We’ve all dealt with it. You’re innocently perusing your social media feed and get hit with photos from someone’s amazing vacation. And with the unrelenting updates from family, friends, former friends and friends of friends, somebody always seems to be on vacation. The water’s so blue, that drink’s so tropical and OMG they went zip lining! They look like they’re having the best time, the kind of time you wish you were enjoying right now. And you begin to think, perhaps it’s time to pull the trigger on that dream trip. The one you can’t afford.
It’s called vacation envy. And we’re here to help you deal with it.
First, don’t fall into the trap of trying to “keep up” with anyone. The worst thing you can do is to feel like you should judge yourself against friends’ vacations, clothes, jobs, etc. You can’t win. Whatever short-term gratification you get disappears quickly. Just like your money will if you act on your envy. Next you may find yourself in a financial hole. To feel better? Do it all over again, right? Wrong.
Spending money you don’t have won’t quiet the envy. Attacking the monster is about actively changing your thoughts and resolving to stop the cycle.
Pretty pictures aren’t everything
Great photos don’t mean happiness. Of course you already know this, but it’s helpful to keep in mind because most people don’t share boring or unhappy moments. In fact, big trips are notorious for causing as much tension for couples and families as relaxation. You may not be missing out on a perfect vacation, after all.
Plan for that vacation
Travel’s a luxury, and of course, luxuries have to go when you’re saving money. But if travel is something you really value, try to set aside some money each month. Build it into your budget to save for a vacation fund. But remember, once you’ve saved enough, stick to the budget. It’s too easy to say yes to upgrades and extras. Which can eventually tip the scales beyond your budget. Here are a couple of tools to help keep the scales in balance:
If you absolutely must grab your bug-out bag and skip town, at least go about it in a frugal way. Booking trips through the right channels can ultimately save you big bucks. Here are a few of our favorite travel booking sites:
The best vacation is one you can afford
The point is to get away from responsibilities and the everyday humdrum. So what if you can’t afford a trip to Paris or the Bahamas? There are amazing vacation spots everywhere, including close by. Taking a trip you know you can afford is far more relaxing than taking a bigger one you can’t.
- Wander is a great way to find travel destinations based on your budget.
- For tips and tools to help you budget for your next road trip, check out Outdoor Blueprint.
So, save up for that dream vacation and post fun pictures, but don’t forget to let everyone know how you planned ahead and made it happen within your budget. Your friends may just envy you for your financial wisdom.