If you’re like me, you love to travel, but you might not have enough money to travel and save money at the same time, so you might be asking yourself should I travel or save money? It’s a good question. Here are some thoughts that might help you make up your mind.
Should I Travel or Save Money
There are benefits to both traveling and saving money, and some downsides as well. Let’s look at the benefits first.
Benefits of Traveling
Traveling is fun and it can broaden your mind.
If you have children, you might take them to see other cultures, which is a great way to learn about the world in real life instead of through a book.
Traveling can also expand your social contacts.
When you travel, you get a chance to see things that you might not otherwise see in person.
You could visit museums, art galleries, and stores where they sell the things that interest you.
You could also visit historical places or parks or even just walk through a city and look around to be inspired for new ideas for your own life.
You might find yourself more creative after traveling due to seeing so many new things.
If you’re single, you might gain a lot of confidence by traveling alone.
You might find that you can actually do things on your own, which might open up opportunities in your personal life.
I have traveled to South Korea and England by myself. England was easier, of course, as they speak English.
South Korea was more of a challenge due to the language barrier, but the people there were very friendly and helpful.
I also found that they really wanted to take the time to get to know me.
It was a great experience.
Just a word of caution, don’t go in the winter months. It is freezing and they don’t really heat buildings as we do in the United States.
Lots of places have floor heating, so your feet might be warm, but the rest of you is going to freeze.
Drawbacks of Traveling
Traveling takes time and money.
If you travel internationally, there is no getting around the fact it is expensive.
Yes, you can take a backpack and travel the world for less money, but that’s not feasible for a lot of people.
You also have to plan your itinerary around the country and sometimes even in the city where you’re going if there’s something specific that you want to see or do while you’re away from home.
Local customs can be difficult to navigate and if you don’t speak the language, things can get difficult.
I spend a little time in Paris. It was wonderful, but I only speak a few words of French. Luckily, my sister speaks French and understands it even better.
We were able to get around and do everything we wanted without issue. It would have been a lot more difficult if I was there on my own.
Of course, for some people, figuring out how to get around is all part of the fun.
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Benefits of Saving Money
If you don’t want to travel and just want to save money, there are benefits as well.
First of all, if you invest your money, you will have more later on due to compound interest.
You’ll have money to pay off your debts and to save for big items such as a house or retirement or putting your kids through college.
It’s a good feeling to have money to pay your expenses and to watch thousands of dollars building up in your saving account and investment accounts.
As long as you’re satisfied with your present financial situation and don’t feel that there’s some great career opportunity or other reason that makes it important for you to travel now while you have a lot of debt, then keep on saving your money and let yourself enjoy life with your family closer to home instead.
Drawbacks of Saving Money
For some people, the biggest problem with saving money is that they feel like they can’t live the life they want because they are living on a budget.
You watch other people having fun and you wonder why you can’t do the same.
You feel life is passing you by and you’re not seeing the rewards as they are long-term outcomes and not something you can see and feel today.
Some people feel downright miserable when they are trying to save money.
Honestly, beyond the emotional aspect of saving money, there really is no downside.
Having money in the bank will always be a good thing.
How to Save Money For Traveling and When You’re Traveling
If you do plan on traveling, it only makes sense to do what you can to keep your traveling expenses down.
It’s possible to save more while traveling if you know how to do it.
1.Shopping around is one way that people have found to save money. Check out flights online at different times of the day and different days of the week.
Tuesday nights seem to be one of the cheaper times to book airline tickets.
2. Hotels are one of the major expenses of traveling. See if you can house sit in your intended destination. Check out sites such as Housesitters.com.
3. Next, set up an automatic savings account so that money is taken directly from your paycheck and put into this account and earmark it for travel.
Be sure to make it an easy account to access for your savings. Don’t have a lot of charges involved with sending or withdrawing money from your account.
You’ll want a savings account that pays you at least some interest.
If you’re married, talk with your spouse about how you can both put some money into the account each month by putting it aside from what might be used for other things like eating out or entertainment.
Think About Your Priorities When Deciding Whether to Travel or Save Money
It all comes down to your priorities.
If you know that you need to save money instead of traveling, then you should save your money.
If you feel that there are future opportunities or needs that might require a lot of money soon, you should keep saving it before spending it on things like vacations.
If there’s nothing important that will force you to spend some of your savings soon, then you can use part of it for a vacation and still have some leftover when the trip is over.
Just be sure to plan carefully for your trip so that you don’t spend too much while traveling and find yourself with no extra savings when you get back home again.
Take Shorter Trips
If you want to keep your finances in order while traveling, then it’s a good option to take trips that are short and inexpensive.
There are many different ways that people have found to travel cheaply, including camping or staying in hostels and cheap hotels.
You might be able to find low-cost tours so that you can see more places while visiting at a lower cost.
And if you’re doing this on your own, then it’s wise not to take as many expensive souvenirs back home with you when you’re done with your trip.
Reduce Unnecessary Spending
If travel is a priority, then it makes sense to reduce your unnecessary spending.
See where your money is currently going and then make changes where it makes sense.
You should think about things that you might be able to live without so you can travel such as eating lunch out during the workweek and Starbucks.
Some people like to rent DVD movies instead of going out to see them in the theater.
You might also eliminate cable TV and switch to streaming.
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To Sum it All Up:
In the end, you will have to decide if travel or saving money is more important to your family. Chances are it makes sense to build up some savings and certainly have an emergency fund before you head out to parts unknown.
Yes, travelers do benefit from experiencing new cultures, but you might also benefit from having money in the bank when you need it. It’s a balancing act.