Winter Is Coming. Time to Plan for that Summer Vacation!Submitted by Dorval & Chorne on October 16th, 2018
Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
By John T. Chorne, CFP® | Tuesday, October 16, 2018
For most of us in the Midwest, summer unofficially ends Labor Day weekend. The Minnesota State Fair has come and gone, school gets into full swing and the cooler temperatures let us know winter is not too far away. I am in a small minority of people who love winter. It is my second favorite season behind fall but for most people in the Midwest, the idea of winter approaching is not one that typically brings a smile…but there is something many of us could do to change that!
One way to brighten the thought of winter approaching is to start planning for your next summer vacation now. Research shows that planning for a vacation brings significantly more happiness into our lives and what better way to use this research to our advantage than planning for a summer vacation as winter approaches?
Planning early for a vacation has several potential advantages including more availability and potentially lower costs for hotels or rental properties, flights and destinations. But the two biggest reasons to plan early for a vacation are having more time to save for the trip and adding the joy of anticipation.
If we can have most or all the expense of a trip set aside or prepaid, it takes away the worry of coming home to a big credit card bill. Taking care of the finances ahead of time allows us to more fully enjoy the trip. The earlier we plan for our vacation the more time we will have to start saving to pay for it.
Having the vacation paid for in advance allows us to enjoy the vacation more while we are on it, but the anticipation and time spent planning for an upcoming trip allow us to begin enjoying that trip months before we even pack our first item. We can begin enjoying our next vacation shortly after returning from our last one, adding to the quality of our life!
My family out in North Dakota is planning to come here next August to attend a few baseball games at Target Field. The adults are having fun looking at houses to rent (we are a very close family, but the possibility of 20+ family members in my moderately-sized townhouse could stretch the limits of that closeness!). Meanwhile, the nephews and nieces have already begun lobbying for Valley Fair and there are certain to be other sights and activities they will be adding to their list of appeals over the next several months. We are having a great time with a vacation that is still 10 months away. You can do the same by starting to plan for your next vacation now!
So, go ahead and start planning that next trip. Believe it or not, the anticipation can be even more enjoyable than the trip itself!!* It will be sure to add happiness to your life and you might even be able to save some money along the way.
When the snow is flying and the temperatures are dropping, you can warm yourself with the thought of that next summer vacation. Or better yet, talking about the trip with those who will be joining you!
*Source: Lyubomirsky, Sonja. The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn't, What Shouldn't Make You Happy, but Does. Penguin Books, 2014.