Millennials: Will Work for Travel

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It’s better to work to live, rather than live to work. Millennials are taking that sage advice one step farther, according to a new poll: They work to travel.

The ability to travel is nearly as essential a work motivator as food and shelter, millennials told surveyors recently. It’s a result that employers should consider carefully.

In the same online poll, conducted by job search site FlexJobs.com, young workers said they would take steep pay cuts — as high as 20% — in exchange for more flexibility at work. And nearly two-thirds said they’d be more productive working at home than at the office.

Meanwhile, 34% said they’d left a job because it didn’t provide enough flexibility. And another 24% said they are currently looking for a new job with more flexibility.

“Since millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor workforce, it’s critical that companies pay attention to how, where and when they work best,” said Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs.

Fully 70% of millennials identified the desire to travel as a primary reason to work, second only to paying for basic necessities (88%), FlexJobs said.

Only 47% of Baby Boomers said travel was a primary reason for work.

Other less-cited reasons that millennials work:

  • Passionate about success in my field (60%);
  • To have a professional impact on the world (49%);
  • To pay for continuing education (36%);
  • To pay for child-related costs (29%) or support their parents (21%).

The FlexJobs online poll was self-selected, and included about 3,000 responses: Millennials (678 respondents), Gen Xers (1,358 respondents), and Boomers (845 respondents).

The Boston Consulting Group says that millennials have particular travel habits, too. They want to see the world, clearly. In a survey, far more millennials than non-millennials told BCG they want to visit every continent (70% versus 48%) and to travel abroad as much as possible (75% vs. 52%).

Traveling More, Longer & Smarter

Because millennials are marrying older, they tend to take trips in groups with friends. They also book further in advance, book fewer (but longer) trips, and work hard to find good deals, BCG said.

“(They) tend to see booking as more of a game and respond opportunistically to low prices and interesting packages,” BCG wrote in a recent report.

It makes sense that younger workers with less income would be more deal sensitive … and more inclined to hop on a deeply-discounted, last-minute, four-day Europe trip. It then follows that young workers want the ability to make sudden requests for four-day weekends.

That’s partly why, in the FlexJobs survey, work flexibility was cited by 82% of millennials as important when evaluating a job prospect, well above factors like as health insurance (48%), company reputation (45%), and retirement benefits (36%).

It should also be no surprise that millennials are twice as likely as boomers (11% to 6%) to show strong preference for working at a coffee shop or other place outside the office.

Flexibility = Loyalty

“Millennials said they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options and nearly a quarter would be willing to work more hours,” Sutton Fell said. “So offering millennials work flexibility isn’t just a strategy to avoid negative consequences like losing talent — employers have a lot to gain by modifying their strict, traditional, office-based model of working.”

Remember, if you love to travel, the right credit card can make all the difference. If you’re shopping for a new airline credit card or travel rewards card, it’s a good idea to consider how often you travel and whether you tend to patronize a particular carrier. If you do fly a single carrier, or its partners, that company’s mileage card can be the right choice for you. But if you don’t have a hub in your area or your flights are varied, you might to look into general travel rewards credit cards.

You can also consider maximizing rewards by accumulating airline miles via loyalty programs, and complementing that balance by earning credit card rewards that can be transferred to those airlines.

If you’re in the market for a new credit card, it’s a good idea to check your credit before you apply, as a good credit score can help you qualify for better terms and rates. You can see where you currently stand by viewing two free credit scores, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.

Image: Jacob Ammentorp Lund

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7 Ways We Spend Less on Vacation

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Our family loves to visit new places. We get asked all the time how we can afford to take our family of nine on a vacation every year. I must admit, it hasn’t been easy, but we have learned a few tips and tricks throughout our 20-year marriage.

Here are seven ways we’ve learned to save.

1. Go Camping

Staying in a campground can save you $100 or more per night off of local hotel prices. When we go camping, a typical night with water and electricity costs between $20-$25 per night at a state or federal campground. While private campgrounds can be a bit more expensive, they often offer more amenities that will keep you busy.

2. Use Hotel Deal Sites

If you must stay in a hotel, consider booking on some of the online discount hotel sites. Keep in mind, though, that you will not always be able to request two beds, so if that is a requirement, you may not be able to book on certain sites.

3. Pack Your Food

Packing your own food helps you to save money and time, especially while you’re traveling. A typical meal that we pack will include a sandwich, chips and a piece of fruit. This is so much cheaper than having everyone go into a popular fast food restaurant and order a large combo. When I was a child, for dinners in hotel rooms, my mom would bring her crockpot and cook up a tasty feast.

4. Find Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free

Since we always travel with children, we often search for the restaurants that advertise that kids eat free. Typically, before we leave on the trip, I will do a search online for the town we will be in that day, followed by the words, “kids eat free.” There are websites that regularly update which restaurants do this. On one of our past vacations, we were able to eat out on a daily basis, due to all of the free food my kids were getting.

5. Subscribe to Restaurant Newsletters for Money-Saving Coupons

About five to seven days before you leave for vacation, visit several of your favorite restaurants’ websites and subscribe to their newsletters. Typically, they will email you a coupon for something free from their restaurant. Sometimes it’s just a dessert, but other times, it’s a full meal. Be sure to do it well before you leave on your trip, because sometimes, you won’t receive your coupon for a few days. Keep in mind that the coupon will often expire within 14 days of the date that they send it to you, so you don’t want to sign up too early.

6. Find Things You Can Do for Free

With a family of nine, we typically cannot afford to spend money on all of the attractions that you see others spending money on. Instead, we usually pick out one major activity that we want to do, and the rest are activities found by searching the web for free or cheap things to do in that area. We have had many adventures relying on these free (or cheap) activities, including at our regular vacation stop, Branson, Missouri.

7. Drive, Instead of Fly

Most of the time, if you are traveling with a family, it will be much less expensive to drive, instead of fly. We like to research where the cheapest gas prices will be and fill up in those locations. We have also researched how to save money on gasoline and have implemented many of these tactics while traveling.

Hopefully, these ideas can also help you to stretch your vacation dollars while still enjoying fun activities.

[Editor’s note: You can monitor your financial goals, like building a good credit score, each month on Credit.com.]

Image: kate_sept2004

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3 Ways to Keep Vacation Pet Care From Costing a Fortune

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Deciding how to care for the family pet while you’re away can be one of the hardest parts of planning a vacation. Not only does it add to the stress of preparation, but proper pet care is a difficult expense for many people to afford. Thankfully, there are some simple steps you can take to lessen the strain that pet care can put on your wallet. Here are some budget-friendly tips on how you can care for your pet while away on vacation.

1. Know What Kind of Care Your Pet Will Need

It’s important to take into consideration how much time a caretaker will need to invest in watching your little friend while you’re away. Some pets are going to require a greater degree of attention than others, and the cost of care will fluctuate accordingly. For example, while most fish are relatively low maintenance and can probably get by with a few visits from a neighbor, an energetic puppy will probably need more frequent interaction. Once you’ve decided on the best style of care, you can start to gather estimates and set a plan in motion to save money.

2. Plan Ahead of Time

While you might have already considered the cost of airfare, lodging, and day-to-day expenses for your vacation, you’re going to want to take the cost of pet care into account as well. Adding the cost of a kennel, pet sitter, and pet supplies into your vacation savings plan will make it easier on your wallet when the time comes to leave. (It can also make it easier on your credit since high credit card balances can affect your credit score. You can see where yours currently stands by viewing your free credit report summary, updated each month, on Credit.com.) Plus, the earlier you start planning, the more time you’ll have to save. That way you’ll be able to make sure your furry friend is comfortable while your budget remains intact!

3. Consider All the Options

While it might be tempting to just throw money at the first pet-sitting service you see, taking the time to hunt down the most affordable option will pay off in the long run. While kennels might be the simplest option, you can probably save a pretty penny by reaching out to a nearby friend or family member. Alternatively, you can check pet boarding sites like Rover to see if there are any professional pet sitters in your area. Regardless of which option you choose, make sure you’ve done a good deal of research before opening your checkbook.

Providing you take the proper amount of time and plan accordingly, you should be able to make sure your pet is well cared for without spending too much money. However, if you still find it difficult to find proper pet care while you’re away, it might be best to look into different trip options. There are tons of great vacations you can take that won’t require you to leave your pet at home, saving you money and giving you more quality time with your little buddy!

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