. We have not been saving up for it, because we don’t need to. The vacation should not cause any credit card debt increase, and that feels great.

  30. My wife and I go on a “vacation” a couple of times a week. We are lucky to have a great backyard and we enjoy it often. We love our lives and have no need to get away and therefore we don’t take a traditional vacation. Also it saves alot of money when you are satisfied and thankful for what you have, and, we are both very satisfied and very thankful for everything we are blessed with.

  31. My boys and I are planning a week long camping trip in their grandfathers woods. It is on the farm that I grew up on and grandma/grandpa are only 300 yards away. We are looking forward to the drive there as well. I have been saving for it for the last few weeks. I do not have a bank on yourself policy yet. Between the economy taking a dump and the divorce I have not been able to get my policy. I hope to rectify that soon. Plus I hope everyone has a great summer

  32. My daughter and I will be taking a cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to the Bahamas (Nassau), St, Maarten, & St, Thomas on the new Royal Caribbean ship, “The Allure”. But, the thing that makes it really extra special is that we are sailing with the same folks that we were seated with on a cruise last September. We had not known them before then but we all hit it off so well that we wanted to sail together again.
    It was put on a credit card but my cards are paid when the bills come in. So, flights and all will be paid before we leave home. So, no I am not using a BOY policy but, feel great about paying this way as I am not paying any interest.

  33. My vacation will be in September. I decided that for my 50th birthday that I was doing something special. I will be flying to Rockland, Maine and getting on a schooner for a cruise up and down the coastline. This is something that I’ve wanted to do for years. I’m afraid of water and told myself that I could either get over my fear enough to do it or just forget about ever doing it. I decided that I could do it. I have already purchased my plane tickets and my cruise package. Buying them early saved me a lot of money and booking my cruise for my birthday saved me 25% off my price. I saved my change that I got from my tips as a waitress for almost 2 years. I didn’t miss it. I never counted on it to help pay the bills. This is my dream vacation and I’m going to enjoy it. Because I already have the trip paid for, all my change now goes to my spending money for the trip.

  34. My “vacation” will be to retire, move closer to family, rest a few weeks and then find another job.
    No savings, paying as I go.
    Divorce, then Foreclosure wiped my credit out,left me with debt.
    So rebuilding from below “0.”
    Want to participate in Bank on Yourself, but have to free up $ first.
    May be to late for me.
    Planning to give younger family members your book with $ to get started.
    May have to do 1 at a time, but will complete the group.

  35. We are going to the Outer Banks, NC and staying with our neighbors at their wonderful beach house, so because of their generosity, will not need to use our BOY money this time; however, while there I plan on looking at some beach houses and if the opportunity presents itself would use our BOY policy for that!

  36. We are taking a vacation over the 4th of July to visit my husbands cousins at their lake cabin in Minnesota! We are taking our 3 daughters (5 1/2, 4 and 2) and are paying for it with savings and airline miles. I will use a credit card for all purchases to accumulate cash back or airline miles and pay it off with money from savings when the bill comes. We just started our bank on yourself account this year, so aren’t to the point of borrowing from it yet.

  37. My vacation plan is to visit the Boston area to take in some of the Revolutionary War historical sites. I own a timeshare that I will use and will take short day trips from there. I plan on paying cash for the trip; however the reality of it is that I will most likely incurr some credit card debt. Thankfully, I am gathering the information to start my BOY account so that this might be the last vacation I “swipe” my credit card. I say that “tongue in cheek” but in all reality that is what the credit card companies do is “swipe” our money!

  38. We are not planning a vacation this summer due to i’m having alot of work for one reason. My job will require me to work from June 1st through Aug. 1st straight with no days off. I know it may sound unreasonable but that’s the nature of my job if i want to keep it. We don’t always do this kind of work but this year it just happened that way; so we only have just so much time in August and the school year will start again right away around Aug 25th or so. A second reason is we have to save for my son’s college funding, he’s going to be a high school senior this coming year and we need to save as much as we can.

    I’ll be very tired when my work is over around Aug 1st and i wish i could give my family a nice vacation but we’ll just have to be happy i have a job.

  39. This summer my family and I will take several short vacations in Michigan. Michigan has so much to offer at affordable prices. Canoeing, site seeing, local events, and even Cedar Point in Ohio. We will pay for these events and activities with our regular income and savings.

  40. There will be no traditional “vacation” for us this year because of debt, high fuel prices, a child going to college/moving out, the economy and job insecurity. We’re not really miserable, though. Like others have said, we just try to focus as best we can on being thankful and satisfied with what we have.

    That doesn’t mean we don’t want more though! That’s why we researched and ultimately started our first BOY policy a few months ago. And it feels great! Knowing the money we put aside each month is safe and growing at a predictable rate is tremendous peace of mind for us. Not to mention being there for us to borrow against when and if we need it – without penalty and without affecting its rate of growth.

    Until recently, I had no hope of ever being able to retire. Now, with our BOY policy working for us (with many more to follow!) I’m starting to have real hope again and it feels wonderful. To be able to retire someday and not HAVE to work (unless it’s doing something we love!) would be worth all the vacations in the world to us.

    What is a vacation anyway, but an enjoyable rest from “work”? Lord willing, we will have years of “vacation” during our retirement – and we are confident our BOY policies will be a big part of making that possible. Thank you Marilyn for getting us started and helping us get our debt under control – and thank you too, Pam! I only wish I’d followed through on this about 12 years ago when you first sent me the information. Live and LEARN!

  41. Due to debt, lowering of salary and high gas prices we will not have a traditional vacation this year. Instead I am combining an out of town medical appointment and centering a “mini vacation” around it. I made reservations ealry to help save in lodgin fees. I will be using the gas card promotion the hotel is giving to help pay for the gas. I will be going to the Albuquerque/ Santa Fe area.

  42. We are planning to go to the Texas coast during 4th of July week. We haven’t been to the beach in years and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m a little concerned about the cost but am shopping around.

  43. My lovely wife, 11 year old daughter and I are going to Williamsburg, VA, June 12-18. We paid for it by saving and using cash. It took us four months. We have a time share so the cost was minimal. Unfortunately, I am a healthy diabetic and was declined to get a banking policy!:-( Our family hates debt, so we did not use a credit card. If we did, we would have had the cash to pay it off by the next statement date.

  44. I will hopefully going down to Colorado Springs to visit my oldest brother and his children, my nephews (they’re twins), unless I will not be able to because of the flooding that we have in my state (Montana). I am not using a bank on yourself plan but I am saving money to put towards the trip and will not be using any kind of plastic cards

Leave a Reply to John Starcevich Cancel reply