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Showing posts with label Finance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Finance. Show all posts

Best ways to save and invest money to fund my travels?

As a kid, I distinctly remember how elderly people used to consider visiting Varanasi or Badrinath or Vaishno Devi as once in a lifetime event. My father was an Indian Railway employee and had privilege of free train journeys; despite that our vacations were quite less, probably due to associated other expenses.


Gone are the days, when travelling was considered a luxury or once in a while affair. Travelling has now become a necessary part of our lives. Escaping Workplace Stress, Pollution are pretty honest excuses, but in reality it is financial independence which is driving this new found breed of vacationers.


During my early career days, I used to save and just save for small trips, hardly 250 -300 km. from Delhi. Such a trip along with a few friends, more than once in a year used to be a big achievement. The way I used to plan for these trips, I now see the youngsters plan for Thailand, Maldives, Eurotrip and practically much more than I ever could have thought of. By seeing the millennials plan for such foreign trips, I at times used to wonder – Who is funding their frequent travels? Are they availing Loans?

I know one of my friends, who took a loan to take his family abroad for a trip and proudly paid back a hefty interest amount for the next couple of years. Well, this was not so smart an option which he realized later, when he ended up paying interest costs to the extent of 20%.

There must be a better alternative to EMI’s and Investing is a smart way of saving. With investing comes the basic question Where and How much to invest? Being myself a travel enthusiast, I will be always open to explore any investment opportunity that can help me in continuing my travels even post my retirement with some luxury and adequate risk cushion. Why not? Why should I not? 

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Managing money while exploring offbeat destinations


Money, like emotions, is something you must control carefully to keep your life on the right track…
Exploring Offbeat destinations is a specialized travel activity which is very satisfying for a traveler. Being located in not so visited areas, it is not always possible to have first-hand information about the place. Due to this it is utmost necessary to keep yourself equipped enough financially for any unforeseen event. Unforeseen event is only running out of sufficient cash, you may have dozens of Credit/ Debit Cards which might not be accepted in these places.

Would like to share some money management experiences to keep handy while exploring Offbeat destinations:
1.      Cash Management: Money is the best friend which can rescue you in case of any unforeseen event, so: 
a.      Make sure that you carry ample amount of cash, atleast sufficient for fuel, food and accommodation requirements.
b.     Keep currency notes in smaller denominations too as getting change for bigger notes can be a problem for very small merchants/ shopkeepers in remote places.
                                                  i.      Indulging in shopping for the local delicacies/ special handicrafts is a sheer luxury, as you will not find such stuff in cities. However most of the merchants in these locations do not accept credit cards. So if you are out of cash at this moment, you are putting at stake the joy of your otherwise happening journey.

2.      Usage of Electronic Money (Credit Card/ Debit Card):
a.      ATM’s are not available everywhere and Credit cards are not so widely accepted
b.     Even many highway filling stations and hotels/ food outlets  at smaller places/ remote locations at times do not accept credit cards
c.      Take caution in usage of Credit cards/ Debit cards to safeguard yourself from any chances of fraud. I personally prefer to pay by cash for fuel stations which are located outside Tier-II cities.

3.      ATM’s: Always keep a note of last working ATM on your way, so that you can at least have an option of going back to fetch money. Will advise to also carry ATM cards banks like SBI, PNB, ICICI… as they have better penetration of ATM’s in remote places.

As offbeat destinations travel is gradually catching the fancy of the travellers, some of the prominent hotels/ resorts’ chains are setting up their properties in these locations. Pre-booking these can save a lot of money and also the hassles of paying by cash while checking out. Also you can earn cashback/ privilege points. Always check out with them for their affiliation with rewards program.

Please note some of these hotels/ resorts might not accept payment by Credit Card/ Debit Cards while checking out. However they are accepting payment by electronic means while booking. This I have personally faced, however the resort was co-operative enough to send a person with me till the next available ATM (approx. 35 kms from the resort’ location) to collect the cash.

Above all spend wisely to have non-stop fun during your explorations. Happy travelling friends...

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