Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Travelling : 2nd biggest personal finance killer ?

The 2nd personal finance killer, however, is NOT as hard cast in stone as the 1st. Travelling basically involves paying a sum of money before and during the trip. Then it usually ends with no financial return and a tired body.

The biggest return of Travelling is qualitative like gaining experience, widen the horizon, refresh the mind etc. None is easily quantifiable into financial return. So valuing a trip is slightly different than just analysing numbers.

If you have something in mind BEFORE travelling and FOCUS on what you REALLY need during the trip, then it should be relatively safe to say you have GAINed what you pay for. Such a travelling desires are usually very personal. For example, "I want to rest", "get out of current environment", "see Dubai with my own eyes", "take some pictures", "see someone", "look for something" etc.

If you have such clear consense, then you should focus on that during the trip. For example, if all you want is to get away. Then all the hinderance of flight delay, annoying tour guide shouldn't matter. On the other hand, if your purpose is to see something, then you may want to study a bit more on the weather, culture, latest political situation or any other factors that can increase the chances of you seeing what you want to see.

Unfortunately, quite a lot of people travel for the sake of travelling. The number 1 thing that comes to their minds when planning a trip is 3 days 2 nights or 4 days 3 nights etc. Without even considering if those travel time would allow them to enjoy the way they expected.

Some others may carry unrealistic expectation, want to be treated like a King, want to do 'Everything', want to know ALL about a place during a trip etc. In some cases, watching Discovery and National Geography channels are much better suited instead of travelling in person.

On another angle, if you know what you want in a trip and you planned ahead including saving for it. Then its a worth while travel. On the other hand, if the trip is un-organized and ad-hoc, you would most probably ends with a bad investment, both financially and your time.

Travelling is an expense that is paid once and usually quite a sum; And you will NOT get anything back in return (financially and meterial wise). If you still don't handle your own expectation or any qualitative return in values ... basically you are just wasting all your hard earn money.