Moneycontrol
May 15, 2017 11:13 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Finalising a financial checklist for a safe travel

With ever increasing travel costs, it is important that you plan smartly so that you can have a great holiday that is not too heavy on your pocket.

Finalising a financial checklist for a safe travel

Chitra Iyer

Every single travel helps you create memories and experiences which you cannot measure in money. But those experiences do cost money. With ever increasing travel costs, it is important that you plan smartly so that you can have a great holiday that is not too heavy on your pocket. Here are seven ideas that will help you with the same :

1) Draw up your bucket list first of where all you wish to visit in the next 5 years.

The travel bug seems to have bitten all of us which is increasingly evident now as we invariably end up bumping into our neighbours or friends in some exotic remote country. Our Bollywood movies are giving us new destination ideas year on year. So whether it is a road trip till Antarctica or flying to Corsica, we Indians have plans to really travel all around the world.

We have so many interesting places to visit in our country itself and hence one could comfortably enjoy a lot of short trips which could be 4 days-3 night trips and then plan for longer vacations of 10 days to 2 weeks to either in India or abroad.

2) Plan if you are travelling alone or with family.

For youngsters, travelling with friends or with family till they get married is still the trend in India, though taking off alone to unique destinations is catching on very fast. For the married lot, travelling with extended family if not with ‘hum do hamare do’ is a must for all holidays.

3) Clever planning can take you places

Once the bucket list of destinations is ready, which you make based on travel stories shared by close friends or inspired by movies, you know what you have to plan for. The holiday expense is also determined based on therefore what you decide. You can clearly take a call on what you can do based on the budget you plan to set aside for the trip.

Cleverly planning your trip such that you travel in trains and bus at nights and arrive at your destinations in the morning and opting for hostel or service apartment accommodations will help you lower your overall holiday expenditure.

4) Checking which time of the year can you take off based on work pressures

You have to use that LTA amount chalked out in your salary package but you also need to check if you can step out in March or September as these are crucial months for your company’s sales. Similarly, your company may have policies that state more than two team members cannot holiday at the same time so as to not affect the business then that determines travel date plans.

5) Early Planning helps you save on holiday bookings

Most holidays are obviously centred around the holidays of children. Adjusting everyone’s schedules based on a child’s school and classes are key determinants to the plan. Plans start getting made by the end of one holiday to determine where you wish to go next summer or winter break. Use this early planning to leverage special early-bird discounts on flight bookings, figuring the cheaper routes and modes of travel & looking for vouchers, coupons or discounts on accommodations of good quality apartments.

6) Arriving at how much to spend on a holiday

Based on your earning and your monthly expenses you can first determine how much you can save towards all your financial goals.
• This process begins with listing down all your goals first.
• Next this money needs to be allocated towards these various goals be it child’s education, buying a house or a car, planning for your retirement and, also your vacation.
• Once you allocate money for the goals you get an idea of how much can be kept aside for a vacation.

So it is a two-way thing, one how much would that dream holiday cost and two how much can you afford to spend on it. For example, an average vacation abroad costs around Rs 3 Lakh for an individual, Rs 5 lakh if the trip is taken by a couple and Rs 10 lakh if it is for a family. After allocating money for your other goals you will be able to decide if you can set aside the required amount for your vacation.

7) Balancing savings with other priorities when you have just started earning so that you can take the Rs 3 lakh holiday you want.

Once you have decided how much you wish to spend on your dream vacation, you need to immediately secure the funds for the same else it will only stay a dream. The task of setting aside a huge sum may seem daunting but breaking it down into smaller amounts to be set aside for the trip can be very easily done. The easy way out is to actually SIP it: for example if your trip is going to cost you say Rs. 3 lakh in the month of May to see the Tulips in Amsterdam you can start setting aside Rs 25000 per month over a year towards the trip. This amount can be invested through a systematic investment plan in liquid funds so that you have instant access to the same and you can also earn the best return on your money while saving for that dream holiday. Alternatively, when you get your bonus amount, set it aside for that vacation in a separate holiday fund which will be used for vacations only.

Traveling is a goal that is repeated every year. So planning to set aside and investing money for the goal is a very wise thing to do so that you are rest assured the money is there when you need it. Having said that, the experiences you earn from traveling are worth much more than what you spent for them, be it being amazed by nature or those adrenaline pumping adventures or your child’s joy from visiting various places, experiencing different cultures and geographies. Those moments are priceless and last a lifetime.

The writer is COO at HappynessFactory.in
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