Imagine verdant jungles, sunshine, beautiful beaches, luxurious hotels, and the beautiful blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. Sounds like a place designed for beautiful vacations, doesn’t it?
Hawaii has been a vacationer’s dream destination for decades now. It’s one of those places that makes for memorable experiences that we treasure for years. So why not plan a vacation to this destination and add to your life’s beautiful experiences?
But the cost....
For most of us, vacations are about finding the time, and more importantly, finding the money. Any vacation outside India quickly becomes a question of cost and to a lesser extent getting the required Visa.
Outside South-East Asia or the Middle East, most vacations to either Europe or the U.S can easily cost multiple lakhs. This has kept most of these vacation destinations out of reach for many.A vacation in Hawaii will definitely cost you a few lakhs. Reaching this goal though is far from impossible and is not just for the rich. Let’s look at the elements that will make up the total cost of such a vacation.
- Visa - The Visa application fee for a tourist Visa to the US is $160. That’s about Rs. 12,000* at current dollar-rupee exchange rates(this will likely vary each day and we thus recommend you check the exchange rates before taking a call).
- Flight Tickets - This cost varies to a great extent depending on the airlines and when you book. It can range from Rs. 90,000 to Rs. 1.5 Lakhs for the economy. For the purposes of our calculation let’s err on the higher side.
- Hotel Stay - This cost can vary greatly depending on what kind of hotel you want to stay in and if you are visiting during peak season. Many people, these days, opt for homestays, and other similar accommodations. The cost per day for a hotel is generally around the Rs. 25,000 per night mark. It’s a good average to assume as if you plan ahead you can usually get rooms at a far cheaper rate. With our assumption of Rs. 25,000 per night, the cost for 7 days will be roughly Rs. 1.75 Lakhs.
- Dining - If you want to have a good dining experience then you should assume at least $100 per day for eating out. In rupees terms this is about Rs. 50,000 for seven days.
- Sightseeing - Hawaii, being a group of islands, has tons of places to see. The range of activities, with Scuba diving being a huge attraction, is quite big as well. You should earmark $1000 or about Rs. 70,000 for such activities.
- Transport - Travelling to the various islands and locations will cost you extra. Car rentals are one of the most popular options here. Set aside $50 per day for transportation. This is about Rs. 25,000.
Total cost = Rs. 5.12* Lakhs
How do you save so much?
Rs. 5 lakhs per annum is often an annual salary for a lot of young people. The sum may sound huge, but this is what you should set aside for an unforgettable experience. Getting to this figure is not too difficult though. All you need is the ability to save regularly and the right kind of mutual funds.
Here’s a simple saving and investing plan you can use to get started.
How much will you need to save each month?
Where can you invest these savings?
A smart approach would be to simply start an SIP in a good debt fund. The expected rate of return on such types of mutual funds is 7% - 8%. Since this is a goal you want to achieve in less than 5 years, a debt fund makes most sense as any market fluctuations won’t affect your plans.
You would be investing about Rs. 2.4 Lakhs per year. Here’s how your money will grow:
|Amount invested per year
|Total amount which generates a return (A)
|Rate of return on the total investment**
|Gains on A (B)
|Final Corpus at year end (A+B)
As shown above, you should be able to reach the required sum in 2 years.
It is always smart to save more than you actually need because flight ticket costs and hotel rates can go up while you save, thanks to inflation. All that separates you from the vacation of your dreams is saving and investing regularly in the right kind of Mutual Funds. Isn’t this the best of reasons to start a great habit? So, what are you waiting for? Hawaii’s calling.
*The figures mentioned above are for illustrative purposes only.
**The returns mentioned above are for illustrative purposes only. The actual returns will depend on the market performance of the invested funds during the investment period.
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