Traveling is one of the greatest joys of life. Or so you may have heard from people who have been lucky enough to travel around the world.
When you have student loans and mortgages to pay off, traveling might not be on the list of priorities for you. However, you probably can’t stop dreaming of a day when you can fly off to Norway to watch the northern lights, or enjoy the azure beaches of the tropical belt.
For most of us with debts, traveling is restricted to driving to work or grocery runs. Then again, there’s the occasional story of that couple you know are deep in debt who somehow managed to holiday in Thailand for the summer. Of course, you see their pictures on Facebook and can’t help but feel jealous.
Why Do You Want to Travel?
If you are currently facing serious financial pressure, but planning a wonderful trip is in the back of your mind, there are some questions that you might want to ask yourself first. For starters, you might want to ask yourself what motivates you to plan this trip. If it’s the Facebook photos you saw of your friends’ trip to Thailand, stop right there. That desperate need to travel you may feel when you scroll down your Facebook feed is called peer pressure, not genuine wonder. And that’s never a good reason to travel.
When you have people telling charming anecdotes about their travels at the Christmas dinner table or class reunions, and look at you for your own story, it’s only natural to feel a certain level of social pressure to conform (meaning to travel like the others). However, you should never allow this pressure to push you towards making bad financial decisions.
Why It’s Not Good to Let Peer Pressure Make Decisions for You
It’s never a good thing to do anything because of peer pressure. If all your friends have gone to Aspen, and you are feeling left out because you haven’t, then don’t take out a personal loan to fund an expensive skiing trip to Aspen. After all, you will be the one who ends up in debt, not your friends.
Peer pressure is a strong communal motivator that can make you do both good and bad things. It’s your responsibility to avoid doing the bad things. Instead of taking out a ridiculous travel loan, consider telling your friends that you have other obligations or don’t have the time for traveling. Make up an excuse, rather than compromising your finances.
If you genuinely want to travel, you can always consider budget-friendly alternatives. Instead of buying expensive plane tickets, you can enjoy a road trip for much less. If you are seriously strapped for cash, consider going on family picnics to a local park or joining a group trip.
Likewise, think of innovative ways to travel on a budget. Never, ever allow peer pressure to overwhelm your decisions. Instead of taking out loans, start saving now so you can enjoy a lovely trip to Aspen or Thailand in the future without becoming indebted.