Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets ~ Oscar Wilde.
Traveling to new places is always filled with excitement. Sights to see, new friends, to meet and memories waiting to be made. Feeding your wanderlust ensures that you relax and are rejuvenated, thereby tremendously increasing your productivity at work.
Be it a well-timed annual holiday with family or an impromptu solo trip during a long weekend, the entire process of planning, traveling to the destination, trying local cuisines and meeting fellow strangers along the way, is an experience that enriches us like no other. It opens your mind to new horizons and even newer perceptions. And this, in turn, allows us to view our daily life and work in a better light. I have always found that challenges seem like opportunities after I return from every trip.
As summer draws near, most of us are daydreaming or planning that dream holiday. For some of us, this would be a fantastic payoff for the months of prudent saving. For the rest, this may seem daunting as travel is not cheap and can be brutal on the wallet. Whichever be the case, let me share some tips with you that could make this holiday not just enjoyable, but financially viable as well.
Identify – why do you want to travel?
Social media often spoils our psyche for the worst, and this is especially true if you love to travel. When you see your timeline flooded with photos of friends backpacking across Europe, sightseeing in Asia, deep-sea diving in the Mediterranean or seeking out the lions on that South African safari; you believe that is what you want to do next! But is it really?
Start out by defining your vacation priorities. Common ones include:
- Experiencing a different culture or cuisine
- Checking out the sites – historic monuments, idyllic beaches or calm mediation spots
- Learning something new
Once you define exactly what you want out of your holiday, you can focus on how to best achieve it. This, in turn, allows you to plan your trip within your budget, packing in most of what you truly seek to do.
Plan a Shorter Trip
Whether you’re traveling for relaxation or exploration, you don’t need to jet off for weeks at a time to get the experience you want. Shorter travel offers the same benefits as long-winding vacations, and they cost much less.
Planning frequent short trips can help you unwind periodically, explore more scenic sights and experience new thrills. Planning a short trip within the country such as visiting a forest reserve or a well-planned road trip, is not all that expensive. Make the most of the long weekends in 2020 and if you plan it in advance, you can avail of great discounts and rates that will not just ensure your holiday is far less expensive, but also that it packs in a mean punch!
We live in the age of Airbnb and homestays. While this gives us great bargains on our stay, it also allows us to explore our destination of choice in a more local way. These places are cost-effective for large groups such as families, come with a hoard of amenities such as a kitchenette and are usually found in the center of the city. Thus, choosing to stay in one of these can help save on food and local conveyance (a brisk walk will also allow you to explore the city better). As with homestays, you have the chance to meet with local families and come back with memories that make for great stories at some later date.
Travel Light – Budget well!
To travel is all about leaving your baggage (mental and physical) behind and being ready to embrace new experiences. But it also needs you to be well prepared for any emergencies or spontaneous course-correction of your travel plans. While your destination doesn’t matter, travel light, but remember to pack all the basics you will need.
You don’t need a reason to travel. Travel for the sake of travel alone is an adventure in itself. Just make sure you remember these basic trips and make your vacations more about experiences than the budget. Adjust your priorities, be willing to get out of your comfort zone and just go with the flow. After all, it is the journey that is more significant, not the destination.
By, Rahul Jain, Head – Personal Wealth Advisory, Edelweiss