We are thrilled to welcome guest blogger Belkys Pastor of Distinct Vacations to talk money and travel!
As Americans we have the lowest rate of leisure travel than any other nation around the world. We also leave the most days of unused vacation at the end of the year.
Why? Why is it that we deprive ourselves of the endless benefits of traveling? Traveling reduces your stress level, allows you to reconnect with family, creates excitement, gives you a chance to step outside of your comfort zone. These are just some of the benefits. One of the core human needs is variety – stepping away from the day-to-day routines and having something different and exciting to look forward to.
Incorporating traveling into your household budget is essential no matter the stage of your life.
For those who have a family, young children will slow down your traveling (just a little bit), but there are still amazing vacations you can take as a family. My kids started traveling domestically from a very young age. Then as they got a little older we started taking vacations to the Caribbean and eventually, Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Europe!
The key in planning a vacation with children is ensuring you incorporate activities for everyone. For example, my son (who is a soccer fan), was thrilled to visit and tour the soccer stadium in Barcelona. Segway tours in European cities are always a big hit with teenagers. In designing client trips, the most important stage is learning about the travelers’ preferences and interests and ensuring everyone will be excited and looking forward to special experiences during their vacation.
I hope that exposing our children to other countries, cultures, and foods will help them be more open minded and have better appreciation for people from all over the world.
Once the kids are off to college things change quite a bit in terms of vacation planning. Now you can focus entirely on your preferences and interests and perhaps explore the world a little differently.
As you approach the retirement years it’s crucial to incorporate a solid travel budget into your financial plan. Traveling during those years could be very different than how you’ve traveled in the past….
- How many times a year would you like to travel? And for how long?
- Do you want to take your children and their families on vacation once a year or every other year?
- How about a cruise around the world for 6 months?
- Or, consider renting an apartment for a month each year in a European city. (This is my personal favorite!)
My point is, there are so many ways to travel and experience the world. There is no wrong or right way to do it. But one thing we must do is plan for traveling no matter what stage of your life.
Traveling is invigorating! And the benefits last for quite some time. If you’re planning a trip 6 months ahead, the excitement and anticipation starts then. Looking forward to an upcoming vacation refuels the soul.
After returning from a trip you’ll share your pictures with friends and family and you’ll reminisce about the amazing experiences for a month if not longer. So the benefits of planning just one trip a year could last a good 8 months. Now that is a large return on investment!!
To get more information on Belkys, check out her website: www.distinctvacations.com.
Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Expressions of opinions are those of this date and are subject to change without notice