Financial aspect of planning a baecation.
Updated: Dec 17, 2018
Vacations (read baecations) don't just happen overnight, so much energy goes into planning a trip long before the plane takes off.
Many conversations need to happen and so many decisions need to be made.
How many leave days? What destination? What flights must be booked? Which airline? Where to stay and why, how much and how to pay for it?
The budget is easily the most stressful.
This is why it came as no surprise that my most requested topic so far (Yes, I get topic requests and stuff now guys *Dusts off shoulder*) has been to write a post about planning and saving up for a trip with your significant other.
I've decided to give the people what they want.
I want to firstly point out that I am no expert and that there's no "One size fits all" approach to this. These are just a few tips and tricks that have worked for me, and will hopefully assist in making travelling easier for many others.
Let's dig in, shall we?
First, the biggest and most important thing is to open a vacation account, joint or otherwise. I recommend it be joint because not only does this allow that you both have access to the funds, bank fees are also slightly cheaper. Commit to a monthly debit order that makes sense to both of you.
I stress the vacation account because having money that's set aside for travel specifically makes decision-making easier from a financial perspective. It lifts some weight off your monthly income because, If you're anything like me, impromptu trips will happen.
Bank Windhoek has a Group Save option that serves this purpose quite well.
Second. Get loyalty cards guys, especially if you're passionate and serious about travelling Namibia. NWR has a Nam-leisure one and Gondwana also has theirs. These qualify you for massive discounts. Get them and flourish.
Additionally, look out for specials on social media platforms. NWR has a yearly Independence special that runs all through March for example, 75% off all accommodation at all NWR lodges. They are currently running a festive season special, 60% off. I noticed a few O&L lodges running festive specials as well. These are great opportunities to see your country.
Keep your eyes and ears open, always.
The next one is perhaps very specific to me but, plan ahead. Planning is so important. Plan everything down to every last detail.
Paying well in advance sometimes qualifies you for certain discounts and gives you ample time to properly budget.
Having everything in order relaxes you on days leading up to the vacation. This is important, do not allow yourself to stress about finances on a trip, you will not have fun, not on the trip and certainly not at home when you get back.
Do your itinerary and allocate funds accordingly.
I find that it's better to allocate slightly more than less, that way you spend less than was expected. Be honest about what you can afford. Do not fill your itinerary to the brim, vacations are for relaxation, sit by the pool and enjoy those views you paid for.
Lastly,If you're a budget conscious traveler like me, travel off season. Guys, try to avoid travelling towards the end of the year, this is peak season and prices get ridiculous hikes! A trip that typically costs 20K during December will easily cost you 10K in May.
Please don't succumb to the pressure of taking out loans to fund holidays, just be patient with yourself and practice discipline. It's attainable if you plan.
Take one vacation per year, or every two years if that's what you can afford, and don't let anyone tell you a trip to Swakop does not qualify.
It does, and you deserve it.
Make the most of it, and darlings, don't forget to stunt on us!