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2024 Travel Plans

It’s March. How are your travel plans shaping up for this year? If you are like me, uhm, well, I just, well…I haven’t taken the time to do that yet. The following are some thoughts on how to get started from an avid traveler from a financial planning perspective.

First up, make a budget for annual travel.

Our budget should reflect our financial station in life. For example, if you are ahead of your financial goals, it is OK to splurge. We only have one life to live. So, if an expensive “Bucket List” location is in consideration, like Machu Picchu, Greenland, or an African Safari, by all means, get started on the planning now. I’ve received communication from my travel agent that demand is extremely high for these types of trips. So, getting started now for a trip late this year is imperative. If you are still working towards those financial goals, then more modest locals are in order. Think about driving, taking a cooler for food and drinks, and if you fly, stay domestic and don’t stay gone for too long. I’ve been through these financial stages. I’m convinced that you can have an amazing, inexpensive vacation on a budget.

For any of us, no matter the stage of our financial journey, we could consider one trip that would be a little more expensive, then couple that with two shorter, modest trips.

The bigger trip will literally give us something to be excited about. Studies have shown that these types of trips give us positive mental vibes and help us stay in the game during our working years. For example, Bill, who is working past normal retirement and is financially secure, has a cruise planned every three months. As long as he has another one to look forward to, he is happy to keep working.

Our season of life often dictates how we travel.

Pam and Mike bought an RV specifically so they could take their dogs on vacation. Zuzu is 16 years old, and they just don’t want to leave her with anyone else. Pam is a retired airline employee. They can fly for free anywhere in the world. But they accept this season of life staying at State Parks each month, and they absolutely love it.

Consider the high and low seasons at your location.

Traveling at the wrong time could literally ruin your experience. High season can be more expensive and crowded. Many cities around the world, such as Venice, Barcelona, and Amsterdam, are undertaking unprecedented measures to stop over-tourism. Would you want to be in Venice on a hot summer day when a cruise ship drops off a few thousand tourists? Not me!

More later on, our methods of travel. Trains are rising quickly on my preferred list.

March 2024

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