American workers are statistically proven to have far fewer vacation days available at their expense than employees in almost all other developed countries. Additionally, they take even less of those days off, for fear they may lose their job. In other words, where other nations offer employees an average of 3-5 mandatory weeks of paid vacation, the United States averages 2-3 weeks of non-mandatory, paid leave and workers still typically only take off 50% of those days. American employees are working for more extended periods of time with fewer opportunities to relax and rejuvenate. Studies also have shown that for a worker to meet their peak of productivity in an office environment, it requires a certain amount of time away from their job. These lapses in work provide individuals with the chance to refresh their minds and bodies. They then return to the office with much sharper minds, happier dispositions, and in overall better physical and mental health than they were before leaving.
One excuse many people use for not taking time off is the mounting expense of vacation. To escape the office and go out on an adventure to some exotic destination can put a dent in one’s pocketbook. Making a strategic plan to save for these occasions will reduce unnecessary stress and hopefully it will encourage more people to utilize their well-deserved vacation time.
Here are six tips to help save for a summer vacation:
1. Make vacation a priority. It is easier to find time and energy to invest in a priority than those things which are outliers. Making vacation a prerogative is step number one, and it will help create more urgency, importance, and motivation to encourage employees to step away from the office and escaping to a relaxing destination.
2. Establish a budget. Budgeting is also a pivotal key to reaching one’s vacation goals. When leaving the office to relax and rejuvenate, the objective is not to return to work with additional debt. Define a budget and provide a discretionary amount to be used for meals, lodging, and extracurriculars. It is also essential to have some extra in an emergency fund in case the unexpected occurs.
3. Set realistic expectations. A 20-year-olds vacation may look entirely different than those of an established, working 50-year-old. Understanding those parameters and sticking to a budget will help one develop more luxurious travel possibilities in the future. Try visiting a state park and then working up to a glamorous vacation in Hawaii.
4. Set aside money little by little. Create a fund and allocate a designated amount of money each month to its growth. By siphoning smaller amounts of money into an account over more extended periods of time, it accrues at a steady pace, without as much of an influence on short-term spending. It also takes the guesswork out of budgeting while on vacation.
5. Search travel sites for the best deals. There are plenty of travel websites to help make arrangements accessible and affordable. Do not be afraid to take advantage of offseason deals, discount codes, and promotional opportunities to enhance and prolong a travel budget.
6. Do long-term planning for future travel. Take baby steps for future travel by planning now for the ultimate getaway. Whether the desire is to travel the world and circumvent the globe or escape for a month at a time to a favorite destination, dream vacations come at an expense. Acquiring the paid time off at the office and the financial means to get away involves long-term planning. Meeting with a trusted financial advisor can help individuals prepare for their ultimate travel dreams.
Benedetti, Gucer & Associates (BGA) is a boutique wealth management firm located in Atlanta, Georgia and they have the knowledge and financial expertise to be an integral part of helping their clients achieve financial security while also guiding them to their long-term retirement goals. If travel is a priority, BGA can help it become an attainable reality.
Benedetti, Gucer & Associates is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). An RIA is obligated by law to disclose any possible conflicts of interest, and they are always required to put the interests of their clients above their own. This role is also known as a fiduciary.
In order to give advice that is tailored to your situation, Benedetti, Gucer & Associates recommends beginning with a comprehensive financial plan. This will take into account your overall financial situation, as well all of your goals and objectives (not just travel). In addition to helping you prioritize your goals, a financial plan can help you identify if you are on track for them.
If you are not on track, a proper plan can help to identify the steps necessary to get there. Once this is achieved, it becomes clearer how much travel is within your budget, and what the tradeoffs are should you choose to take that trip anyways. Better yet, if you are on track for Retirement and other long term goals, you won’t lose sleep over whether or not you can afford a nice a vacation. But this will only happen if you take the time to meet with an advisor and have him or her perform the necessary calculations.
After putting a sound financial plan in place, you won’t need to feel guilty for taking advantage of that hard-earned vacation time by planning a dream getaway. Start small and work up to more luxurious destinations, with the help of the financial professionals and wealth management experts at Benedetti, Gucer & Associates.
The views expressed represent the opinions of Benedetti, Gucer & Associates and are subject to change. These views are not intended as a forecast, a guarantee of future results, investment recommendation, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. The information provided is of a general nature and should not be construed as investment advice or to provide any investment, tax, financial or legal advice or service to any person.
Additional information, including management fees and expenses, is provided on Benedetti, Gucer & Associates’ Form ADV Part 2, which is available upon request.
The use of the term “RIA” does not imply a certain level of skill or training.
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