You would’ve thought that I was on a hunt for a sell. But as I stood in the employee break room that Friday afternoon telling a colleague how important it was to take a vacation, I was speaking from a place of compassion and personal experience.
It had been 3 years since she had taken what she called a “real” vacation. I didn’t ask what she meant by that. We both knew. An “unreal” vacation is not a vacation at all. It was simply a time away from one’s job to take care of other non-paid jobs that when we take on roles as adults are automatically put on our shoulders.
Clean the house for weekend visitors.
Fix that light fixture in the kitchen that you can’t seem to get done on the weekends.
Then, of course, there is the time that is taken off to tend to kids and their needs.
I asked her why it had been so long. She’s a single mother, which made it difficult was her first answer. But then she made the confession that keeps most of us from visiting far away lands or even exploring gems of our cities on a staycation: money. The lack of money. I was waiting for these words to come from her mouth with bated breath. I had an answer that would take the money issue head on. It was easy. It was simple. It was pain-free.
“You should open up a travel savings account,” I happily replied. I went on to tell her how I wouldn’t have such great experiences under my belt and “dream-worthy” stamps in my passport, if I hadn’t opened up a travel savings account years ago in preparation to take my dream trip to Paris and London. I could tell that my argument and reasoning clicked with her. I could also see the doubt creep back in, clouding out the light of possibility. I didn’t have an opportunity to make my case that afternoon. We both had to go back to our desks. So, instead I thought that maybe it would be beneficial to you, my readers.
If you’re like me and don’t have money gushing from your pockets, here are three reasons why a travel savings account just may help you take the trip of your dreams.
Takes away the hesitation/guilt of spending a large amount of money.
I don’t know about you, but I really don’t enjoy spending money. In fact, my family knows not to give me money as a gift because it will either go right into my savings account or will go toward a bill. I enjoy pretty things A LOT, but I enjoy being able to pay my bills and have back up money even better. Because of this shortcoming, I am so thankful to have a savings account that has one sole purpose: to save a specified amount of money for a trip so that I can then spend it all and return with some great experiences. If I didn’t have a separate account that was specifically for travel, I can tell you with certainty that I would not go anywhere. I still feel a twinge of nervousness and hesitation when I go to pull money from the account, but then I remind myself: “Nicole, this money is meant to be spent. Go have fun and create some great memories.”
Money is always going into the account.
When I started my travel savings account, I physically went in and transferred money from my general account to that account. Sometimes it would happen and other times I just didn’t feel comfortable putting money in it. Also, the bad thing about this was that I didn’t have a set amount that I was putting into the account each month. I was just putting the leftovers in there, that is when I had it. This was not a good idea. Travel is a priority for me, and saving this way was in no way a reflection of that. So, recently I set up automatic, recurring transfers to my travel savings account. Every time I get paid, a set amount of money is kicked over to the account. No ands, ifs, or buts. I even made it a line item in my budget. The great thing about this is that there is always money going into the account. Even after I’ve taken out almost all the money to pay for a trip, I know that it will soon replenish itself.
Helps you stay focused on your savings goal.
In preparation for my trip to London and Paris, I knew that I wanted to save at least $2,500. Sure, I could’ve easily just kept my one savings account and did the calculations each time I wanted to see how much I had saved, but why? Having the account that was strictly for the trip, really helped me to stay focused on my goal and, most importantly, allowed me to quickly see if I was on track. I was checking the account every time I got paid and was doing the calculations to make sure I could reach my goal in the allotted time. Trust me, this really helps.
My travel savings account has been so helpful with achieving some of my travel goals. In less than a week, I am going on sort-of a spontaneous trip to Puerto Rico. There is no way this trip would’ve been possible if I didn’t have this account specifically for experiences like this. I encourage you to open one, but before you do please research different options and be sure to pay close attention to any charges you may incur if the account goes below a certain level.