Yearning for a sun-soaked trip away? Constantly looking at Azamara cruise deals? Budget for a break and those dreams can become a reality
Do you have a budget this year? No matter what your income, budgets are a way to plan for the future, while also making the present less stressful. By keeping a budget, you can save up an emergency fund in case something happens, save towards a house, a car, or a home renovation.
If you find yourself running out of money each month and scrambling to make your paycheque stretch, a budget is definitely something to look into. Once you get used to budgeting, you can adjust it towards saving more or less, depending on whether you have goals or what’s happening that month.
But once you sit down to make a budget, what do you put in it? It’s always better to be realistic when setting out a budget — otherwise, you’ll become demotivated and your budget will go out of the window. Essentials like food, clothes and bills are obvious, along with a budget for coffees and drinks out with your friends. Have you put in a holiday, though? It’s easy to think you don’t need to because it’s a big spend, but cutting out your yearly vacation could have more negative consequences than not topping up your tan.
Travel Increases Your Employability
From improving your time management skills and problem-solving abilities, to learning a second or third language that will look great on your CV, being well travelled is guaranteed to make you more valuable to a potential employer. Taking a solo trip of several months to a year or more may not fit into your career plan, but short trips — even package deals like an NCL cruise from the UK — are valuable, as they expose you to a large number of different cultures in a small time frame.
If you’re a language lover, moving to a small town in France or Spain for a year isn’t the only way to improve your language skills, either. Major cruise lines like NCL Cruises and Azamara Cruises offer language courses while you’re at sea. It’s an easy way to use all those hours you spend offline and on the water to keep your brain ticking over.
A Holiday Helps You De-Stress and Increases Your Work Performance
The UK is suffering from an epidemic. We’re all workaholics who have chained ourselves to our desks. Annual leave isn’t being taken and employers aren’t as concerned as they should be about this, considering how it can affect workplace performance. Thanks to the advent of smartphones and how the use of them has permeated our every-day lives, we now have not just an inability to switch off, but we’re expected to be contactable every waking hour of the day. In the UK alone, we’re losing over 45 million working days a year to stress, anxiety and depression — a problem which could be fought by putting more emphasis on creating a better work-life balance.
Holidays that are good for decreasing stress consist of anything that gets you away from your phone and emails. If you’re disciplined enough, this can just be a beach holiday somewhere warm, but you’ll still have WiFi once you’re back in your hotel at the end of the day. If you really want to get away, try a digital detox holiday, which will completely take you away from your devices, but also from human interaction.
A good compromise is a cruise. Big cruise lines like NCL Cruises have people to talk to from all walks of life and every activity you can think of to occupy yourself with. Because you spend most of your time at sea, though, you’re digitally detoxed by default. Thanks to NCL and Azamara cruise deals, a digital detox on a cruise ship is often cheaper and easier to fit into your budget. It’s a complete paid-for package with no surprises – unlike the holidays you put together yourself which always go over-budget.
Vacations Help You Make New Contacts, Friends and Even Flames
When you work in a large city like London, you never seem to venture outside your work and social circles — despite the countless different demographics contained within a single city’s boundaries. A holiday will throw you into contact with people you wouldn’t normally meet and can lead to anything from new friends, new business contacts and new ideas, to a new romance that will last even when you’re back in the office.
Travelling is also a reality check. When you leave your bubble of the life you’ve created for yourself, you leave your comfort zone of everyone who shares your ideas and way of life. Travelling to different cultures from time to time is important to meet people with different goals, dreams and lifestyles — and you’ll return a generally more rounded individual.
By not including a vacation in your yearly budget, you might miss out on so much more — and it could even cost you money. A vacation could give you the recharge, as well as the inspiration, to wow the suits when you return to the boardroom and secure that promotion. It could help you meet that new business partner, or hone the skill that helps you make a career leap. Most importantly, it will give you the space to switch off and look after your mental health; something which is all too easily forgotten in a high pressure environment.