Financial Peace and Travel : Dave Ramsey’s Advice + Giveaways

Last Updated on November 10, 2015 by Jody Halsted

It was one year ago that I first visited Financial Peace Plaza and met Dave Ramsey in person.  Since sharing that story here on Family Rambling it has become the most viewed post on my website.  I think that says a lot about how people are thinking about their money.  My husband and I are heading to Kansas City this weekend to see Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover Live.  We saw it 2 years ago- and have been following the Baby Steps for almost 4 years- but can always use the kick in the rear it gives us.

I was recently in Nashville for a conference and was thrilled to be able to have my family join me.  Before we left Nashville we stopped by Financial Peace Plaza so I could introduce my family to Martha Thompson and let them meet the man behind the voice they hear daily.

We arrived just before 1pm- when Dave begins his talk show- and the girls were immediately drawn to Martha’s Place.

Hanging out in Martha's Place

If you’ve not been to Financial Peace Plaza, Martha’s Place is similar to your favorite coffee shop.  Except the welcome is warmer, the baked goodies are fresher and it’s free.  Martha will spoil the kids (and you).  I can vouch for her hot chocolate and pampering.  Comfortable chairs are scattered around the bookshop (featuring Financial Peace items and books Dave recommends), with high tables in the lobby.

Dave’s studio is separated from the lobby by a large window.  You can watch- and listen- to him work.

The girls watch Dave Ramsey at work

He may even come out to greet you during a break.

Meeting Dave Ramsey

My youngest wanted nothing to do with Dave- she was too busy playing with the small selection of toys in the bookstore.  (For more on visiting Financial Peace Plaza see my post: visiting Financial Peace Plaza.)

How Do You Travel Without a Credit Card?

Despite what people will tell you, it can be done.  We do it.  To begin with- you must have money.  No money, no trip.  Harsh, but simple.  Yes, the rental car company and hotels will probably put a “hold” on your debit card to make sure sufficient funds are available.  Which goes back to …  you must have money.  Don’t let your vacation follow you home!

Tips for using debit cards on vacation:

  • Visa debit card has the same protections as a credit card.  That means zero liability on fraudulent activity.  Which means it is safe to take on vacation.
  • Let your bank know before you go overseas.  If they don’t know you are gone, or see a lot of overseas activity on your card they could freeze it.
  • Increase your daily limits before you leave on vacation- just to be sure you can buy that “must have” souvenir.
  • Take the time to speak to a person- and get their name- at rental car agencies and hotels when you make your reservations.  Get their debit card policies.  I’ve never had a problem using a debit card, but I’ve heard that some people have.  Take notes: dates, name of the person you spoke to (try to talk to a manager), any “hold” amounts that may be charged, and how long the “hold” will last.
  • Know your daily and total vacation budget.  You may not have access to online banking while you’re away.  Knowing how much you can spend per day will keep you on budget.
  • A few more Vacation Travel Myths on DaveRamsey.com

Find Financial Peace

This contest has ended

Giveaway Items

The fabulous folks at Financial Peace Plaza sent me a box of goodies.   Now, my family has been “weird” for quite a while and we’ve drunk the kool-aid; we have all this stuff.  In fact, I buy The Total Money Makeover by the box when it’s on sale just so I can give copies away.  And that’s what I’m going to do today…  Give this stuff away!

I’ll be giving away 3 prizes:

  1. Boxed set of 6 Junior books.  My girls adore these books.  They teach great money lessons in a fun way.  (value: $29.95)
  2. Total Money Makeover book, Gazelles, Baby Steps & 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt by Jon Acuff, and 3 month subscription to MyTotalMoneyMakeover.com. Learn the common sense principles that have helped millions get out of debt, hear Jon Acuff’s hilarious take on them, and use the great tools at MyTMMO- including commercial free podcasts.  (Value: $58.00)
  3. Financial Peace University Lifetime Membership Kit. 13 life changing lessons on CD, Financial Peace Revisited book, FPU workbook, envelope system and more.  The best part- you can attend a class anywhere- at any time- at no cost.  As many times as you like.  (Value: $109)  We have attended and led FPU classes.  They will change your life and the way you look at money.

Debt is normal- be weird!

Want to join the ranks of the weird?  Just leave a comment telling me what kind of vacation you would take if money were no object.  (one entry)

Want extra entries?  Copy and paste:  Debt is normal- be weird with Family Rambling and @DaveRamsey!  http://bit.ly/dSTb4e Post to Twitter or Facebook.  Just leave a comment with a link to the individual tweet or post to let me know.  (One per day)

Fine Print:  Open to anyone worldwide, however all items are in English.  Contest ends March 15, 2011 at 11:59pm CST.  Winners will be drawn March 16 by Random.org.  Winners will be notified by email and will have 3 days to respond.  If a response is not received in 3 days a new winner will be drawn.

Disclosure:  Items were given to me to do with as I chose.  I was not expected to write a review or do a giveaway with these items, it was my choice.  All thoughts  and images are my own.


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  1. I would do a WWII tour of Europe, from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam to the D-Day beaches in France.

  2. The next time we’re visiting my in-laws in Nashville, I’m borrowing/stealing their car and we’re heading to Brentwood to visit Financial Peace Plaza.

    If money were no object, I’d probably do one of those cross-continent treks in Australia, so you can see the outback and the urban areas down under, and then dive the Great Barrier Reef.

    We always pay cash for our trips, so this one is probably a ways off.

    Great post!

  3. I’ve got a debt-free Disney trip in mind, with my wife and 2 adopted sons. Since I’ve visited the Disney properties several times on business trips, I’ve been excited for 5 years to pay cash for an entire week with all of the amenities… 1st Class travel and NO CREDIT CARDS!

  4. that’s a tough one – we’ve taken many dream family vacations and also agree – we pay with cash or we don’t go (although we use our credit card to get travel bonuses like free airline tickets/rentals/hotels and extra travel insurance coverage but pay it off immediately)

  5. Our family would love to rent an RV and drive all over our great country visiting historic sites, and family all along the way! What a way to make memories!!

  6. My husband and I would take a trip to Ireland! Since we were married a year ago we have not accumulated any new debt and have paid off $20,000! We’ll get to make that trip someday after we’re able to kick Sallie Mae out.

  7. Well first of all my wife and I belong to a travel club that offers amazing vacatations at staycation prices. We are huge coupon users and are all above saving money, no matter what or how much we have. But, nevertheless, if money where no object we’d still use our discount travel club and coupons to take our three kids on this once in a lifetime vacation. First, we would make a trek through Washington, D. C. We would be sure to visit the most accurate and important places that represent how our great nation works. Then we’d start a voyage to where our forefathers laid the building blocks that began the process that formed this country. Boston, New York, Connecticut, Virginia, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania would be visited and our history explained in detail to our children. Then after our American tour, we’d set sail on a cruise to the UK to discover where our ancestors came from. While in Europe, a trip to Berlin, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna, and several more World War II stops would be made to explain how we help allies earn their freedom from a true terrorist. Continuing to travel east, we would start the last leg of our trip by making stops in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nazareth, Egypt to explain and show in vivid detail the story behind our faith in Jesus Christ. Then, finally back home to soak in the power, inspiration, education, and motivation that our family vacation has given us.

  8. I would rent a minivan and drive from Iowa to Maine and return through South Carolina to pickup some incredible ginger ale that’s bottled there.

  9. The ultimate family vacation would be similar to yours. We have been working Dave’s plan since November of 2009 and we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I get very excited when I see and hear about other people who have been changed by following Dave’s plan. It almost seems that every day I meet another person that has heard of him and either completed the plan, are currently working the plan, or want to know more about it.
    Just before Christmas last year we bought a box of the Total Money Makeover to give out to people. When I first bought the book I had a hard time putting it down and finished it in three days and it would have been sooner but I had to work too.
    I am trying to pump my kids up a little to get excited about taking a trip to Financial Peace Plaza to go and see Dave for Debt Free Friday so that when we are debt free and have the cash we can make the trip. They are in a transition right now because I talk about Dave too much and listen to the show live on the internet often. They have seen the benefits and our family tree has taken stronger roots and has begun to change.
    So taking a trip to Brentwood TN is a little weird for an ultimate vacation but we already started our journey.

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