The Joys of Travel

As summertime is quickly approaching, many people are finalizing their trip plans for the upcoming summer season. Whether you are traveling across the country or to another continent, there are a few thoughts on travel that come to mind for me. I will begin with a few points on travel and then list some practical financial tips.

Why Travel
There are a myriad of reasons that someone decides to take a trip somewhere. Oftentimes, it is to visit a loved family member or friend. Other times, it is for a wedding. Sometimes, it is just to go see a specific place. If you are my family, it’s to go see a baseball game in a new city. Whatever the reason, the common ground among these is that we travel to see someone or do something that we cannot do in our current environment. We have to leave our comfort zone and enter somewhere often less familiar. Anthony Bourdain once mentioned “travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.” In my opinion, this is where travel can make an impact on our lives by opening us up to things out of our comfort zone.

Believe it or not, for a lot of clients at Beacon, we have to encourage them to travel instead of trying to get them to scale it back. It is easy to understand why – life is busy and we think we can make time for it in retirement. I would encourage you that if travel is important to you and you can fit it in your budget, make time for it now when you are able to do it with your family or other loved ones.

While You Travel
My two tips while traveling are to focus on what you enjoy and to not try to do everything.

If you think you have to see the Mona Lisa, but you hate looking at art, let me be the one to say that you don’t have to go wait in the long lines for the Louvre. There are so many things to do in every city, focus on the things that will bring you or your family joy.

As an extreme trip planner, I am talking to myself on this item, but you do not have to try and do everything. The reality is that you won’t be able to do it all and rushing through a checklist of items will just exhaust you out and likely make you miss cool things along the way. Travel as if you will visit again, not like it is your one time to ever be there.

Financial Tips
I have previously written a Brief on credit cards where you can find most of the information you will need on this topic, but to reiterate the top points: check your cards for points you can use to book travel (either directly through your card or transferring to airlines / hotels), use a card with 0% foreign transaction fees if you are traveling internationally, and check to see if your card has any travel related insurance (mostly related to baggage loss / trip interruption, but there are bigger coverages).

You could also look into having a checking account to separate out trip funds while you travel – options like Charles Schwab Bank offer no foreign transaction fees and unlimited reimbursements for ATM fees. This protects the rest of your funds if anyone gets access to your debit card. You can also utilize an account like this to set a rough budget.

Be sure to look into using your cell phone if you plan to take it with you abroad. While some plans do offer international coverage, a lot of them will charge for data and calls/texts and that will add up quickly. Check to see if you can be on a plan that offers coverage or if you can add travel passes while you are in a different country.

There is a lot that could be said about traveling, or even financial tips on trip planning, but the overall hope is that you will find time to get away, disconnect from work, and enjoy yourself in the process. I believe it can bring a lot of joy to experience the teetering unknown. No matter what you decide to do this summer, I hope you are able to find time to do the things you enjoy with the ones you love. We at Beacon are always happy to talk about making space for travel in financial plans, and we also love knowing the trips that our clients take, so please share!


The content above is for informational and educational purposes only. The links and graphs are being provided as a convenience; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Beacon Wealthcare, nor does Beacon guarantee the accuracy of the information.

Daniel Logan
[email protected]

Originally from Alabama, my wife, Megan, and I moved to Raleigh a few years ago. I went to The University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) where I majored in Finance with a specialization in Personal Wealth Management. I love all things sports (you will most often find me playing pickleball), urban planning, and spending time enjoying the whole Triangle.