Why Our Vacation Fund Became Our No. 1 Priority

Humans are a naturally curious lot, and nothing is more frustrating than stumbling across an intriguing spot that's off limits to all (or all but a select few). Far from your average tourist traps, these places may even be steeped in local lore, but they often bar tourists for safety, security, or environmental reasons. Intrigued? We thought so. Here are 20 spots you'll have to admire from afar — if you're even allowed that close.
Back to that heatwave afternoon in 2030. You've arrived at the airport and, thanks to the speedy air taxi journey, have plenty of time to kill. You can hang out for a while in the virtual reality space to explore your destination, because checking in your suitcase is now a breeze...
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It may seem crazy coming from a certified financial planner, but after years of working with clients who were all longing for a way to travel and find happiness in their everyday lives, I decided I wanted to put travel first unapologetically. Interestingly, in a new CIT Bank Summer Savings Survey, almost half of Americans say that saving for vacations is a low priority (43 percent) and another quarter (25 percent) say that vacation savings are not a priority at all. However, the vast majority (77 percent) spend up to $5,000 annually on vacations each year. So, apparently, we all love to travel — no matter the cost.

If you’re like me and decide that travel is going to be a priority, there are ways to be smart with your financial goals and still explore the world.

Why We Travel

Aside from the exhaustive lines at the airport and what I am sure is a sneaky agenda to shrink the passenger cabin size on planes continually, we love to travel for so many reasons.

New Perspectives

Getting out to see how other people live, what their neighborhoods are like, how the food tastes and what the culture is like in a city all provide a bridge to a different way of life. Especially in these times, I think it’s important to get out of your city and beliefs and step into someone else’s shoes. When we traveled to Stockholm a few years ago, we experienced the local culture of stopping work mid-day to enjoy fika, which consists of a pastry or other amazing sweet treat with the locals. Although we don’t speak Swedish, we hung out at local restaurants and soaked in the culture — one pastry at a time.

Entrepreneurial Growth

As an entrepreneur, traveling to a new location reminds me of not only how fortunate I am to be able to get up and go (and work remotely), but travel also sparks new ideas and unlocks creativity in a way that is infectious. I love visiting entrepreneurs in other cities and countries to find out how similar and yet, unique their journeys are. When I was in Kenya, I learned that most women work and many are entrepreneurs. It’s a thriving community filled with resources for women. I would’ve never guessed that to be true.

Strengthening Our Relationship

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