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Traveling On A Budget: 4 Ways To Avoid Vacation Debt As A Millennial

The millennial generation can be a bit of a contradiction. Although 69% of millennials consider themselves to be adventurous, they are also quite cautious — especially when it comes to finances. Adventure comes in many forms, but the greatest adventure of all is travel; whether you’re planning to walk the Great Wall of China or experience the culture in Johannesburg, getting out of your day-to-day comfort zone and hopping on a plane (or a train, or a car) takes some bravery. Keeping a budget in check during such exciting times can be tricky, so let’s take a look at three ways you can stay in the green and avoid vacation debt during your next (adventurous) vacation.

Sunrise in Miami

Plan Ahead!

If you always want to have money available for a trip, you’re going to need to start a vacation fund. Though it may feel incredibly daunting to have to take away from your already tight budget, remember that every dollar you save now is a dollar you won’t have to scrounge for later. The act of saving itself is fairly simple: as soon as you are paid, immediately move a base amount into a separate account. Your brain will adjust to the loss as if it was never there to spend in the first place, and you’ll have money building up in no time.

It helps to have a trip in mind during this process so that you know how much to be moving in order to reach your savings goal in time. For example, a vacation to the Poconos Mountains with its 2,400 square miles of mountains, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and forests is most likely going to cost less than a trip to Paris. While you can weigh the costs of previous vacations to get a general idea, it’s always better to save more than you need; the more you put away now, the more stress-free your vacation will be.

Use Credit — Wisely.

Credit cards are like double-edged swords — they can help as much as hurt you, though most people are only familiar with the latter. If you’ve done well saving in the weeks and months leading up to your getaway, you shouldn’t actually need your credit card, but it is always wise to bring one in case of emergencies. Unforeseen costs can arise suddenly, and it’s smart to have a backup option.

At the same time, vacations provide an opportunity to build your credit. There are a number of factors that go into determining an individual’s credit score, and utilization is one of the major ones; maxed-out credit cards use 100% of this ratio, but FICO recommends that you should not spend more than 30% of your credit limit. As long as you’re able to consistently make payments, relying on your credit card here and there during vacation can actually improve your credit score in the long run.

The possibility of incurring debt while on vacation is a deterrent for many millennials. Although saving is hard and learning the ins and outs (and pros and cons) of credit can be quite the challenge, the payout — which usually comes in the form of exciting adventures, great food, and new experiences — is always worth the price. Start saving today and discover the world tomorrow!

Layaway.

Did you know you can pay for your trip in installments? Thanks to Airforable, the layaway options for travel. Not only can you pay for your dream vacation in monthly or biweekly payment installments, but you can also lock in your low airfare months in advance. Thanks to Airforable’s price protection, you can fully fund your trip without feeling the financial stress of a one-time payment. Airfordable works much like a department store layaway plan. Search for your flight and hotel dates on any air travel website. Snap and upload a screenshot of your proposed trip upload it to the Airfordable website, and they will show you payment plan options. Once you’ve selected your payment plan, you pay 30% of the cost of your travel as a deposit and pay the balance in the installment schedule you’ve chosen. It’s that easy.

Germaphobe? Here Are 3 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Now that spring is finally in full swing and warmer weather is fast approaching, countless people are itching to book vacation plans before all the best deals are gobbled up. After all, an estimated 96% of American workers claim that vacation time is important to them.

But if you’re one of the many people planning a trip this year, it’s essential that you take care of your health while traveling.

While you’re putting the finishing touches on your vacation itinerary, it can be easy to forget basic sanitary needs and health goals during your trip. Even if you pack a travel-sized hand sanitizer, you never know what potentially hazardous health issues could arise during your travels. We’re going to show you a few ways to stay healthy while traveling.

passenger seat, Interior of airplane with passengers sitting on seats and stewardess walking the aisle in background. Travel concept,vintage color,selective focus

In fact, one recent Delta Airlines passenger was put in this exact predicament. As Matthew Meehan identified his seat, he was shocked to find that the floor and seat were covered in animal excrement.

An ill service dog was the culprit, but passengers were allowed to board the plane before cleaning crews arrived. When Meehan asked for support from the airline staff, he was simply offered two paper towels and a small bottle of Bombay Sapphire.

“She said to me, ‘Well, that’s not my problem.’ I said, ‘I’m sorry?’ She says, ‘Well, if the cleaning crew didn’t clean your seat, I don’t have any control over that,'” Meehan claimed.

“I have never in my entire life felt more dehumanized. I felt like an animal. Words can’t even describe how awful it was, and they had so many opportunities to make it right.”

Affected passengers were offered a refund, but an investigation was launched following the incident.

The nasty little number brings us to our first point on the list…

Bring a seat cover

Airline seats aren’t the most cleanly of chairs, especially when you’re traveling on them for extended periods of time. In fact, aisle seats are among the dirtiest seats of all, according to a 2008 investigation whether they’re covered in dog poop or not.

During this study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that passengers resting in aisle seats are more likely to contract a virus from other passengers. They think this is likely due to the fact that people rest their hands on aisle chairs for support and balance as they pass by, exposing the seat to more germs. Whether you’re flying in an aisle seat or otherwise, however, a seat liner is one way to stop germs from dog poop in its tracks. While that’s certainly on the more extreme end of the spectrum, the point remains. Whether germs or other microbial nastiness, tightly woven fabrics are essential in repelling dirt and stains, acting as a barrier between you.

Don’t forget to take care of your skin

Between sun damage, insect bites, and the dry air of an airplane, your skin can take a beating. It’s vital that you drink the proper amount of water during your trip in order to promote skin health and elasticity. However, you need to make sure that it’s filtered so you aren’t exposed to any local pathogens or parasites.

You should also use a strong sunblock with a high SPF whenever you venture outdoors. It’s known that an estimated 120,000 terawatts of solar energy hit the earth every day, some of which can cause serious damage to your skin. This is doubly important for people who wear makeup. A simple layer of sunscreen can prevent your face from looking like a tomato at the end of the day. If you’re sweating a lot or swimming during your vacation, you should try to reapply sunscreen every couple of hours.

For those bountiful bugs, don’t hesitate to buy a strong insect repellent. A nasty bite or itchy bump is the last thing you want to worry about on your vacation.

If you happen to suffer any serious skin damage during your trip, keep in mind that there are over 7,000 urgent care facilities throughout the United States. Even if it seems like going to the doctor can put a damper on your vacation fun, taking care of your health is the most important thing you can do.

Avoid social media

Though we’ve talked about physical health, mental health is just as important (if not more). One of the major reasons people travel in the first place is to unwind, relax, and eliminate high levels of stress associated with their day-to-day lives.

If you’re one of the many people hoping to relax on their vacation, try to limit your social media use. A digital detox is good for your brain and it allows you to enjoy being in the moment during your travels. Leave the phone in your hotel room and try basking in the experiences a new place has to offer.

Taking care of your health is vital when you go on vacation. The next time you’re planning for the trip of a lifetime, don’t forget these simple ways to stay healthy while traveling, and have fun.

Work And Play: 5 Tricks To Working Remotely While Traveling The World

Work And Play: 5 Tricks To Working Remotely While Traveling The World

Every time you open Instagram it seems like all of your friends are jetting off on adventures around the world, and you’re always left wondering how they manage it with work responsibilities. The big secret is that many of these people have jobs that allow them to work remotely. Many millennials, a generation predicted to spend $1.4 trillion on travel every year by 2020, are working as freelancers, in contract positions, or at jobs that allow them to work remotely. This flexibility gives them the freedom to travel, but there are some key tricks to still getting the job done while having fun on the road.

Work And Play: 5 Tricks To Working Remotely While Traveling The World

Young man with glasses working on his notebook, with a fresh cup of coffee nice and early in the morning, getting the business out of the way nice and early in the day

  1. Pick the right destination
    The biggest amenity you need to account for when traveling and working is internet access. Remote working is only possible through being able to communicate digitally. While something like a cruise may be enticing because the ships provide entertainment and activities for all ages while taking you to seaside destinations, you may have to fight against spotty or limited Wi-Fi. Make sure that you’ll be able to get internet access wherever you go, and consider traveling to major cities like Los Angeles or Chicago, which can guarantee that you’ll have good service.
  2. Find a comfortable place to stay
    While hostels are a famously affordable lodging option for travelers, they aren’t the most comfortable or work-oriented. When you’re traveling and working, you’ll want to make sure that you have a set environment that is conducive to getting work done. Many people opt to find lodging through Airbnb or similar services, and others even rent or sublet apartments for longer stays. You’ll want to make sure the services and stores you like are nearby as well. With 54% of Americans over 18 years of age drinking coffee every day, convenient coffee shops are a necessity for many working travelers.
  3. Establish a good remote workflow
    Being in a new city, or even country presents many temptations to explore to your heart’s content and leave your work behind. However, to ensure that you keep your job you’ll need to set a routine and boundaries so that you are still productive in your nomadic environment. Make a clear schedule for yourself that includes work times and exploring times and stick to it. To stay on top of everything, be sure to factor in any time zone differences between you and your colleagues back home.
  4. Budget for the extra and hidden costs
    While you’ll still be making money because you’re working, you’ll need to be mindful of hidden expenses adding up. As previously mentioned, you’ll likely be renting or using Airbnb to stay comfortable, both of which can be more expensive than a traditional hotel or hostel. Other factors, like transportation costs, restaurant bills, and every coffee you order at the nearby shop, can add up quickly and leave you with less spending money than you anticipated.
  5. Give yourself ample time to prepare
    Before you adventure off to a new place with your laptop in hand, be sure that everything is in order. This is especially important for those taking extended trips. You’ll have to make sure that you’ve notified any supervisors and colleagues that you will be working remotely for a few months. You will also have to think about who is going to care for your home and any plants and pets you have there while you’re away. If you’re traveling internationally, make sure you’ve notified your bank, have a new SIM card for your phone, and that all of your documents for customs are in order.
Work And Play: 5 Tricks To Working Remotely While Traveling The World

Woman swimming with inflatable donut on the beach in summer sunny day

It is entirely possible to have the best of both worlds and be able to work and play at the same time. With efficient planning and open communication, you will be able to join those you previously envied and post goal-worthy travel pictures on Instagram.