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How To Have A Holiday To Any Exotic Destination Even If You Can’t Afford It

How To Have A Holiday To Any Exotic Destination Even If You Can’t Afford It

The warm breeze awakes you. It tastes like salt. Ah, the beautiful smell of the ocean. You open your eyes as you yawn and stretch. It feels so good. The first thing you see is the mesmerizing turquoise waters all around your cozy bungalow. White drapes dance in the warm wind, huge pillows and comfy sofas surround you. There’s also your own private pool inside the bungalow and a net around it for you to sunbathe on.

holiday of your dreams

    Ah, the Maldives. You could live here forever.

    A nasty mosquito lands on your face and starts poking you. Darn, is it possible this little pest is here in this paradise just to harass you? You try to kill it, and accidentally slap yourself in the face.

    Bang!

    Suddenly, you’re at home, lying in your bed. There is no bungalow, no ocean, only your room. It was that dream again! It’s summer, and you’ll spend it like you always do – at home. You can’t afford some fancy holiday. Still, how awesome would it be if you could get yourself a plane ticket to Maldives, and book an amazing bungalow in the turquoise sea for 20 days? That would be the life of your dreams.

    Do you have these dreams when summer starts? Do you fantasize about some exotic destination, where you’ll have the best holiday of your life, but you return to reality with a slap to your face?

    Life doesn’t have to be that unfair.

    Here at LifeHack, we’re committed to making your life better, as well as making you a better person, helping you achieve your goals and live a happy, fulfilling life. Don’t you agree that you deserve to go to Maldives [or insert name of any other exotic location here] and enjoy it like you’ve never enjoyed anything before?

    Of course, you do.

    Here’s the thing: we all do. We all deserve to live the best possible lives we can, and nobody should stop us from getting what we want. Unfortunately, some of us are more lucky to be born wealthier than others. These people can enjoy life without making a significant effort, while others have to make it happen.

    That’s why we’re here today. I’m here to tell you it is possible.

    You only have to decide on a firm plan, and then stick to it. It doesn’t have to be complicated either. It could be a simple, three-step program that will make a dream of fantastic holiday anywhere in the world a reality. When you execute this plan to the point, everything is reachable.

    Bora Bora? New Zealand? Hawaii? Maldives? They’re all achievable.

    Here’s how to do it.

    Step 1: Make a Rock-Solid Decision

    holiday of your dreams - make a decision

      To reach something you dream about, you have to be honest and determined. You don’t have the budget for these destinations, but this doesn’t mean you can’t accumulate it. The important thing is to make a decision. This decision will be your guideline and your driving force in the months to come.

      Trust me, you’ll need it. This plan is simple, but on the other hand, it’s difficult. It will take time and effort. Depending on the location of your dreams and your situation, it might take you a whole year or more to reach it.

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      Sound daunting?

      Let me tell you a universal truth: nothing worth having in life isn’t won or reached without effort. That’s why people who are willing to invest time and effort succeed in life.

      Pick your destination, find some phenomenal image of it, print it out, and put it somewhere where you’ll see it every day. This reminder will help you stay on the right path.

      Step 2: Make a Plan

      Not having a plan is like planning to fail.

      When you’ve picked your destination, you have to invest time in planning out three different segments of your goal:

      1. How to get there as cheap as possible.
      2. Determine the budget.
      3. How to accumulate the budget.

      Getting there cheap

      For finding your perfect destination the best possible way, you need to lay some groundwork. There are a ton of resources online that can help you get information about your destination, and find the best possible deals for a holiday. Many sites provide services and info for booking vacation packages (air tickets, rooms, and renting a vehicle) that are pretty useful.

      Sites like Expedia, Travelocity, Cheap Tickets, and Last Minute Travel will provide you with thorough information and details about prices, packages, services, and even let you create your own customized package for the destination.

      Creating an account on those services is easy, but it takes time to analyze and evaluate offers from them. Still, it’s worth doing since you’ll have a set of options for your vacation and have an insight on the ground expenses of your dreamy vacation.

      Use Google Sheets to create a spreadsheet that will contain all the data you gather for your destination and possible deals that are available for your holiday. Here’s a small example, using the sites I’ve mentioned:

      Google Spreadsheet example

        You have to be persistent, and invest time to compare deals because many businesses have different contracts with property owners, and might offer different promotions or discounts. You have dozens of sites at your disposal, like AirbnbFlipKeyHomeAway, and similar where you can rent a whole home for yourself and create your own holiday the way you want it. Bonus: It will usually be cheaper than a hotel room.

        For example, renting a fabulous bungalow at Maldives for a week might cost you the same amount (or even more) for which you can have a whole home or apartment in the mainland for a month. You might be above the sea, but you can get different advantages, like staying twice as long for the price. It’s totally up to you.

        This process is even fun when you design your perfect holiday without having to worry if something is expensive or unavailable. This is the part when you concentrate on your needs and your needs only. One month in a house in Maldives or a private bungalow above the sea for 20 days? Your call.

        Determining the budget

        When you’ve decided where you’ll stay and for how long, and browsed through the various possibilities and deals, you have a starting point for determining the budget. Next, you have to examine the following details:

        • The costs
        • Your lifestyle
        • Leisure

        For example, a 20-day stay at Sunset Hill Studio at Bora Bora  (June 10-30, 2017) will cost you $2676.90 (service fees included). I’ve excluded the all-inclusive deals because they cost up to $80K for 20 days.

        Let’s say you’re traveling from New Your, looking for flights with Expedia. An average price for a return trip NYC – BB – NYC during this year is around $3127. Sites don’t allow booking a year in advance, so this is a rough estimate of how much it will cost you (multiple stops included – LAX, PPT).

        Assuming that the prices will grow by 30% (following the pricing trends for the last few years), you can expect 20% rise in the period up to your arrival, so it would be good to set $3000 – 3500 aside for the flight (two persons) and expenses.

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        holiday of your dreams - bora bora

          Your budget should include 3 – 4 meals a day, some beverages, and some budget for fun activities. Based on Business Insider’s research and graphic from 2015, the average cost of living in the US ranges from $2,117 – $3,632 per month. Depending on your location and lifestyle, let’s presume that an average cost of living for a whole month will be ~$2,874.5.

          Considering your holiday will last for 20 days, you can deduct one-third from the projected amount. Adding the average cost of living in French Polynesia to the calculation, you’ll get to the estimated expenses of $2400 for a comfortable holiday of 20 days in Bora Bora. Besides the basics, this amount will cover expenses exploring the location on excursions, as well as having a good time at bars, clubs, etc.

          Let’s sum up the projected expenses now:

          • Accommodation: ~$2640
          • Flight & Transportation: ~$3500
          • Lifestyle & Leisure: ~$2450
          • Sum: $8590

          This is the estimated price for the holiday of your dreams at Bora Bora. Looks intimidating, huh? Well, you can’t expect to have a holiday of your dreams without a high cost. Remember the old saying from the segment above? Nothing worth having can’t be obtained without effort, so that’s what we’re going to tackle next.

          Accumulating the budget

          For you to get the projected amount of money for the holiday of your dreams, you’ll need to create a serious saving plan. For our example, getting ~$8600 will take some serious effort if you end with $250-300 left from your salary (after costs of living, tax, bills, and everything).

          To be precise, with this amount of money left it will take you 34 months of saving to reach your goal.

          That’s right! It will take nearly three years, if you save $250 every month. It will be even worse if you end with less every month. Credit cards, loans, bills, and fees all add up to make you miserable and unwilling to even think about the holiday in an exotic location, not to mention saving for it. How do you deal with this?

          holiday of your dreams - bora bora bungalows

            There are two ways of accumulating money for the holiday: saving money or earning more. Depending on your situation (your occupation, energy,and money involved) you should develop a plan that utilizes both saving and making more money if possible.

            Heads up: Some might suggest getting a bank loan and paying it off in time so you can enjoy first and pay later. I’m against this approach, simply because there is no good loan. Banks won’t give us loans if there isn’t something in it for them. No matter how low the rates are, in the end, you’re still paying much more to get the desired sum from the bank. Please stay away from credits and loans.

            Saving money

            First and foremost, you need to analyze your current budget, cut on expenses, and get analytical. First, you need to review your earnings and your expenses. Start to examine your life for one month, just by noting how much you’re spending every day. There are smartphone apps that will help here. Monefy is one of the best (get it on iOS here and Android here).

            monefy
              via monefy.me

              This habit alone will drastically change your life. When you complete the whole month of noting your expenses, you’ll have the analytical data that will display your way of spending money. Then, it’s time to start adjusting your habits and amounts you spend for the higher purpose.

              Cutting expenses

              When you start changing and thinking about how to cut your costs, you’ll be amazed how much you can actually save when you pay attention and have an economical way of thinking. For example, when you put some effort and research into it, you can even cut your spending by $400 a month. Imagine adding that to the sum of $250 I mentioned before. Your dream holiday seems much closer now, don’t they?

              holiday of your dreams - cut the expenses

                There are so many surprising ways to cut your spending. You’d be surprised how easy you can grow your holiday resources. Besides the 98 ways from the previous link, here are a bonus 30 ways to cut your expenses. Following all of these tips, you can most certainly master the way you spend money on everyday life.

                Besides the various expense-cutting methods, there are even more ways to save money. You can simply set some money aside as soon as your salary arrives, and stash it into your holiday savings account. Something like 1-2% won’t be a big hit, but it will add up eventually. You can save in hundreds of ways, all it takes is some thinking outside the box.

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                Earn money on the side

                To attain the money you need for your special holiday, you can get savvy and cash in on numerous ways. First and foremost, consider an extra job in your spare time. Try to find a gig that will add to the budget, but won’t wear you down.

                There are a ton of ideas on how to make money on the side with some easy gigs, that won’t take too much of your time, but will add to the holiday budget. Both online and offline opportunities are everywhere; you just need to look for them.

                It’s all up to you to have it in a way that it won’t drastically affect your lifestyle, yet still contribute to your holiday significantly. For example, someone will walk dogs from the neighborhood, while someone else will watch ads or fill surveys online to get additional money in their pare time.

                Selling unnecessary items from the garage or even your closet can also boost the budget significantly. The same goes for using your skills, both online and offline. You can teach something you’re good at or be a hired professional – freelancer style. Online ways of making money could be really meaningful on your path of preparing.

                Get coupon-crazy

                You might not know it by now, but here it is: coupons make life easy, getting you closer to your goal much faster. They both save and earn you money, thus making the best possible contribution to your holiday budget.

                holiday of your dreams - get coupon crazy

                  Couponing can get boring, but it’s definitely worthwhile. It’s important to have timing and research in mind. Be patient and you can save hundreds of dollars. It’s important to stack on resources. Sites like ChameleonJohnCoupons.com, Groupon, and RetailMeNot are your best friends when you’re getting into the coupon world. Some amazing results can be achieved if you time your actions and effort.

                  Use credit cards to gain benefits

                  Start paying for everything with a credit card that gives you points for gas, air miles, discount points, or returns the money. Adding those resources into the budget for your vacation can add up significantly, especially with credit cards that offer big benefits programs for the loyal customers.

                  wallet-908569_1920

                    Create a savings account

                    When you’re gathering resources for the holiday of your dreams, you can be extra-savvy and put all that money into one high-yield online savings account. Your money will make money, and it will add up. A bonus feature of this method is that you won’t be able to spend your savings until the compounding period is over.

                    You might be wondering: Why is this a bonus feature?

                    With time passing, many people can get weak especially when the account for the holiday has grown significantly (reaching around 70-80% of the targeted sum). In our case, that would be around $6900, which can make you want to splurge on the latest deal for a new car or a huge 3D TV.

                    When you know the funds are “locked” in the savings account, you won’t fall for all the temptations we get bombarded with every day on TV and billboards. This tip is both money-saving, and budget-growing.

                    Be creative

                    Creativity is your great ally. For example, you can babysit while you’re stacking and printing coupons. You could translate some foreign languages in your spare time while you’re on your side-job. Combining the gigs and doing side-jobs will get you closer to your goal faster.

                    Many people earn on the side from multiple gigs doing them either simultaneously, or with the help on the side. When you have a goal in mind, and you’re focused, you can achieve something that you never thought was possible.

                    Step 3: Getting it done

                    Now it’s time to start saving and working to reach your goal. The road won’t be easy or short, but your end-goal should be your focus and your reason. Some go through this process easier – some don’t.

                    The thing is, if you are doing this for the first time, it will be really tough. However, it will be slightly easier each following time.

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                    Remember to be analytical

                    During your process of accumulating the budget for the perfect holiday, keep everything on paper, and start slowly. If you’re a beginner in being frugal and saving, you’ll have to adjust your life bit by bit to enter the “Ultra Money-Saving Mode.”

                    Try to get a small gig aside from your main job, and use one of the expense-cutting techniques. When you get comfortable doing that, go one step forward and improve your frugality. Analyze your time and the effort you’re making with what results you get. Don’t be afraid to stop with one thing and switch to another if you get a better option.

                    euro-870757_1920

                      Maybe a big garage sale will boost your budget significantly, or maybe you’ll find yourself very comfortable and fulfilled working online. It all depends on your lifestyle and affinities. It’s important to try this tactic for at least a week and see what results it actually brings.

                      The Monefy app I mentioned above will be your great friend, as well as Google Sheets. You can track everything you’ve done and how much you’ve earned/saved by that activity. The analytical approach is the approach of the successful.

                      Be strong

                      This process is a radical lifestyle change, which will reward you with the thing you’ve dreamed of having. As I’ve stated before, dreams are achievable if you work hard and smart for them. It takes time and effort, though. We all get fragile and lose willpower or determination sometimes. You know the moments – like when you get yourself a big bucket of KFC while you’re on a diet.

                      You have to understand that we’re all humans, and we all have moments of weakness. Don’t blame yourself if you spent big money on something you didn’t need. Occasionally, you have to reward yourself and have some fun from time to time. Your goal is waiting, but you don’t need to live like a monk.

                      Every time you feel bad or drained of energy while tackling this saving and preparing, remind yourself of your goal, and the purpose. These moments of weakness are there to swerve you off the right path. The regret of not reaching the goal of your dreams will haunt you forever.

                      holiday of tour dreams - waves
                        You don’t want to miss this

                        You have to believe in yourself, and follow the advice I’ve shared today. Be creative and invent your own ways of being frugal and smart. I am telling you that it is possible! While I’m writing this, I’m living in Zante, Greece, the place I dreamed about for a long time until I made a decision, a plan, and reached it.

                        Can you feel the breeze?

                        The smell of the ocean is really amazing. Your bungalow on the turquoise sea is perfect. It’s optimized for reaching maximum levels of enjoyment.

                        Your own a piece of paradise.

                        This time, you check for that pesky mosquito, but he’s nowhere to be found. You pinch yourself, just to be sure you’re not dreaming again. You’ve managed to make your dreams come true. The smell of success is incredible. You’re slowly realizing you’re getting hooked on this incredible feeling of achievement.

                        When you think about it, why wouldn’t you use this technique to accomplish all of your dreams? Why wouldn’t you help your friends achieve something they’ve desired for the last decade?

                        You definitely can!

                        Take a selfie on Bora Bora (or wherever you’ve picked your holiday to be), tag me and your friends on social media, then mention this post when they ask you: “How in the world you managed to afford that?” Let them read this, and achieve their dreams just like you did.

                        Now, it’s piña colada time!

                        More by this author

                        Dejan Kvrgic

                        Blogger, Writer

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                        Last Updated on January 15, 2019

                        8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                        8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                        In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                        Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                        Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                        Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                        Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                        The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                        There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                        How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                        According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                        Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                        Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                        The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                        Listen carefully:

                        We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                        The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                        Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                        8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                        There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                        Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                        1. Pray Daily

                        You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                        When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                        Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                        Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                        2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                        A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                        By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                        Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                        If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                        This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                        How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                        3. Smile Often

                        Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                        Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                        Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                        The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                        4. Organize Your Working Desk

                        A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                        When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                        Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                        Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                        5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                        I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                        Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                        What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                        6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                        God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                        I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                        I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                        7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                        You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                        How do you do that? This is my formula:

                        First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                        If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                        If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                        If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                        Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                        8. Go Exercise

                        Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                        The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                        You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                        12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                        The Bottom Line

                        It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                        It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                        Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                        More Resources About Mindfulness

                        Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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