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Erik the Travel Guy: Hello from 31,000 Ft!

Hello from 31,000 feet! Today I am on my way to a five-day trip that will take me to Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Chicago. As I look out my American Airlines window, I’m still moved by moving 450 miles an hour above the clouds. It gives me time to reflect… and share my thoughts with you.

2018 is underway and I am so excited to have gotten back on the road for another year of exploring this big world we live in. 2017 was an excellent year for me personally and professionally and 2018 is going to be even better. In the now-famous words of Joey Tribiani from “Friends”, I ask, “How YOU doin’?” I’m curious because if travel is NOT part of your plans this year, then I am kindly suggesting you get it on your radar. I’ve built an entire platform dedicated to touting the benefits of travel. But I, perhaps like you, am also a responsible father, brother, son, friend and CEO of my company. This means I owe it to a lot of people (including myself) to make fiscally responsible decisions. What I am saying is that while I strongly believe in the positive power of travel, I also believe you should be able to afford to travel. Please do not spend money you don’t have to take a vacation in the hopes it will cure some or all that ails you… it won’t. Instead, take a vacation for which you can afford to pay cash. I assure you, the entire experience will be so much more pleasant. In this new year, start with a blank piece of paper and decide where you’d like to go, then marry that with your schedule and financial resources. If that means you have to push off the trip for another year, great! But now you can make a travel savings plan and set a course to stick to. Perhaps you could use a portion of your tax refund to put toward that travel savings plan. Or, scale back in other luxuries in order to take a vacation of a lifetime. Personally, I do the very same thing. As of the publish date of this column, I know where, when and how much my personal vacations are going to be/cost for 2018. It gives me financial goals to attain, piece of mind and a roadmap to follow. The added benefit is, by having this plan in place, I can focus even more on my work, which, as may have guessed, I love.

On a side note, support your local PBS station and give them a couple of bucks. You’ll then become a member of PBS which gives you member-level access to PBS Passport. I mention this because my new TV series “Beyond Your Backyard” debuts this Spring and I don’t want you to miss it. We’ve been shooting episodes since last fall and I am so excited to show you the fruits of our passionate labor. Shameless promotion! | Until we talk again, Erik. | Follow Erik @ ErikTheTravelGuy.com.

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