It’s become increasingly important in recent years to find innovative ways to achieve work-life balance. Hence, the invention of “bleisure” travel — the combination of business and leisure in a single trip. In fact, about 60 percent of travelers worldwide mix work with a little vacation; among Americans, the phenomenon has increased by 40 percent in just the last two years.1
Industry experts cite the following reasons for the recent growth in this form of travel:2
- Airline ticket prices have dropped in the last three years, making it more affordable to book a companion seat and tack a few vacation days onto a business trip.
- Many businesses prefer their employees to travel after a Saturday night for lower airfare, which gives employees a good reason to add on a day or two.
- Millennials, ever resourceful, have paired full vacations with business trips to help achieve better work-life balance, not to mention enjoy certain luxuries they could not otherwise afford.
On average, bleisure travelers around the world take more than six business trips per year, 70 percent of which include attending a conference.3 For entrepreneurs looking to fit in a vacation, finding a professionally valuable conference in a desirable location could be just the ticket. You can catch some R&R, expand your professional network and have your business pay for many of the expenses.
There are even hybrid online/traditional travel agencies specializing in helping plan bleisure trips for the best value. The most popular destinations for bleisure travel are those with great food and restaurants, beaches, good weather, a natural environment to explore and sightseeing venues like historical monuments.4
1 Hospitality.net. May 17, 2018. “Bleisure Travelers are Hungry for Sunshine, Sightseeing, and Cuisine.” https://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4088469.html. Accessed July 4, 2018.
2 Travel Weekly. Sept. 14, 2017. “Bleisure Travel Becomes Big Business.” https://www.travelweekly.com/Strategic-Content/Bleisure-Travel. Accessed July 4, 2018.
3 Hospitality.net. May 17, 2018. “Bleisure Travelers are Hungry for Sunshine, Sightseeing, and Cuisine.” https://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4088469.html. Accessed July 4, 2018.
Money Saving Tips
Strategies to Help Pay Off Debt
It’s wise to be debt free as you approach and enter retirement. Once you’re living on a fixed income, it’s much more difficult to make payments. However, there are inevitably situations in which emergency funds are required and people may end up taking on debt with no clear-cut way of paying it off any time soon.
Here are a few strategies to help you pay off debt no matter your current income status:1
- Allot a fixed amount (e.g., $400) to spend between income checks for all expenses beyond static costs such as groceries, gas and Use this cash for anything you want, but don’t go over.
- Open a separate checking account in which to deposit this fixed amount; use a debit card for that account only — once it is depleted, your discretionary spending is done until your next paycheck.
- Within your discretionary income, determine the greatest amount you can allocate toward your debt each month and commit to that payment.
- Do not use credit cards again until the debt is paid off.
- Try to consolidate multiple debt accounts so your single payment covers more than your minimum required payment.
- Make your largest payment to the account with the highest interest rate; once that account is paid off, use that money to bolster payments on the balance with the next highest rate — and so on.
- If the interest rates are similar across your debt, pay all minimums but apply more cash to the smallest balance first until it is paid off; then the next smallest, and so on — this tactic offers a strong sense of achievement.
- Try not to tap retirement funds or investment accounts to pay off a debt balance, as that may trigger taxes and/or If you’re over age 70 ½, consider allocating your required minimum distributions to debt payments, as they have to be withdrawn anyway.
- Find another source of income for which you can dedicate your entire earnings to pay off debt (anything from babysitting to becoming an Uber driver or delivering take-out).
- If you can’t pick up extra work, consider what you might sell to raise cash, such as a boat, motorcycle or pool table that is no longer used.
1 Rachel Hartman. US News & World Report. May 17, 2018. “7 Steps to Pay off Debt in Retirement” https://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2018-05-17/7-steps-to-pay-off-debt-in-retirement. Accessed July 4, 2018.
Credit Card Traveling Tip
The easiest way to earn maximum points and miles for travel is opening a new credit card with a rewards bonus. Many cards offer a lump-sum bonus that equates to hundreds or even thousands of dollars’ worth of airline flights or hotel/Airbnb accommodations. Be sure to follow requirements to qualify for the one-time bonus, which usually involves charging a minimum amount to the card (e.g. $3,000) in the first few months.1
Once you qualify for trip rewards, use that same card while you’re on vacation to earn points toward your next points-enabled adventure. Pay the credit card balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.
It’s important to note that there may be annual fees associated with a credit card. Be sure to review the terms before signing up.
1 David Slotnick. Business Insider. June 2, 2018. “How to score free travel with your credit cards’ sign-up bonuses — plus 6 summer vacations to book right now” http://www.businessinsider.com/book-free-summer-vacation-with-marriott-american-airlines-credit-card-sign-up-bonus-2018-5. Accessed July 4, 2018.
Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications.
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