Summer vacations and the aftermath
Vacations, we all like them and most of us look forward to them throughout the entire year. Living from vacation to vacation is something you could experience quite easily when you’re stuck in a 9 to 5 job. What is the effect of a vacation on our mindset and not importantly, on our finances?
First of all, it’s important to release your stress and just relax once in a while, vacations are a great way to do it. Second of all, chances are you have a significant other which is not as crazy as us on the path to FIRE (Financially Independent, Retire Early). Travelling abroad, seeing the world and experiencing new things are very important to develop yourself as a person and to get out of the routine of work and earning money. Unfortunately going abroad usually goes hand in hand with spending quite a bit of money, which in turn you cannot invest, which in turn makes you work more years to retirement.
I think spending money is not a bad thing, as long as you keep using your head. I myself have an Italian girlfriend while most of you clever readers will notice I’m Dutch. This makes travelling even more important for me personally and you could imagine I try and do it as often as I’m capable of. It does cut back on my investing but there are also more important things in life, seeing friends, family or partners is just as important as being smart about your future.
Less money to invest
I’m not sure how the situation is for Americans (or anyone outside of Europe for that matter), but here it’s not too crazily expensive to travel abroad on this continent. For example flights from Amsterdam to Napels start around €30 depending on the period of the year. But when you (and maybe your entire family) have to pay thousands of Euro’s or Dollars to travel to another country for just two weeks it would be a more tough choice for me personally. Of course experiencing different cultures, foods and life styles is important and can be incredibly fun, but there are also enough alternatives to enjoy two weeks away from work with your wife/kids/family.
Simply thinking about two big holidays a year (summer and winter) which would cost me around €1500 a pop makes me uncomfortable. It’s a lot of money for just a few weeks. A quick get-away for a lot of bucks. I realise there is plenty of people spending way more on worse (in my view), like consumer products as phones or even going out to a restaurant every day of the week. But to me I’d prefer to keep looking at spending with a value to price ratio.
I think it’s oh so important to get out of your daily work routine once in a while and actually go out and enjoy life. Working on your future is important but don’t forget to live in ‘the now’ as well. Whilst situations will always differ, I think if you keep thinking about price vs. value you could end up with some amazing holidays without spending the absolute maximum. Try and be creative and enjoy your quality time together with family.
Do you have any travels hacks, or stress-relieving tips which don’t cost quite as much as a full out vacation, let me know!