From the Sharpie of Carl Richards: Happiness While on Vacation


When it comes to vacation planning, many vacationers tend to forget the planning part.

Carl Richards, director of investor education for the BAM ALLIANCE, writes the “Sketch Guy” column for The New York Times. He offers a two-step process for planning for not only your vacation but for your happier vacation: “First, pick your trip, then sit down and figure out how much things will cost. … Second, count on a vacation surprise factor.”

Carl also says a little planning can go a long way when it comes to avoiding a psychological crash once the vacation is over.

“I’ve been in that spot before where we’ve had a great time on the trip only to come home afterwards to a credit card bill. Not only did I have to deal with the letdown that can follow a vacation, I now also had the headache of paying the bills on something that had already happened in the past. It’s a bad combination, and one I’ve tried to avoid whenever possible.

“By taking a proactive approach—paying now for a vacation that comes later—we can reduce the wild swings of emotion. And by lessening the power of emotion, we’re that much better.”