Travel. It’s the great antidote, isn’t it?
It’s nice to know we can unplug sometimes. To remove ourselves from the urgency of the daily grind—the work, the stress, the obligations. To slow down and savor things for a change.
If you’ve traveled, you know exactly what we’re talking about.
- Travel helps us see the world with new eyes.
- Travel takes the mundane and turns it into something magical.
- Travel nourishes the soul and makes us feel alive.
These aren’t luxuries reserved for the chosen few. You can enjoy them, too.
So how about you do yourself a huge favor this year and start planning out your next travel adventure?
Planning out travel is a glorious business.
First, you get to decide where you want to go and what you want to do. The world is vast—there is so much to do and see and explore. What will you choose?
Second, you get to budget it out. Travel expenses. Lodging. Spending money. Food. Take it all into account. Over planning is better than under planning. Sounds tedious, sure, but you can make it fun. How long will you be gone? What will you experience? In what order? Dream it out, and then write it out. Dig into the specifics. Leave no stone unturned.
Third, you get to set a date. Book it. There’s power in intention.
Okay. So far so good. You know where you’re going, and when, and why. You have a sense of how much it’s going to cost. You have budgeting goals in mind.
The next step is to do the hard work of actually accumulating your travel funds. The good news is you don’t have to come up with the money alone. There is a socially acceptable way to ask for money to boost your travel funds. It amounts to this:
From now until your trip, stop asking for more stuff for birthdays, holidays, or special occasions. Instead, ask for cash or gift cards for your upcoming trip. If people see how seriously you’re taking this travel business—living frugally and spending wisely—chances are they’ll be willing to contribute to your travel funds.
If you ask for cash, have a specific plan for it. Maybe your birthday cash is going to cover ziplining through a section of the rainforest in Costa Rica. Maybe it’s going to fund a boat tour in the Mediterranean. The gift cards, too, can be specific to the place you’re going. If you’re going to Disney World, ask for Disney gift cards. If you’re visiting every Major League Baseball stadium in the next three weeks, ask for gift cards for gas or hotels.
It’s not as awkward as you might think. The people who love you want to get you gifts anyway. In fact, sometimes just letting others know you are planning a trip will get them thinking of things you can use for the trip, without prompting. But if you do ask, you can do so guilt-free because they’ll know it’s an investment in you. They’ll see how travel enriches your life—it has this lovely tendency of making us more interested and interesting. People can get onboard with that.
Besides, there is a fun way to include others in the experience even if they are not with you. Especially if they’re not with you.
Let people live vicariously. Share the excitement from a distance. Here’s how:
Keep track of who contributes to your travel fund. Then during your travels, buy postcards from the places you visit and send your benefactors thank you notes on location. Even if you send the postcards after you return, it’s meaningful because they’ll know you were thinking of them. Gratitude is a lovely thing to share.
What will you write? Well, that’s up to you, but maybe you could share one specific memory. Tell them what you saw, what you noticed, how you felt. Explain a moment that moved you. Describe a tasty dish or dining experience that knocked your socks off. Tell them about interesting people you met. Describe the pace of life, the culture, the music, the art, the scenery. Anything. Probably not everything, of course. Postcard writing space is notoriously limited.
If you want to kick the gratitude up a notch, you might follow up with a phone call or a walk in the park or a visit to a local coffee shop when you get back. It’s one thing to post pictures and give shout outs on social media. It’s another thing to reach out to someone and thank them directly, without the fuss and fanfare. Share your joy as purely as possible. Because really, it’s fun to share where you’ve been—and where you’re going next.
All this is to say, if travel enriches your life, it follows that your abundance will enrich the lives of those around you. And that is a worthy investment.
Verve can help you save for you next adventure! Check out our Pick Your Payout Savings Account. Any funds you save to this account transfer to your regular savings in the month you pick as your payout. Your travel month, for example.
Get more money etiquette and travel tips on our blog.