Everybody aspires to live the “good life” but, unfortunately, it comes with a price tag. Vacations are a great way for us to relax and get away from the stresses of everyday life. While traveling is often a “want” or luxury, it is possible to take the trip you’ve been yearning for without breaking the bank! Sticking to a budget plan is essential in order to be financially stable. In fact, budgeting can be the very reason you have funds allotted to take your trip.
Here are some tips that can help you get the rest and relaxation you’ve been looking for without plunging yourself into debt.
Most of the time, doing anything last minute means spending more money. Booking a trip the night of or even a week before will cost you. Give yourself time to really research different destinations so you can compare and contrast pricing. You may want to consider hospitality services such as Airbnb or research on booking.com, so you are not paying hefty commercial hotel prices. Also, try plotting out any excursions you plan on doing beforehand to ensure they fit into your budget. You can go on sites like Expedia to see what excursions are offered in the destination you choose.
You want to comprise a game plan, so no unexpected surprises are thrown at you! Take a little time and do your research beforehand on local restaurants if your trip isn’t all inclusive to get an idea of what your daily spending should be. Additionally, flight prices are normally significantly cheaper when booked ahead. You should consider vacationing on an off-season month. December and January tend to pricier months since schools are closed for winter holiday vacations. Just be sure to check you are not going during hurricane season if you plan on jetting to warmer areas.
Create a Vacation Budget
By planning ahead, you can create a budget that can make managing your vacation money a breeze. Once you have your destination and travel date, think about starting a vacation fund and put some money towards it every month. You won’t have to come up with a large sum of money at one time. Examine your spending and make adjustments where necessary. If there are things that you can do without, cut them from your budget. For example, if you purchase a daily coffee, consider skipping it for a while. You can take the cash you would normally spend on coffee or takeout food and put it toward your vacation fund. Making small sacrifices to allocate funds for your trip will enable you to vacation without financial stress.
Don’t Charge All your Expenses at Once
What many people fail to do when planning a vacation is spread out the costs associated with their trip. This could spell financial trouble. Even though using a credit card can be a great way to finance a vacation, they should be used responsibly. Consider spreading out your pre-vacation expenses.
You may want to book your flight one month and your hotel the next. This can help you avoid getting hit with a large bill that may force you to deplete your savings or pay the minimum resulting in paying more interest and losing money in the long run.
Consider a Staycation
Who says you have to go far to enjoy some time off? You don’t have to travel to another country or state to get away. You could take advantage of the sights and attractions near you and end up having a wonderful vacation – and save money, too. You don’t want to put yourself into debt just to be able to afford a vacation. Do some research to find out what your area has to offer; a hike in the mountains, landmarks, beaches, national parks, etc. A staycation could be just what you need!
While a vacation is a great time to relax and enjoy yourself, too many people swipe their credit cards for the sake of being “on vacation.” Smart credit habits should not be thrown out the window when planning your trip. There are plenty of ways to take a budget vacation without going into debt!
This post was first published on 2/23/2018
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."