Posted on Wednesday 18 April 2018
Wanderlust, also known as the strong desire to travel, is more common than some people might imagine. The truth of the matter is that the world is a very big place. There are many places to visit and an amazing plethora of things to see and do. While the upsides of traveling (such as learning, exposure to new, diverse cultures, etc) are well-documented, financial planning is absolutely critical, especially when a forthcoming trip is involved. Financial planning can often make the difference between a successful trip or a failed trip. However, despite the paramountcy of financial planning, there are still many individuals who struggle with the involved technicalities. Thankfully, the following steps will prove to be helpful and answer many existing questions.
Saving money prior to one's trip is one of the most critical steps of financial preparation for any traveling excursion. It's much better to pay for a vacation out of savings than it is to borrow money to travel. According to Pocket Sense, individuals who are getting ready to go on a trip should start putting funds aside for food, shopping, airfare/transportation, lodging, and other travel-related expenses. In most cases, a monthly budget is best because it permits the person at hand to still meet their ongoing expenses, whilst stashing aside capital for their upcoming journey. The last thing you want to be doing is taking out a cash advance the day before you get on the plane.
It is not uncommon for the excitement of forthcoming or current travel to sometimes serve as a distraction. Often times, the hustle and bustle of travel can engender forgetfulness about certain matters; this can be especially problematic when bills and other expenses are involved. Therefore, Quicken suggests setting up automatic payments which are linked to one's bank account. This ensures that expenses are covered even during times of travel. Imagine the horror of coming home from an eventful, fun trip only to realize that the lights or heat have been shut off, which could even impact your credit score. In this day and age, virtually every bill can be paid automatically including mortgage payments. Automatic payments are especially applicable and recommended for persons who will be traveling for weeks or months on end.
Your vacation savings should be separate from your emergency savings. If your plumbing springs a leak, you want to be prepared for that without having to cancel your vacation. This means having an emergency fund but it also means taking steps to avoid even dipping into those funds. Make sure you have your property insurance up to date, and take care of regular maintenance. Make sure you have booked off time at work and you have someone there to cover your job during the vacation. This can be easier when you run your own business.
As a general rule, travel is widely regarded as a costly endeavor. However, taking a trip does not have to be as expensive as many people might think. In this case, it's not about who you know; it's about what you know. First and foremost comes transportation. Nine times out of ten, travelers arrive at their desired destinations via plane. While airfare can be pricey, there are some ways to get around sky-high fees. First comes how far in advance the individual chooses to book their flight. Generally, purchasing airline tickets anywhere between six to four weeks in advance is wisest. Flying on weekends or holidays is often always more costly than buying a ticket during the week. As U.S. News reports, the Skyscanner app is an excellent tool for comparing airfare prices and getting the best bang for one's buck. Another opportunity to reduce travel expenses comes in the form of the Airbnb app. Although this app has become more popular in the past few years, there are still many travelers who book hotels as lodging accommodations. However, using Airbnb instead of hotels can determine whether or not a traveler pays $50 per night or $150 per night for lodging.
Traveling is a luxury that can greatly enrich each person's life if they allow it to. However, financial planning for any trip is incredibly important. Although no one journey will be exactly the same, saving money ahead of time, keeping up with ongoing expenses, and using apps like Skyscanner and Airbnb to reduce some of the most costly travel fees can make a world of difference! Happy traveling!