Now that we are coming to the end of this seemingly endless pandemic, the opportunities for vacation are really opening up. Depending on where you are, there are plenty of places you can go within the United States and overseas for a necessary break.
However, for some parents, the idea of a vacation brings only anxiety and worry. We’ve spoken about the things parents can do to reduce travel-related stress caused by the travails of a vacation with kids. But it’s not always the practical matters that cause the most concern.
For many parents, vacations bring up a lot of financial stress. Even those who are in an excellent financial position begin to think about worst case scenarios. There is something about the fact that we are spending so much hard-earned money on a trip that makes us question our own decisions.
The good news is that, with a few easy fixes, you can head off on vacation free of those anxieties. Here are the things you need to take care of.
Take a clear look at your finances
Avoidance is an easy mistake to make when you are feeling anxious. It might seem more manageable to just go with your gut than taking a sober look at your financial situation before a vacation. However, the reality is that in avoiding it you only prolong the anxiety.
Financial anxieties are driven by uncertainty and a sense of losing control. Not knowing exactly how your finances look now – as well as how they will look after your vacation – plays into your anxiety rather than placating it. Yes, you may find that your finances aren’t as healthy as you hoped, but having the numbers allows you to think about your situation with clarity rather than imagining the worst case scenarios.
Make a budget spreadsheet if you don’t have one already where you list your current savings, your household income, and your expenditure. Add your vacation to it to get a clear sense of where you are at.
Update your life insurance
One of the reasons parents worry about finances when taking a vacation is that they are scared that the trip will disadvantage their children later on. No parents want their children to miss out on important life experiences because of a vacation.
With a clear understanding of your finances, you will be able to make decisions on where you should cap your budget. But you may still be worried that something may happen to you and your partner before you rebuild your savings.
This is why it is important to update your life insurance or to consider taking out a policy. You may be asking, is life insurance worth it? The answer is a resounding yes. No one wants to pay monthly insurance premiums – you are essentially betting against yourself. However, knowing that your partner and children will get a big payout if something happens to you gives you increased peace of mind.
The loss of a parent can lead to financial strife that takes years to overcome. With good life insurance policies, that will never be the case.
Get travel insurance
If you are traveling to another country, you should strongly consider getting travel insurance. Your local insurance may cover medical treatments and damage to your possessions while you travel, but coverage will be limited.
Travel insurance is affordable and pays out a lot of money if something happens to you or a member of your family. Even truly expensive medical requirements will be covered. You can check the different policies available to see the limits of what travel insurance providers pay out.
Budget a little bit extra
Finally, it is important to note that your budget for your trip should not be too tight. This is not to say you should splash out when it is unnecessary, but that you should include a bit of a cushion in case of unexpected expenses.
When you are traveling, you cannot prepare for all eventualities. Your car may break down and require expensive work. You may miss your flight and need to book another. The last thing you want is to be stranded because of a lack of planning.
Adding that cushion into your budget may require you to skimp on other things, but it is an absolute necessity.