My wife and I started planning our annual vacation last week. Every year we plan a week-long vacation to celebrate our anniversary. We usually alternate having a “big” vacation and a mediocre vacation. These are poor descriptions, but the basic idea is one year we take a more expensive vacation and the next, a moderately-expensive one. One year, we fly somewhere and the next, we drive. The second year is not as exciting as the one before it, but it makes the expensive vacations that much more special.
We make this sacrifice because we know that traveling can be quite expensive. While you may not think that your upcoming vacation will be that expensive, the trip can add up. If you are looking to get out of debt or stay out of debt, you need to be aware of the hidden costs of traveling. Otherwise, you will be spending more than you should without realizing it ahead of time.
Everyone knows that you need to account for housing and transportation costs, but who ever calculates the cost of food into your travel plans? In our recent plans, we are planning on renting a cottage. Part of the reason for renting the cottage was that we could buy groceries and save some money on food. Going on a trip to a hotel may seem affordable, but when you add in the cost of eating out for every meal, it may be too expensive.
Another major cost is when you travel abroad. While international travel may sound nice on paper, it can add up without even knowing it. Some countries require a visa in order to enter the country. When I went to Brazil almost 7 years, it was about $200 to enter the country for a little over a week. To make matters worse, some other countries use a different currency. Not only is the value of the dollar devalued in some countries, but the cost of trading foreign currency makes it even more expensive to travel abroad.
The simple fact is that traveling can be quite expensive. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of traveling and not think about the costs, but if you want to put your finances back on course, you need to think of the hidden costs. Saving money doesn’t mean that you have to give up traveling or vacations. If you did that, you’d be sacrificing all of the fun in the world. Instead, think of creative ways to keep you on the road while avoiding the hidden costs of traveling.