Tuesday, March 8, 2016

How Do You Plan For Your Travel Itch?

One of my long term objective is to travel the world to learn and experience things. 

I like to travel because I can educate myself and my kids on things they will never experience in school while keeping abreast of constant learning on the go myself. In fact, I am always constantly challenged when I travel because there are simply so many different activities and preparations that need to be done before going and encountering the unexpected while I am on the go. For instance, we had fun traveling to Bangkok and Northern part of Thailand, Hua Hin last year and it ended up an amazing trip, minus the hefty costs. You can view our detailed trip here.

We also just ended our recent trip to HK which was again another amazing experience, filled with so many memories that we can look back years after. You can view our detailed trip here.

Similarly, many of my peers have fun traveling, one of them is author of Invest Openly, Richard where he blogged about his recent experience going to AU and NZ.

Traveling is an amazing experience and I believe there are hardly anyone that would dispute that but here’s the thing that weighs on everyone’s mind – It costs money, literally. For a person who does not has too much savings, this can be a pretty difficult situation to deal with. Do you use your savings for emergency funds, investment or traveling first? Some thinks emergency funds come first while the more adventurous thinks that traveling when young is a blessing. While there are many people who separates their savings into 3 different accounts each time for each purpose, there are others who finds the practice not conducive. For example, an employee who can only say barely save $200/month will need to break that down into $70 emergency funds, $70 investment and $60 travel funds. These will take a long time to add up. 

We all heard the common saying that experience is invaluable and everyone needs to travel to benefit from it. Researchers have shown that spending money on experiences (not just traveling in general) gives you a higher happiness index than those who spend on material possessions. Well, there may be some truth in that. 

However, there are naysayers who feel that traveling is over-rated. Let’s just say experiences can fade too. For instance, I remember my parents bringing me to Japan when I am about 8 years old but I have hardly any recollection at all. It’s good that we took many photos back then so I can recover back some of those memories but those memories are blurred if you ask me right now. So does spending on experience gets you any priority in your life or does the bread and butter comes first before we can think of these luxuries? 

All is good when you balance things up. When you have extra money, it is easy to navigate our lives on what we choose to do with these money. The conservative choice is always to buffer for the bread and butter issues before splurging on the more adventurous activities like traveling. 

What do you do in such a circumstances?


  1. Hi B,

    We share a common LT objective! I think for kids they may not remember much but I think the exposure to them and memories as parents are priceless. For certain countries like Europe and USA, especially if you like to visit the famous monuments or doing it free and easy, it's best to go while you still have energy to walk a lot everyday and take public transport and climb way too many steps because these ancient famous monuments have no lifts. It's all about balance in terms of allocating money to the various purposes. Instead of going for short trips in the region, it could be just one trip in a year or two or more to a further destination.

    1. Hi Joyce

      I totally agree with what you have mentioned.

      The memories are extremely precious to me even though they might become blurred to the kids as they grow up.

      With energy and time still on our side, I want to make sure I don't quite regret doing anything I might regret later on.

  2. HI B,

    I am an Giam Gana. I will to travel, but I doubt we learn much if we are leisure travelers, that cannot be know from the Internet. Experience is another thing.

    I like work related travel though. Talk to the locals. Eat with the locals. Exchange ideas ... Much more fulfilling and it is usually free

    1. Hi SI

      I am greedy, I like both actually. hehehe

      Everything in life is a new thing to me. I also love talking and living like the locals. It gives a total different perspective than being a simple tourist alike in that short span of days.

  3. Hey B, tonnes of respect for you to travel with a toddler. I realize quite a handful of finance-related bloggers really love to travel huh?! We shld set up a travellers club or something haha.

    Anyway, I always set aside a small amount of money each mth and let it accumulate before deciding on a destination. Always travel on what we have, never travel using debt.


    1. Hi Kevin

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Yes, I think people love traveling and experiencing new things in general, which is why it is so important to plan the financial well, so it won't be a problem of money that we cannot travel.

      Sometimes, we may overestimate the amount money required to travel, it doesn't cost that expensive actually if we are smart and cool about it.