SDT Travel Destinations & Money Saving Tips

The financial planners of Spaugh Dameron Tenny are passionate about helping our clients stay on track to reach their financial goals. Our clients work long hours to care for their patients and often aim to travel, as a chance to reset, recharge, and return home ready to give their patients their best.

The SDT advisors also enjoy exploring exciting destinations with their friends and family when they are not working on financial plans with clients. We all know traveling can be expensive if you don’t have friends or family to stay with for free. Once you add up the cost of flights, lodging, food, drinks, activities, and souvenirs, your desired travel destination can quickly exceed your budget.

When planning a getaway for just you and your spouse, paying for childcare or doggy care will add to that travel budget. Summer camp is great for children to socialize and create lasting memories (my sister and I still enjoy singing camp songs to annoy people around us), but it can also cost a thousand plus dollars per child, per week. Sadly, these additional costs are not included in those “18 Best Budget Travel Destinations” articles.

As financial planners, we are obviously conscious of planning a financially realistic vacation, so I sat down with our SDT advisors to find out their favorite travel destinations and how travel fits into the 6 money decisions. Read further to see what John, Will, and David had to say about why they chose the location and money saving travel tips they found.

John Dameron, Partner of Spaugh Dameron Tenny

John Dameron has given lectures to residency and fellowship programs for over 16 years and has worked with hundreds of physicians for more then two decades. He is also the author of the Residents and Fellows Financial Survival Guide. When he is not thinking about physicians’ finances, John enjoys grilling, boating, and hunting.

Money Saving Travel Tips

Favorite travel destination this year :

Bermuda – beautiful beaches, great place to relax and unwind.

Why Bermuda?

My wife and I had never been to Burmuda, so this gave us an opportunity to to explore someplace new.

Favorite activity:

We enjoyed relaxing on the beach, exploring Bermuda on foot and swimming with dolphins (didn’t have just one)

Travel Financial Tip

Be prepared—most things in Bermuda are more expensive than what you would pay at most other vacation spots. For example, we paid $10 for a beer (Michelob Ultra), which is at least double the usual price in the US.

Will Koster, Financial Planner

Born and raised in Charlotte, NC, Will feels a great amount of responsibility to serve the community where he grew up.  An Associate Financial Planner and the newest member of Spaugh Dameron Tenny, Will enjoys listening to podcasts and is working towards being the second person in North Carolina with the Certified Student Loan Planner designation.

Money Saving Travel Tips

Favorite travel destination this year :

My favorite travel destination this past year was Thailand. I have never been outside North America, so I was excited to travel to Southeast Asia. I enjoyed being able to travel to multiple cities that were all unique during my two weeks in Thailand.

Why Thailand?

We chose this location because it was recommended by many different groups who had been and it is known to be a very affordable destination. I was excited to travel somewhere totally foreign in all aspects. I also wanted a famous Thai massage and to enjoy authentic Thai food.

Favorite activity:

My favorite activity was taking a motorbike from the city of Chiang Mai to Pai. The route is famous for its 762 turns through the mountains. The views were scenic and my first experience riding a motorbike was unforgettable.

Money Saving Travel Tip

A secondary reason we chose Thailand was that it was affordable. We knew the flight would be the largest single expense on our 2 week trip. Once we arrived in Thailand, everything was extremely affordable for United States’ standards. One tip for finding the best deal on airfare is using a monitoring service such as Hopper. I also learned more about my values as an individual, that I would like to value travel and experience higher when it comes to my budget. 

David Belinkie, CFP®

David Belinkie appreciates combining his interest in money and helping people through his profession. He’s a football and chocolate fanatic, with a love for his Alma mater, the South Carolina Gamecocks.

David Belinkie, CFP®

Favorite travel destination this year :

Montego Bay, Jamaica. Even though I don’t have any pictures to show you, I promise the trip happened.

Why Jamaica?

We wanted to try out an all inclusive resort on the beach, and were specifically looking for a destination that offered direct flights out of Charlotte.

Favorite activity:

Relaxing on the beach.

Money Saving Travel Tip

There are definitely some financial positives/negatives of choosing between vacationing on cruises, all-inclusive resorts, and regular resorts, along with different levels of quality of what you receive.  It is important to think through your goals of what you are looking for in a vacation to determine what would be the best fit, and then you can begin to look for the better financial deals.

6 Money Decisions

Now that you have heard from the SDT advisors about their favorite trip, you can use our money saving travel tips to begin planning your next getaway. Remember that travel costs can break your bank if you don’t plan ahead carefully. Financial planning is comprised of 6 money decisions and travel factors into at least half of those decisions–saving, spending, and giving (involuntarily through taxes). Protecting your money can also play into travel if you choose to purchase travel insurance, as well as, borrowing if you use a credit card and don’t pay off those travel expenses in time.

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Molly Holbert

Molly Holbert | Spaugh Dameron Tenny