You want to take your dream vacation, but you have no idea how you’ll ever save enough to go. The trip seems amazing, the online pictures look great, but the price tag is overwhelming. No need to make excuses. If that’s where you’ve been dreaming of going, now’s the time to plan for it.
Here are five helpful ways for you to financially plan your dream vacation.
1. Pick the Location
We often spend so much time focusing on why we can’t go, when we should be focusing on where exactly we want to go. Take a second, and think. If someone were to write you a check, and tell you that the money can only be spent on one trip, where would you go? Decide your first location, big or small, and commit to it.
2. Visualize the Destination
Financially planning a vacation is simple, but it’s not easy. Therefore, we need constant motivation. Find two amazing pictures of your destination, and add the photos to your vision board. Make sure that each photo inspires you. Twice a day, preferably in the morning and at night, for a minimum of 30 seconds each, stare at the two pictures. Imagine yourself at this location. Imagine what you’re wearing, and who you’re with. It may sound crazy, but reshaping your mind about the things you want has a direct correlation to your willingness to financially obtain it.
3. Research the Destination
Looking at your vision board will help get you one step closer, however you must have the trip’s specifics ready. Start to build your agenda. Outline anything and everything you want to see and decide on every restaurant you want to visit. This part will take time, but it’s worth it. You’ll learn so much, and you will be able to get a price for everything you want to experience.
Utilize places like Viator and Lonely Planet to help give you ideas. In addition to surfing the Web, Instagram is a great tool as well. Start searching through different hashtags. Hashtag the country you want to visit, the hotels, the attractions, and so much more. By going through different hashtags, viewing everyone’s pictures, and clicking on the locations highlighted on the photos, you are able to find new places and explore new options.
4. Open a Separate Savings Account
Now is the time to not only plan but to also take action! Open a new savings account. Make sure it’s an account that is NOT connected to your checking account. Most times, if your savings account is directly connected to your checking, you will touch it. Every financial goal you set for yourself should have a different account number. Your vacation fund should not be mixed with your emergency fund. Your bills account should not be mixed with your vacation fund. Online accounts are the best accounts to use when it comes to training your mind to save. Goldman Sachs and Capital 360 Savings have great online platforms that will allow you to automatically save. Once the account is opened, title your account something inspiring like, “My Dream Vacation Fund” or “My Dream Destination Fund.” Finally, set up a bi-weekly savings plan. These online accounts will help you automatically save, while you focus on generating more income.
5. Open a Digit Savings Account
In addition to saving in your new online account, be sure to open a Digit account. Digit is another amazing tool that will allow you to save without putting in any hard work. Digit automatically saves for you, and they will never transfer more than you can afford. Once you have this account set up, be sure to turn off the text notifications. Your money is safe, but the more you see your account balance, the more tempted you’ll be to touch your money. Remember, this account is for YOUR dream vacation, not your bills.
Despite your current financial state, traveling is most important for your growth as a person. We all have one life, so let’s be sure to live it. It is alright to dream, but you’ve got to open your eyes and see. If you haven’t traveled at all, or even if you feel like you don’t travel enough, always remember that you can. Push yourself to be great and to automatically save your money, no matter how long it takes. It is always important to do something small, as opposed to doing nothing at all.
By Ashley M. Fox
Financial Architect & Founder, Empify
Ashley M. Fox is a former Wall Street analyst who is an expert in her field as a Financial Architect dedicated to helping both the youth and adults build wealth from the ground up. She is the founder of Empify (merging of the words EMPower and modIFY), an education- based organization that develops life-altering curricula, informative digital content and interactive workshops curated to teach the basics of financial literacy. She has educated over 5,000 students in over 40 different schools throughout the country. Ashley is a highly-sought after speaker, and she has been featured on empowerment tours, college campuses, and keynote speaking platforms. She has been featured on Jim Cramer’s “The Street”, Yahoo Finance, AOL, Philly.com, Huffington Post, and Glamour Magazine.
Connect with Ashley on Twitter: @_ashleymfox