Financial planning helps travel dreams come true

February 5, 2019

Travel dreams to exotic locales shouldn’t be reserved for the retired. Instead of putting off travel until retirement, splurge on some exciting trips now-while you have the interest, energy, and stamina to enjoy every single moment.

At the beginning of the year, it is natural to spend time thinking about everything that you want to accomplish in the new year. Usually, these goals have a more serious tone (lose weight, save more money, exercise more, get organized). But what about changing it up and resolving to do things that you have always wanted to do but just haven’t set aside the time to do so?

Traveling can be one of those resolutions whether or not you are still working. Start considering travel as a good investment, not something you put off until it’s “bucket list” time. That’s the advice of a non-retired financial planner who recently returned from Antarctica-me. Not only did I come home with memories of penguins and glaciers that I will never forget, I picked up a serious need to start planning my next adventure right now.

Travel dreams to exotic locales shouldn’t be reserved for the retired. Instead of putting off travel until retirement, splurge on some exciting trips now-while you have the interest, energy, and stamina to enjoy every single moment. Come up with a list of places you would like to visit but when prioritizing them, consider putting the more strenuous ones higher on the list when you know you will be able to enjoy them.

Once you have your list of destinations, it’s time to do some research and additional thinking. How much will these trips actually cost (be realistic) and how frequently do you want to travel?  Are you accomplishing your other financial goals (saving for retirement, college for your kids, etc.)?  If you are meeting these primary financial goals, do you have enough “extra” cash flow to allow you to take the trips you want to take when you want to take them or do you need to rethink your destinations or the frequency of your travel? If you need to save for a specific trip, it may make sense to set aside funds on a regular basis to accomplish your goal.  Having a separate savings account for this can be a motivating way to see that you are moving toward your dream vacation.

And, when you are thinking about destinations, be creative. Today, Americans are traveling to faraway lands in record numbers to immerse themselves in new cultures and experiences.  And where is everyone heading? As you can imagine, today’s top destinations include far-flung locales that reflect the eclectic interests of travelers. 

This list of top overseas destinations ranks 2018’s top travel spots by popularity:

  • Botswana

  • Morocco

  • Iceland

  • Machu Picchu and the Galapagos

  • Sicily

  • Japan

  • Tanzania

  • Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Southeast Asia

  • India

If you still aren’t convinced that travel is a good investment, consider the health benefits associated with checking another destination off your list. Travelers between the ages of 65 and 74 who had just returned from a trip longer than two weeks reported increased invigoration for more than a month after they returned home. That’s empirical proof that the great feelings you experience when you change latitudes really does last.

Maybe the Baby Boomers have decided to pull out a page from the Millennial Handbook. Recent reports show that 47 percent of young adults between 18 and 34 said they would rather spend their money on travel than buy a house. Experiences rather than more things just seem to resonate with everyone and memories are something that will last forever.

So, as you make your list of resolutions for 2019, use your imagination and let your mind wander.  Come up with a list of what you would like to experience, check your finances and then make plans to accomplish one of these trips this year or start saving toward your goal. You’ll be glad that you did! 

Julianne Andrews, MBA, CFP®, AIF®, is a principal and co-founder of Atlanta Financial Associates. She specializes in working with physicians and top executives in the healthcare industry.  Her passion for working with physicians comes from being a pediatrician’s spouse for more than three decades. Her experience as a wealth manager in combination with her first-hand view as the spouse of a physician provide Julie with a deep understanding of the challenges the changing healthcare landscape presents and how they impact a physician’s financial well-being. Julie’s financial acumen has been recognized nationally and she has been featured on Forbes’ list of America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors since 2017 as well as Forbes’ Best-in-State Wealth Advisors since 2018. Julie can be reached at jandrews@atlantafinancial.com