When are you taking your next vacation?

When are you taking your next vacation?

It’s the middle of December, 2014 and I am finally on the way to my first week off for the year. Sitting on the plane now, I reflect back on what it took to prepare for this trip. Obviously, all the hard work during the year, but here is what I did.

Yuri frequently points out to me that I complicate my life by over thinking and over planning. “It’s just my nature.” I respond to him that: “Our brains are wired differently!”‚Ķ.and he nods with a smile. Men vs. Women?! Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus! Well maybe. Do you agree?Mauna Lani  Big Island, HI

Mauna Lani, Big Island, HI ~ December 2014

I came to realize, whatever your approach to life is, these critical steps have to be addressed

1. Packing

Now this is were Yuri and I will never agree. Yes, I need more clothes and shoes, and jewelry and make up! I think you get it:)

Let’s start:

-What kind of trip are you taking? Beach vacation, exploring and sightseeing, a cruise, a little bit of each?

-Check the weather.

РHow long is your trip? Think an outfit per day. I always bring two extra, in case the weather prediction is off. (Well, let me be honest … in case I change my mind:)

-Think comfortable shoes. Don’t forget a pair of dressy shoes for a special night out. Yes, men you too! Can’t wear Toms all the time!

2. Closing the loop at work & home

@Work

-I feel that the most productive day at work is the last day before your vacation starts.

-Wrap all the outstanding projects, or extend your deadlines.

– READ and answer all emails.

-Are you bringing your computer with you?

– Will you be responding to emails?

– Is your vacation responder on?

– Who is your point of contact in case of work related emergency?

@Home

-Do you need a home sitter?

-Who’s watching your pets?

-Newspapers and mail suspended on hold

3. What you gonna do when you get there?

I know that you’ve already planned your trip.

– Are there any last minute items that you need finalize?

-Hotel, flight and car reservations confirmed?

-Travel documents in place? Visa and/or passport?

-Some trips I don’t plan much ahead of time. Just get there and figure out on the spot. Other trips, makes sense to think through and pre-book excursions or other activities ahead of time. It saves money:)

4. Money

Last, but not least!

This time around, I actually prepared well in advance.

-We paid for flight, hotel and car ahead of time.

Remember, Fixed Expenses?

-The only expenses left are food and entertainment. Variable Expenses.

Now, just like in the everyday life, come up with a budget. I know vacation is about relaxing and having fun. But you will agree with me that when vacation is over, you don’t want to be stuck with a huge, unplanned bill to pay.

-Figure out how much you will spend per day. Do you need $200, $300 or $500 per day for variable expenses (food, entertainment, excursions)

– If you use a credit card, know your limit! Use your daily budget as guideline.

-I prefer to have estimated budget amount already allocated in my checking account. Only use credit card in emergency, or not at all.

I know that I may have forgotten something, but my most critical items are taken care off. Now it’s time to relax and have fun!

Anna Sergunina
Anna Sergunina
anna@mainstreetplanning.com

I passionately believe that in order to live a life of fulfillment and joy, we must genuinely serve each other in any way possible. I found my mission in life to serve others via financial planning. Anna regularly writes about personal finance. Her work appears on Business Insider, Nasdaq, Nerdwallet, among others. Anna is the creator of Money Flow system.

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