First came the plan. Then came the reservation. Then came pre-vacation shopping! Of course! Shopping during the vacation is given!
Does this sound familiar? You are not alone! During my early, carefree days of freedom when I had zero responsibilities, I didn't care how much I spent before, during or after the vacation! But soon, I realized, travel is fun only when financially sustainable. According to this article, 74% of Americans admitted to falling into debt after returning from their vacation!
We all have that dream- saving up for the big, grand vacation! That vacation where no expenses shall be spared, where no stone would be left unturned (literally while exploring!). How often do we trade off that pretty pair of shoes hoping it will add to the vacation fund? Over the years, I have realized a few simple yet effective strategies which keep me more available for vacations yet do not burden me financially!
One Grand Holiday a year!
There's home rent, there's the rising price of petrol! And then there's that distant dream of saving enough for the perfect trip! If you are debating between quantity and quality, settle on the latter! I plan multiple vacations a year ensuring I get enough time in between work to truly rejuvenate and enjoy! I have a separate fund where I add enough money to take me to one grand vacation every 2 years! That way, I don't miss out on the multiple long weekends we often get during the year and my hopes are not pinned to that one vacation every time.
Travel or Stay
Do you love exploring or do you like a laid back holiday? Based on your preference you could decide to spend on the type of accommodation. If you are planning a vacation to just lie back and relax at the Maldives, it's probably the best time to splurge on those luxurious spas & massages! If you are planning to explore the jungles of Indonesia, don't opt for 5-star stay- instead, spend on making sure you reach on time and carry an excellent pair of camera lenses!
To Shop or Not- that's the question!
Let me get this straight- I absolutely splurge on shopping- both before and after a vacation. However, I make it a point to ensure that I buy sensible items which are easy to carry and will stay with me for a long time. Buying the right souvenier is an investment- it will give you high returns if taken good care of! Recently though, I have begun realizing the importance of not buying unnecessary clothes before the vacation. If I could go back 5 years and tell my younger self one thing, it would be this- don't buy more clothes! You have enough!
Leaves? What are those?
Stuck in an unforgiving job where taking leaves is tough! Well, that's probably what a successful work-life "looks" like. Yes- looks! Try finding those fruitful long weekends where most employees would be on leave and try booking your flights and accommodation early on to avoid last-minute price surges!
Phone a friend!
We all have those friends who look like they travel all the time! I have always found it helpful to contact them and ask for their recommendations about travel and stay. Don't forget to ask them for the best deals at places they have travelled to!
It's not simple- but you can get this done! I learned this some time back- travel needs to be for me, to help me feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Too often as a working woman, I fall into the trap of overindulging to delay the inevitable- going back to work! This need not be the case if holidays are planned in proper succession!