We hope this finds you reclining with a cool drink somewhere, taking in a gentle breeze. Perhaps you’re already on a summer trip, or packing your bags for a long-deserved getaway.
One of the best ways to ensure your summer vacation is stress-free is to know your financial plan and feel rest-assured that you can spend on memorable meals, lovely hotels and unforgettable experiences without guilt.
We’ve put together some tips for hacking your travel plans so that you can create some breathing room and give yourself the break you deserve.
Blend business with leisure
Taking time off can be stressful if you have limited vacation days.
If you have to travel for work, you can make it a “bleisure” trip by tacking on a few extra days at the end of your jaunt for a mini-vacation, with your return transport still paid by the company. More and more, employers are familiar with the practice and may be happy to let you take a few days off rather than approve a longer break.
“Bleisure” can also involve bringing your family or friends with you on a business trip so that your off-time is spent on holiday with them while you still work your normal income-producing hours.
Another spin on this idea is to not take any days off but instead do your work from a relaxing location. If your job mostly involves being on the computer with no need to go into an office, why not do your work from a poolside at a resort or on a balcony overlooking the ocean? Your co-workers probably don’t even have to know you’re in a different country.
Staying within a certain time zone is often the limiting factor in this type of “bleisure” so that you can keep your hours at work and not feel jet-lagged. But there are plenty of places to fly off to, north and south, that can give you that feeling of escape.
Create a separate vacation fund
If you haven’t already, set aside funds on a monthly or bi-weekly basis that go into a separate vacation account. Even starting small this year can set you up with a nice stash for next year.
The key is to automate these savings so that they flow from your main account without you doing anything — or really noticing. Keeping the money in a place that’s detached from your other accounts is an important way to stop you from peeking and possibly being tempted to use the funds for something else.
Out of sight, out of mind. (That is, until it’s really time to use it on a vacation.)
Plan ahead, but stay spontaneous
If you have a destination in mind for later this year or next, booking your flights a few months in advance is generally the easiest way to ensure you’re getting the lowest price. Websites like Skyscanner or Momondo site can help you find the cheapest flights and give you ideas on the best times to book.
Don’t know where you want to go? Enter your dates, and Skyscanner will let you browse a world map to see how much it will cost to get to hundreds of places around the globe from your city.
But also be open to last-minute deals, especially for shorter weekend trips after you’ve had a stressful week and just need to disappear right away. Sites like Airfare Watchdog provide updates on last-minute flight deals from your location. And don’t forget to check out the websites of individual airlines which have their own promotions — Cathay Pacific posts new “fanfares” every Tuesday at 8 a.m.
Maximise your public holidays
You know you’ll already get certain days off during the rest of this year and next, so why not leverage those days for a little extra leave time? Planning days off around public holidays can stretch a long weekend into an even longer one if you do it strategically.
In Hong Kong, you can look forward to the following days off:
Tue, Oct 1, National Day
Mon, Oct 7 Chung Yeung Festival
Wed, Dec 25 Christmas
Thu, Dec 26 Boxing Day
Look for any additional holidays your company provides, and tailor your vacation days to connect to days you’ll already have off. What could feel better while on holiday than knowing you’re getting the most for your time and money?
About Heels & Yield
Heels & Yield empowers women to manage their finances and to nourish their health and their wealth through its proprietary holistic wealth management practices. To help clients achieve holistic wealth with guidance and accountability, Heels & Yield offers services including group workshops and private wealth mentoring that combines financial education with personal financial coaching.
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