It's Your Money  

Vacations good for health

With the world opening back up, travel seems to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds these days.

Pent up demand, vacation days and, I hope some extra money saved during lock downs are causing many Canadians to start dreaming of where they will go first.

For most people, booking a vacation is a great idea. A recent American Medical Association study found that men who take frequent annual vacations were 32% less likely to die from heart disease compared to those who didn’t take any vacations.

In a separate study, it was discovered that women who took vacations once every six years or less were about eight times more likely to get coronary heart disease or have a heart attack than women who took at least two vacations a year.

A lack of vacations can also increase stress, depression and anxiety too. But at the same time, spending more than you can afford on a vacation can equally lead to very similar stress, depression and anxiety.

So while the time to start planning for a winter vacation is upon us, make sure you approach this planning the right way. What can you do to ensure you get away and do it right?

Plan early

Schedule your holidays for the coming six to 12 months and immediately block those days in your calendar. And then stick to it. Don’t expect to ever find the perfect time to get away, just plan your days well in advance so that you have enough time to prepare for your time out of office.

Pay yourself first

If you are self-employed or receive holiday pay on every cheque instead of paid days off, it can be difficult to put that money aside to fund your time off.

Consider setting up an automatic transfer from your cheque-ing to your savings account so that when holiday time comes, you don’t take a financial hit.

The perfect holiday can be ruined by coming home to the cost of the trip looming on your credit card that you can’t pay off.

Don’t spend more than you can afford

Instead of planning where you want to go and what you want to do first and then seeing what the trip costs afterwards, start the process by determining what budget makes sense for your trip and plan from there.

Watch out for FOMO

The Fear of Missing Out can cause many people to spend far more than they can afford.

Just because your neighbour is planning to spend two full weeks in Maui doesn’t mean you have to as well. A week in Mexico can cost a lot less and still leave you feeling refreshed and recharged.

Regardless of where you decide to go or even if you prefer to do a staycation at home, make your vacation time a priority and plan ahead to do things right.


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More It's Your Money articles

About the Author

Brett, designated as a chartered investment manager and certified financial planner, is the regional director (Okanagan) for IG Wealth Management.

In addition to his “day job," Brett was appointed to the board of directors of FP Canada (formerly FPSC) in 2014, named as the board’s vice-chair in 2017 and took over as board chairman in 2019. 

Brett has been writing a weekly financial planning column since 2012 and provides his readers with easy to understand explanations of the complex financial challenges that they face in every stage of life.

Enhancing the financial literacy of Canadian consumers is a top priority of Brett’s and his ongoing efforts as a finance writer and on the regulatory side through the FP Canada board focus on this initiative.   

Please let Brett know if you have any topics that you’d like him to cover in future columns by emailing him at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories