The phrase, ‘We’re going on holiday!’ conjures up a range wonderful thoughts, from adventurous roads trips to winging away for a spontaneous adventure. It invokes images of pool side, beach time, powder ski slopes, visiting historical sites, visiting family, the list is endless. And the anticipation is amazing.
Then reality sets in and a myriad of questions pop into your head. How much is it going to cost? When do we have to pay for it? Who is going to look after the cat/dog, water the plants?
What about the kids, are they coming too, or can Mum & Dad look after them? Is my passport current? Do we need a visa? What about injections? Ohh, I need to buy more…
Holidays are great fun once you get there but the planning and the preparation can often be very emotional and testing on any relationship. Going away for a few days with your partner is a good test of the relationship. I would imagine that countless relationships have ended during holiday time away.
What are some of things that can trip you up when going on holiday with your loved one?
Are you emotionally attached to the destination?
If you are emotionally attached to the destination? For example, you have relocated countries and going back for family is important to you and you will be willing to spend more on the trip. Here is where the thought, ‘costs aren’t important’ can kick in.
However, if your partner doesn’t share the same sentiment and they would rather go someplace else, they may start to push your buttons about how much the trip is costing and suggest cheaper and supposedly better alternatives.
You (the emotionally attached one), may react with “but you promised me when we got together that …….” And before you know it, the holiday planning ceases to be fun and can become a battle ground.
What often happens is that you compensate. You make an extra effort to see that you both have a great time and ending up spending way more than you intended.
I am guessing we (the Money Mentalist crew) are typical travellers. When we travel, there are things that we have paid for before we have leave and other things we pay for as we go.
What can happen is one of you goes into the, ‘Yay, we’re on holiday!’ mindset where money doesn’t matter, while the other is more cautious. “We wouldn’t spend $300 on a dinner at home, why are we doing it now?” so they start watching and commenting on every cent that is being spent.
If you have put the money aside for the trip and you have preloaded your card, the ‘money doesn’t matter’ mindset is fine, you have the money, go ahead and enjoy.
But more often than not (certainly from our experience working with clients) the money isn’t set aside and it is a case of, “put it on the credit card and worry about it later.” So, while one of you is having fun, the other is worrying about the mounting credit card bill, which doesn’t make for a happy holiday.
You made it back home. The suitcases are full of shopping, souvenirs and a few pressies for friends and family.
At some point you are going to have to steel yourself and see just how much the holiday has cost. If you get a nasty shock from the credit card statement (as they’re prone to do), be careful not to slip into the blame game.
“I told you we shouldn’t have gone to that theme park, it wasn’t worth the money!” Which can lead to, “well you did this…!” and the lovely memories and experiences you have had are pushed into the background.
Once you have paid the credit card off, its time to plan for the next one and the process starts all over again.
What do you need to do differently?
First, learn from previous holidays. If you know who you are travelling with well enough, you will know their patterns of behaviour (and this doesn’t just relate to how they spend their money).
Prepare to be adaptable, know when you need to compromise and what is going to push their buttons and when they are going to push yours.
Doing a little research beforehand (even if it’s a short break where you don’t leave the country) will give you lots of ideas of what you can do and how much it will cost. This way you can fit things around both your tastes and your holiday spending mindset.
OK, I confess, I am the one who keeps track of our spending when we travel. This is a great way remember what worked so we can use it to help plan the next trip.
On one of our first trips overseas we completely underestimated the cost of transport, which meant we didn’t have enough local currency and we were constantly looking for cash machines to top up, which was very frustrating. We were better prepared on our next trip and it made for a much more relaxed time.
Lastly, a tip from Dan Ariely (behavioural economist). “Pay as much as you can before you go on holiday while leaving room for last minute excursions. Because, if we pay for something before consuming it, the actual consumption of it feels almost painless. There is no pain on paying as you enjoy nor worrying about paying in the future.”
Sounds good to me!
If you want to know how you can make better choices with your money so you can create more time to play in your life, click on this link and book a day and time to talk with us. We would love to talk to you.