Material items are one thing, but market research shows that more and more people prefer collecting experiences over things. Part of that might stem from our collective social media obsession: it is more fun to post a photo of the view from a window seat on a plane to Ireland than it is to post a photo of a brand new pair of sneakers. We are living in an ever-connected world thanks to the Internet, but people are hungry to get off their laptops and make connections that go beyond just typing a few words and hitting “send.” Travel is not always cheap, but it is such a valuable experience that it is worth playing the long game to ensure you can turn your travel dreams into reality.
Find Your Motivation
Most of us would not get up when our alarm sounds in the morning, unless we had to be at work by a certain hour. “Not getting fired’ is powerful motivation, but most people need more of a push when they are saving up for something big like a trip. A constant reminder of what you are working towards is one way to find a burst of extra energy. Look into buying travel posters of your preferred destination or destinations. Gazing at a gorgeous image of the mountain where you want to take a ski trip is a more visceral experience than just thinking about the mountain. It reminds you of what is right there for the taking, assuming you work hard enough and plan carefully. You can also change the wallpaper on your phone to an image of the place you want to go. That will work on a couple of different levels. Someone who is going to grab their phone and check their Instagram in the middle of the work day could see that image of a beachside villa in the Caribbean and remind themselves to get back to work. Travel has a personal significance that few things can match and creating a sense of anticipation just means the real thing will be that much more fun when the time comes to grab your passport and head to the airport.
Work Out A Budget
Few people can afford to buy a ticket and spend an endless amount of disposable income on vacation. Most of us have to work with something that at least vaguely resembles a budget in our regular lives and the same principle applies when we are talking about travel. Annually, the average person spends $1,145 on vacation. The largest travel expense is typically transportation, which might help explain why so many airlines get away with offering bare-bones airfares that all, but force you to sit in the lavatory for the length of the flight. Cheaping out on airfare might mean being able to splurge for a swanky hotel suite and the exchange is worth it for some.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that you are done once you have accounted for transportation, lodging, and meals. Whether it is last-minute surfing lessons in Waikiki or souvenirs for your siblings, other expenses have a way of popping up. Plan for them now by putting some money aside in a fund you can mark “other” or “miscellaneous.” This makes it less likely you will rack up a big credit card bill that will take years to pay off. You want to return from your trip with good photos and great memories, not a large pile of debt.