By Jesi Bondoc, RFP®
You woke up drenched in sweat and feeling thirsty, you feel the hot breeze coming from the outside of your window and as you step out of the house, you see every corner in your neighborhood is filled with halo-halo and ice candy vendors. Finally, summer is here, you say.
You begin day dreaming, seeing yourself strolling the pristine white sands of Boracay while marveling the majestic beauty of the sunset. By this time, you are all perked up and excited to leave work and the stress that comes with it for your much deserved vacation. But before you go and pack your bags, consider these tips on how to get the most out of your vacation and experience a hitch-free getaway.
Remember S-T-R-E-S-S F-R-E-E:
Start planning ahead of time
Make sure that you decide on where to spend your vacation a couple of months before you take the trip. Deciding on where to go early on helps you in mapping out the cost of your vacation and eliminates the stress that comes with last minute preparations. Planning ahead of time will also save you money if you’re booking a flight as air fare promos are usually given to people who book their flights earlier. Lastly, it will give you enough room for making adjustments in your vacation plan.
Set up a savings plan dedicated for your vacation. Save up in advance so you can enjoy your getaway without worrying where to get your lunch money when the vacation is over. If you’re having difficulty saving up monthly, try daily. Utilize your piggy bank, label it as “travel fund” and try saving an amount you’re comfortable with. Let’s say you drop P100 to your “travel fund” daily for the next five months, you’ll have P15,000 at the end of your saving period that you can work with. This can already take you to a decent vacation spot within the country.
If you’re going somewhere for the first time, it is best to get as much information as you can beforehand. Google is your friend. Soak in as much travel tips as you can like the best restaurants to eat, tourist spots to visit and the easiest ways to go around the place. This will save you time and also help you in drafting your itinerary.
Eliminate unnecessary expenses
This includes packing your travel bag and checking your flight details if you’re riding a plane. Be on time. The last thing that you want to do is arriving late and having your flight rebooked as this will entail unnecessary costs from your end.
Settle work assignments before you leave
The last thing that you want to experience while on vacation is having your boss call you up for an update on some unfinished task. Make sure all your deliverables are settled before you take the time off. This also includes clearing all the clutter in your workplace before you leave. Having a clean desk upon your return will provide you with more time to focus on important things at work rather than spending it cleaning up and organizing your files.
Stay within budget
Avoid overspending. The state of calmness and relaxation you gained from your vacation will be short lived if you do not pay attention to your spending activities while on vacation. The fact is when you get home and realize that you’ve spent too much might overshadow all the enjoyment and the fun experiences you had from your trip. One of the most common reasons why people overspend while on vacation is the habit of buying everyone gifts or “pasalubongs.” While giving is a good gesture, it is not obligatory. Remember you’re working on a budget and it’s unfair for you to blow your budget on gift giving because you feel obligated to do so.
Find the best value
Do not settle on the first deal that you see from the Internet. Shop around and consider looking for deals and discount coupons. There are a lot of available online “discount deal” sites that cater to travelers. Make sure to compare their prices and definitely you’ll find one that is within your budget range.
Review your vacation plan
Review your vacation plan a couple of days before your travel date. Make sure that everything is in place before you hit the road.
Enlist a travel buddy
Consider travelling with family members or friends. In this way, you can save money by splitting the cost while enjoying your vacation with loved ones.
Enjoy and savor the moment
This is your moment. Indulge and let loose. After all, a time off from your regular routine is not often to come by so make sure to enjoy it and make the most out of it.
Jesi Bondoc is a Registered Financial Planner, Certified Investment Solicitor and a Personal Finance Coach. He is currently the Director of My Wealth MD and Partners, Inc. specializing in investment advisory and oversight. He also conducts wealth planning seminars and workshops for various corporations in the Philippines. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or jbondoc@ mywealthmd.com and for more info about Registered Financial Planner, please visit www.rfp.ph or email email@example.com