Last resort: consider withdrawing
Sometimes it’s worth investigating whether you should just skip the trip altogether.
Start by weighing the importance of the holiday to your life against the damage it could do to your finances. Pico Iyer, a travel writer and author of “The Half Known Life,” made that calculation five days before a work trip to Iran in 2013, when the entire staff of the publication that hired him was fired, putting his contract and financial backing at risk. the game came up. . At the time, Mr Iyer said, US citizens going to Iran had to pay for a guide and luxury accommodation. Moreover, it seemed that a war between that country and the United States was imminent.
“I was in a dilemma,” said Mr. Iyer. “But in the end I decided that going to Iran might never be easy, and a war would make it more difficult. And I’ve been longing for this trip for 30 years. I had to take the plunge and be prepared to shoulder the $8,000 myself if I had to.
How can the rest of us apply this consideration to our own travel dilemmas, which more often involve not being able to afford to attend a friend’s bachelorette party or an aunt’s 50th birthday cruise?
Lauren Bowling, a financial expert, said setting specific financial goals can help you assess whether a trip fits into your overall financial picture. “If there’s an immediate goal you’re working for, I think that helps make a decision,” she said, citing as an example a plan to buy a house in the first quarter of next year.
She also suggests asking yourself if staying home will really help you achieve your goals. If there isn’t something specific you’re trading the trip for, Ms. Bowling said, you may end up regretting opting out. However, if you decide not to go, she suggests sending a small gift, such as flowers, that will cost much less than the entire trip.
But to Mr. Iyer, saying yes to a trip to a place you’ve never been, even if it means taking a financial risk, is worth more than going into credit card debt for, say, a new bank.
“A trip, in my case, is much more likely to transform me than any material I would pick up at home,” he said. “And that’s why it’s worth the risk, because the beauty of a trip is that I don’t know who will come back from it. And the hope is that I will be someone very different from the one who left home.”