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How to Take a Vacation While Staying True to Your Financial Goals

If you’re trying to build wealth or reduce debt, a vacation may seem impractical. Taking time away from your job means you’ll potentially sacrifice some career-building opportunities, and of course, travel and accommodation costs can range up to thousands of dollars. However, taking vacations periodically is good for your health and your career, and if you plan for them appropriately, they can fit almost any budget.

The Importance of Planning

The budget-friendliness and overall effects of your vacation will come down to your ability to plan ahead. The more proactively you plan, the less money you’ll spend, and the better decisions you’ll be able to make. For example, doing research on different countries in advance of traveling could help you find the most affordable option. Purchasing your flight and hotel far in advance of traveling can help you secure a good deal.

You can also plan ahead to make sure you don’t miss anything at work; notifying your coworkers, employees, clients, and other professional contacts about your upcoming absence in advance gives you time to compensate for that absence.

Finding Good Travel Deals

It’s also wise to look for special travel deals, which will arise periodically (and typically, unpredictably). The tourism boards of different countries, airline companies, and other establishments will occasionally sharply reduce the prices of traveling to a particular area (often to incentivize travel). If you keep an eye out for these special deals and discounts, you may be able to travel to a destination for a fraction of what you’d ordinarily pay.

Depending on your approach, this could help you get to your favorite destination for less money than you’d pay otherwise, or discover an interesting location you may not have otherwise considered. The one caveat here is you may not see your favorite destination discounted for some time, and some deals require fast action on your part.

Choosing the Right Destination

You can also save money by choosing the right destination. Some areas are notoriously more expensive than others, without offering a similarly increased value. For example, if you prefer the outdoors to the big city, there’s no reason to pay ten times as much for a hotel in New York City as you would for a cabin in the middle of the woods somewhere.

Do some research on the cost of living in an area before traveling there, and see how much it costs to get there in the first place.

Reducing Food and Accommodation Costs

Some of the most expensive costs you’ll incur while taking a vacation are food and accommodations. Staying at a fancy hotel can be incredibly costly, even in an otherwise low-cost area, but you can easily reduce these costs by relaxing your accommodation standards. For example, you could use Airbnb to find an inexpensive vacation rental, or if you’re feeling especially adventurous, CouchSurfing to stay at someone’s place for free. If you choose these options, you might also get a chance to meet your hosts (and get a connection to the area).

If you eat at restaurants for every meal, your daily vacation costs are going to skyrocket. While indulging in the local cuisine is part of any good vacation, if you want to travel frugally, it’s important to avoid these indulgences on a constant basis. Consider going out only for dinner each night, while cooking your own breakfast and lunch with ingredients you can find at the local market. You could easily save hundreds of dollars this way, without sacrificing too much of the experience in the process.

Taking a Staycation

For many people, one of the best parts of a vacation is traveling to an exotic new destination—but this isn’t an essential part of the overall “vacation” experience. Instead, you could consider taking a staycation (a vacation that relies on activities within driving distance of your home). These vacations give you a chance to decompress from your work and responsibilities while saving you a ton of money in the process. Plus, there are likely dozens, if not hundreds of activities in your state that you’ve never seen before, so there are plenty of opportunities to enrich yourself with new experiences.

There’s no right or wrong way to take a vacation, but if you’re trying to preserve your finances while also getting the most out of your trip, these strategies can help you stay true to your goals. Just remember, no matter where you choose to go, it’s not a vacation if you’re still answering work emails and phone calls on a daily basis. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to travel and relax, but you do need to separate yourself from your career if you want to see the benefits.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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April 19 12:30 UTC Released

USHouse Starts MM: Change

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-1541 %

January 31 00:00 UTC 638956638956m

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2016 bln ARS

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Bln AR bln ARS

January 31 00:00 UTC 638956638956m

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2016 bln ARS

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Bln AR bln ARS

January 31 00:00 UTC 638956638956m

ARAnnual Primary Balance*

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2016 bln ARS

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Bln AR bln ARS

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