Travel is the Best Investment

Travel Is the Best Investment.

January 24th,  2024  [4 min. read]

By Drew W. Boyer, CFP®

It’s February.  The only thing different this year is we get an extra day.  Great- one more day for the winter blah.

I don’t know about you, but the past few weekends have been spent dreaming about summer vacation to escape this and look forward to trips away, if even a picnic down the street in the green grass, birds chirping, and the leaves swaying in the breeze.  With each day though, you can see the sunrise a bit earlier and the sunset a bit later.  Spring is coming- hang in there y’all!

In the world of finance, we help invest our client’s money to try and get an assumed return on investment or ‘ROI’ like 6% to 8%.  Sometimes it works out well other times, not so much, but on average, we tend to get what we need more times than what we want.

When I think about traveling, I like to think about my return on memories or ‘ROM’.  If I invest ___ for __, my return on memory is ___.   Pretty simple equation for whether or not a trip is going to be worth it or not in dollar and time terms.

Every year, my father and I go fishing.  He started this with my brothers, myself, and Grandpa heading up north in Ontario for Walleye, Northern Pike, Perch.  Time has passed and even though we missed some summers, we picked it back up where we left it in Canada.

If I invest one week, for special father and son time, my return on memory is priceless.

It’s a no-brainer.  Sign me up every year, because we don’t know how much time we have with our loved ones.  I don’t even care if we catch any fish, it’s the time spent together.  The fish are a total bonus and that’s why they taste even better on a shore lunch or better yet- a fish fry with the whole family.

Anything that gets me more quality time with my loved ones gets a place on my calendar.  Period, end of story.  Make every day count.  


That’s why the best investment I’ve ever made was traveling.


What are your plans for traveling this year and who are you spending it with?

In our culture, it’s important to not get caught up in the ‘live to work’ rush of daily life.  We all take  relatively too few quality time-outs in between getting a real job, married, house, kids, college, retire, and then go on vacations when you’re barely young enough to still enjoy it.  Why?  

Travel is an investment, not an expense.

For this guy, it’s so refreshing to see the next gen coming up prioritizing experiences over stuff.  Life needs to be lived, not going through the daily motions.  You can see the Ben Franklin quote play out everyday: some people die at 25, but don’t get buried until their 75.  Don’t let that be you.

Beside spending time with loved ones, travel has also taught me some of the most important life lessons:

  • I can’t control anything; only my reaction to what life throws at me.
  • There’s more than one approach to get a similar outcome.
  • You can always earn more money, not time.
  • Be willing to try new things, you just might like it.
  • Try to speak someone else’s language; they’ll appreciate it even if you’re butchering it.
  • Don’t judge others' actions; maybe you just don’t know their customs. 
  • And most importantly, enjoy your down time and unplug.  Immerse yourself.  Anthony Bourdain said it best: 

"Eat at a local restaurant tonight. Get the cream sauce. Have a cold pint at 4 o’clock in a mostly empty bar. Go somewhere you’ve never been. Listen to someone you think may have nothing in common with you. Order the steak rare. Eat an oyster. Have a negroni. Have two. Be open to a world where you may not understand or agree with the person next to you, but have a drink with them anyways. Eat slowly. Tip your server. Check in on your friends. Check in on yourself. Enjoy the ride."


But how?

You can earn points from credit cards- that’s always helpful, but here’s my simple budget to follow.

First, save 20% of your pay into an emergency account (6 months of your expenses).  Save more to get there quicker.  You’re learning to be frugal and how to save so you can reward yourself. 

Second, once that’s funded, spend 10% of the 20% you got used to on travel now and remaining 10% saved into investments for later (ie. retirement). 

You’ll be happier.  

You’ll be more motivated.  

You’ll spend more time with the ones you love.  

You’ll gain a better purpose for your place in the world and appreciation for all of it out there.  You’ll be changed.  Just like it has for me.


Travel has been my best investment.