When you walk into a travel agency it is so easy to pull out your credit card and book a fabulous trip to an exotic location. I’ve done it many, many times. Unfortunately, after your tan has warn off you are usually hit with the realization that you spent a little more than you should have. It’s like vacation hangover.
We’ve been through this enough times to realize it was time to come up with a better plan.
My wife and I decided that we would only take trips we could pay cash for
(okay, once we had to put the last $200 on a credit card but we promised to have it paid off quickly).
Here’s the bonus for planning, traveling and vacationing this way. You’ll enjoy the trip far more.
That’s right, once you realize that you don’t have that bill waiting for you when you get back you’ll actually enjoy the trip more.
So, how do we budget our vacations?
The easiest way is to just take a specific amount (like $25 or $50 out of each paycheck and have it automatically withdrawn and deposited in your “travel” account). Most banks are more than willing to set this up for you. And, after a few weeks, you’ll stop noticing it. Obviously, don’t take money you need for rent or food, but you’ll be surprised how easy it is to do if it never actually gets to your regular bank account.
Secondly, don’t use that fund to pay credit card debt. You have to live within your means. If you use any funds from your vacation fund to pay debt you have to agree to postpone your travels. This is usually enough incentive to rein in your daily spending.
We also added a fun element to our vacation funding plan.
For example. Let’s say each partner takes $500. My wife enjoys playing slot machines and has been known to bet on a horse race from time to time. Also, she took some of her money and bought “quick pik” lottery tickets.
I was a little more risky. I was thinking of trying Forex investing and trading but came across a new type of high risk investing called binary options. I read a review of a trading company called iOption and decided to give it a try. I made some good money and added that to our vacation fund.
You can see a review of that investment here: BoptNews.com/iOption-Review
We made the saving fun AND automatic. Our trips have been more enjoyable since we decided to start traveling without leaving significant debt at home.