It’s Okay to Treat Yourself

 With the cold winter rapidly approaching, thoughts of being in warm weather on a nice sandy beach may seem like an unrealistic possibility. But what if it could be your reality? It’s not unusual to hear people state, “I can’t afford to take a vacation,” or “I am too busy with work/school to take a vacation.” While there is likely truth in the statements, if an individual really wants to go on a vacation, however that might be defined…camping, overseas, the beach, etc., implementing proper steps to plan for the vacation could make it a reality.  In the article, “The Importance of Taking a Vacation” by Shannon Torberg (PsyD), we learn about both physical and mental health benefits such as decreasing burnout and the statistic that planning alone has been proven to increase happiness. Don’t let lack of preparation be the only thing to hold you back from a vacation. Here are few possible steps you could take to make your next get away as affordable as possible.

  1. Take the necessary saving steps.  Create a subset in your budget strictly for vacations.  This could be any amount that you feel comfortable putting away for your next trip. It is important to understand what kind of trip you are looking to take. For example, if you would like to go to the Bahamas, you are going to have to save more of your monthly income than you would have to put away if you were going on a family camping trip.

  2. Take the necessary steps when it comes to your job/school.  Choose a time during the year when it would be easier to get away from your job, or a time during the school year that is planned for vacationing, such as spring break.  For example, if you are an accountant, you are not going to want to plan a vacation during tax season; setting realistic possibilities is important.  Additionally, set specific dates for your vacation, so both you and your employer can plan for your absence. The last thing you want to do is have a last-minute decision to leave work for a week which causes your employer to be unhappy with you, as well as possibility being behind on your work.

  3. Book flights and hotels ahead of time, when prices are lower.  If you wait until the last minute to book your hotel and flight, odds are you are going to be paying a higher price.  Be on the watch for flights and hotel prices months before you go, and book when prices are down. Hint, booking flights on a Tuesday can often be cheaper than booking on another day of the week. Additionally, if you have the flexibility to go at different times of the year, try to stay clear of vacationing around holidays and popular vacationing times (i.e. Spring Break), where flights/hotels are going to be marked up.  If your vacation destination is within driving distance, odds are driving will be the less expensive choice.  However, you should still compare the cost of gas and how many times you will have to fill up your tank as well as maintenance on your vehicle with the cost of your plane ticket.

Hopefully, these few tips have better equipped you for funding and preparation of your next vacation.  If you would like to discuss more on how to finance your next vacation, or any other financial planning tips, schedule an appointment with NEXUS today at the link below.