Friday, April 29, 2011

Savvy items to pack in your suitcase

Just because you’re headed out on vacation doesn’t mean you should take a vacation from being financially fabulous. My Eye Candy and I just took a long weekend away in beautiful Kelowna, B.C. and now we are off for a sinfully fun time in Las Vegas with my sister, cousins & corresponding significants.

My rule for vacations is to only do what can afford so these flights & their respective hotels were paid for in advance. Plus, I’ve continued to put away money in my Vacation Fund with each pay cheque and I’ve been diligently saving my Fun Money for me to spend while I’m away. For all the activities that we have planned in Las Vegas (there is a spreadsheet of them!) and dinners out, I know that I have the cash in my bank account to afford it all. This way I can thoroughly enjoy my time away without a looming credit card bill when I get home.

I didn’t always vacation like this and there were times when I holiday-ed now and paid for it later. It’s stressful to do this and depending on how quickly you can pay down your credit card or line of credit, the interest you’ll be charged could quickly become double the cost of your initial vacation. And wouldn’t you rather defer a vacation for a few months so that later you can sip fancy umbrella-dressed cocktails on a beach during one holiday and zipline through the amazon on the next one? I rest my case.

A vacation can give you some much needed R&R, but the only thing in red
that you should be carrying for it is a suitcase and a cute pair of heels.  

While I’m looking forward to enjoying a carefree Vegas vacation, it is not free and there are some simple things that I pack in my suitcase that will help avoid the little impulse costs that sneak up on you. 

  • Trailmix & Ziploc bags – who wants to pay $3 to satisfy every salty craving at the hotel vending machine or mid-morning snack attack? It’s unhealthy for you and your money. Instead, bring one package of trailmix in your suitcase and keep a mini-bag of it in your purse at all times. This way, you can fend off cravings & costly snacks in between meals.
  • Empty water bottle – by the same token, who wants to pay $3 for a bottle of water? I bring an empty one in my carry-on and fill it once I’ve crossed airport security at the waterfountains. I have no problems  with this “tap” water. I reuse the bottle throughout my vacation either with the hotel tap water (which of course, depends on where you’re staying as I learned a very nasty lesson in the Czech Republic during one trip) or I’ll buy a giant water bottle a local convenience store and refill my mini-one as it’s more practical to carry in my purse.
  • Dark chocolate – it’s really just a matter of time before the mini-bar is calling my name and I’m having a sugar craving. There will be 2 bars packed into my suitcase for the trip and hopefully, they last a little bit longer than just the time in the airport.
  • Magazines & books – I have several subscriptions to my favourite magazines (check out The Girl Next Door’s Guide to Finance thoughts on Does Subscribing to Magazines Really Save You Money?) and I’ve hidden away the last 5 that have come into my mailbox for airplane and poolside reading. But that same token, the library has called today and much anticipated chick-lit is ready for pick-up. This pre-planned reading material avoids the last minute hazy browse & impulse purchases at the airport boutiques.
  • A well-packed make-up case - not just with your favourite cosmetics, but the items that you use from time to time and would cost a fortune in the local convenience store. I don't carry everything but the kitchen sink, but I always bring along Benedryl & Tylenol, Ricola & Trident, a few bandaids, and even mini bottle of nailpolish remover. The secret is too remove as much of the exterior packaging as possible so the items end up taking very little room and then you have more space for your favourite lipsticks.
My suitcase for Vegas is almost packed – swimsuit, sunscreen, fancy dresses, shoes, passports, and plane & show tickets. Is there anything else I should add for a financially fabulous vacation? I have a tinsy bit of room left…


No comments:

Post a Comment