Realising Wanderlust Dreams within a Budget
Realising travel dreams can be made possible with a bit of careful financial planning.
Given a chance, am sure every one would love to admire the ruins at Machu Pichhu or the northern lights at Iceland or spend a relaxed weekend at a remote island in Lakshwadeep!
And if it happens to be a paid holiday guess that’s the best!
However, reality is different and the usual glitch one faces is – saving up enough to fund that dream holiday!
Whether its domestic or international vacation that you want to take – planning well in advance and most importantly, saving up a substantial corpus is highly essential if you want to turn your dream into a reality.
Present day young professionals are definitely all fired up to turn their dreams into reality and, needless to say they are pretty often successful. New Delhi-based publishing professional Paloma Dutta is an apt example of this new breed. In the last six months, she (then living in China) travelled through Beijing and Mongolia to Russia for the World Cup. In the month-long budget trip that she embarked upon across countries and continents cost her Rs. 90,000 including everything.
Unlike other millennials, Dutta refrains from relying on plastic money too much and also avoids swiping cards often. Instead she prefers to keep aside a certain percentage or amount of money from her salary every month, (roughly Rs. 10K-12K) create a corpus over a small period of time and then embark on her adventures. “Since I am a backpacker, I travel with very little money. So I need not save for more than two to three months at a stretch. In 2014 I visited Eastern Europe and covered 10 countries within a minimal amount of Rs. 1,50,000” boasts Dutta. But that’s not always the case. For example, on her adventures in Africa, a safari in Masai Mara cost Rs. 35000! “But that was worth all the money as I was lucky to witness the great migration!” she adds.
Take NRI Sayan Datta for example. A true wanderlust at heart, Datta has already been to 40 plus countries so far. He sets aside roughly US$12000 every year from his monthly compensation, which helps him fund his adventures across the globe. The Toronto-based analytics manager recently returned after a long trip to Central Asia. He covered three countries – Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan on a solo trip that cost him US$6000. “The systematic savings every month has helped a in realizing my dreams of globetrotting” Datta confirms.
Building a separate fund for travel purpose is actually a great idea for wanderlusts like Sayan or Paloma. One doesn’t need to rely on plastic money and credit cards to ensure payments during their travels. With adequate money at your disposal, one can end up clinching great travel deal.
How to create a corpus for your travels?
Where should you put your money aside for funding your travels? Well, the best way to do so is to put it away in a place where it is out of sight yet you can access it at a short notice. “We simply love travelling and rely heavily on individual Recurring Deposit (RD) accounts. Since the goal is short-term, we do not really care about the returns” says Gurgaon-based yet another millennial couple Evana Bhattacharya and Ashim Howladar. The wanderlust husband-wife duo, who travel almost round the year, strongly believe in keeping aside a sum of money from their monthly compensation to be able to fund their travel experiences.
Bhattacharya and Howladar in Greece
Last trip: Vietnam and Cambodia; expenses roughly Rs. 2 lakh for two
Plans to visit: One or two weekend getaways within India; a 9-day trip to Bali in the next six months; expenses roughly 3 lakh for two including indulgences
Money being saved: saving up from personal income; FDs and RDs with a target of Rs. 3.5 lakh as total corpus.
Budgeting your travels wisely
Budgeting and financing your travels in a proper way is not that demanding a task. All you need to do is cut down on extra indulgences, plan ahead, do a proper groundwork to capitalise on the plethora of travel deals that are often floated across. It can help you tick destinations off your bucket list without burning a hole in your pocket.
“For funding my travels I follow a strict rule – diligent savings of resources every month,” says Shivaji Bose, a Kolkata-based teaching professional who has already been to more than 15 countries so far.
“Since I have crossed the age of backpacking, the comfort factor is important for me. Needless to say that it requires some careful financial planning.” In order to realise his wanderlust dreams, Bose has cut down on indulgences such as clubbing, shopping and eating out often. “I did not even buy a car!” confirms Bose who is always accompanied by his wife in his adventures.
Bose in Kenya
Last trip: Namibia, Kenya and South Africa. Expenses roughly Rs. 6 lakh for two
Plans to visit: Two or three weekend getaways within India; a two-week long trip to Lapland, Finland in the summer of 2019; expenses roughly Rs.6.5 lakh for two including indulgences
Money being saved: saving up from personal income; FDs and RDs with a target of Rs. 7.5 lakh as total corpus.
Proper research, especially on flight deals and hotels is one of the best money-saving strategies for people who love travelling. Conveyance and hotel bookings comprise a chunk of the expenditure. So it’s a good idea to start saving early, plan way ahead and grab the best available deal possible.
The best way to turn your wanderlust dreams into reality is to engage in proper savings and stick to a regular budget. Though this might call for systematic savings and cutting down on certain indulgences, the returns you would receive for your adventures would be million times worth it.
It is not as difficult as it sounds. Cutting down on avoidable expenses to augment regular savings can help you go a long way. If a little planning and curtailing on extra expenses can help you realise your passions, then why not do that.