Do I choose to have vacations or savings?

One of my friends recently went on a holiday, she went to Bangkok for a couple of days and had a pretty good time! I heard that there was plenty of delicious food and shopping to do over there and I am pretty envious that she had the time to take a holiday. But then it got me thinking, what is the trade off when you have a holiday?


Typically family of four

If a family of four were to go overseas for a short 4 days vacation, their expenses would look something like this:

Travel expenses: $1600 – $2400

Accommodation: $200 – $680 (Depending on how luxurious you want your stay to be)

Dining/Food: $450 – $700

Entertainment: $360 – $650 (If you visit attractions like theme parks or free attractions. Also depend on the activities or shopping you do)

The total costs would add up to about $2700 to $4400, which gives an average of around $3500, keeping in mind that this is just an estimate and there are probably other areas and factors that I did not take into account. This is for a family of four and if I were to divide it individually, it would come to about $1000 a person. What can I do with a thousand dollars if I don’t go on a holiday?


Putting $1000 to work for you

In my last post I mentioned that if you were to invest in an index, you would be able to get returns of between 5% to 7%. If I were to take one less holiday a year, saving $1000 in the process, and use this $1000 to invest. Starting with an initial sum of $1000 and putting $1000 every year into an index that gives 5% returns, after 15 years I would have more than $24,000! (Check out the calculator here) Now this is a lot and this is just with $1000. If you can consistently put more every year, you are going to see a much bigger number.


Alternatives besides going on a vacation

If you don’t go on a vacation, this doesn’t mean that you can’t take a break. You don’t necessarily need to be overseas on a holiday in order to relax and have fun. Here are some alternatives that you can do while still staying in the country.


  • Events/attractions near you

Go out for a day of fun at any attractions near you, like theme parks or nature reserves. From my experience I feel that my most enjoyable moments are not based on where I am but who I’m with. Anything is 10x more fun if you are with your close friends or family. This works best when you are always up for trying new things!

  • Staycation

A staycation is when you spend a “vacation” in your country and not go overseas. This is a much simpler process as you can save more money on travelling and you also save time as this will be significantly easier to plan. The additional amount saved while allow you to spend more on your accommodation and dining. Staycations are great when you and your family only have a few common dates and a small budget.

  • Do things that you love

Ever been so busy with work or school and you have no time for yourself? Taking a few days off just to rest up and relax can be an equally amazing experience! What I would do if I can get some time off for myself? I would focus on the little things and work on my ventures. Wake up early, go for a run, maybe read a book and catch up with some friends afterwards. The little things matter and I don’t feel that you necessarily need to be overseas on a vacation to relax.


So is it vacations or savings for me?

I would still definitely go on overseas but its going to be very few and not as often as my peers who seem to travel twice a year, or more if they can. I think its good to have a great time and see more sights overseas but growing my wealth is also pretty satisfying to me! Even if it’s just an additional $1000 a year, it’ll pay off in the long run.

You can also save an additional $1000 by finding others ways to cut your expenses. One way is to make your own lunches and save more! You can also save more by cutting down on what you spend during your vacation, Daniel has a great post on this!


Thanks for reading and let me know in the comments below, how much do you usually set aside for your vacations? Is there any really bad vacation that stands out in your mind? Do you have any alternatives that you like to do instead of going on a holiday?

6 Replies to “Do I choose to have vacations or savings?”

  1. Great post! It’s very thought provoking to see all the figures set out like that. I do like going abroad, but always try to balance travelling with time at home. And of course, I’m always looking for ways to save money when I do travel! It makes a big difference to stay somewhere with a kitchen and get snacks, breakfast foods etc at a supermarket. The little things like coffee and snacks in cafes really add up.

    1. Hey you’re right! Getting a balance is not easy. I think that’s a really great tip, getting your own snacks and breakfast. You can really save more and it sounds really fun as well!

  2. Next week I’m doing a staycation! It will be a big week: I’m going to get back on schedule with my exercises, read a few books, and write a few posts. I want to get ahead of the curve, right now I feel like every day I have to constantly push just to be good for the next one…

    Do you have any suggestions for me if I was to do on a vacation?

    1. Hey, that sounds exciting! I really like what you’re doing, taking a short break to allow you to refocus on your current priorities. My suggestion would be to spend some time each day to think about anything that comes to your mind. Use this time to regroup and prepare yourself for the next challenge. And always be patient!

  3. I just got back from Vegas a few years ago. I HATED the place. I’ve never been a gambler myself and don’t really enjoy the nightlife scene.

    1. I guess it’s just about choosing the right place for vacation! Or save the money to spend it on somewhere else that is much nicer!

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