After months of cold dreary weather and being trapped indoors, nothing lifts our spirits more than planning and preparing for vacation.
For some, the perfect vacation means relaxing on a white sandy beach. While for others, the perfect vacation could mean hiking cool mountain trails, exploring an exotic country, or trout fishing.
Getting Your Dream Vacations
Regardless of the destination and the activity, one question is important for each of us to answer: How can you help ensure your vacation is an achievable reality, both now, and in the years to come?
Consider the ideas below to help plan your vacation dreams:
1. Put it on paper
Goals are much more likely to become a reality when written down. Is your goal an annual vacation, an extensive trip to celebrate certain milestones, or some combination of the two? Knowing what you are working toward is an important first step. Research online, talk to friends who have taken similar trips, or consult a travel agent to estimate costs associated with your vacation goal.
2. Look at your budget
Nothing dulls the vacation glow more than spending the following year paying for it. If your budget does not allow for the trip you wish to take, consider taking a vacation every other year, or perhaps reducing what you plan to spend on a vacation. If your vacation budget is a little short, look for ways to reduce everyday spending and redirect those funds. Areas of potential savings include reducing your ‘dining out’ budget, eliminating unused memberships, reducing or eliminating subscriptions, etc.
Travel goals are typically part of our client’s financial plans which we review and update frequently.
3. Make sure your assets are working for you
Here are a couple of areas to review:
- Do your checking and savings accounts pay interest?
- Do you use a credit card that offers rewards?
- Websites like creditkarma.com and nerdwallet.com have great suggestions depending on your preferences and credit scores.
- Do you have additional cash that can be added to an interest-bearing account, such as a savings or investment account, in order to potentially increase income?
As we enter the summer season, ask yourself, ”what is my dream vacation?” Whether it is soaking up the sun on the beach or hiking in the mountains, you can prepare yourself by reviewing the items above. Knowing that your vacation budget fits within your overall financial plan will allow you more time to relax and enjoy your vacation.
This commentary represents the opinions of Greenwood Capital Associates, LLC and is for informational purposes only. Investment Advisory Services are offered through Greenwood Capital Associates, LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor.