Make the Vacation Relaxing…before and after the travel
by Rich Piatt
Many of us work very hard and deservedly have earned a vacation. Research shows time off from work to re-energize is a benefit to us both from a health standpoint and in being a more productive worker in the long run.
Unfortunately a vacation often brings as much stress as is relieved from the time off. Reasons for this additional stress can include a myriad of challenges, including unexpected delays in travel and unaccounted for expenses. There have been many a time one comes back from vacation asking themselves ‘I am not sure it was worth it?’.
Planning for a vacation can help reduce unneeded stress. A couple of suggestions include:
- Plan your vacation route and each day in detail…including down time:…don’t let the day get away from you because the travel took longer than expected, traffic was worse than anticipated, or finding a descent place to eat was not close to the highway being traveled.
- Spend time listing all expenses: Transportation, housing, and food are obvious costs that are usually accounted for, but there are some fairly significant costs that are often overlooked. Examples of costs that can cause surprises include; tolls, higher than expected taxes and fees for motel stays, and parking. As an example on a recent trip I spent $12 on one toll way, ran into a city where the motel tax was an additional 3%, and had to pay $40 to park for the afternoon….about $65 in unanticipated expenses.
- Pare Back: After laying out your detailed vacation plan from both a time and expense standpoint, try to cut back on 1-2 planned events during the vacation to allow for more down time and increase your vacation budget by 7-10% to account for unexpected expenses.
A goal of a vacation is to come back ‘relaxed’. Taking the time upfront to layout all the events including time for R&R and having the trip paid for in advance will allow one to come back from vacation refreshed, versus what we have all often felt from our travel at times…”I need a vacation to rest from my vacation”.
If you would like additional budgeting tips please contact one of our credit advisors at 800-955-5765.