Big Money

“If you don’t have a ticket you don’t have a chance,” was the introductory chant I heard as a kid, from a TV personality whenever he announced the winning lottery numbers.  This was the benign encouragement fortune seekers needed to go and purchase tickets for their big break in life.  Should they win big money, the financial windfall would change their lives completely.  This week, someone from South Carolina won the mega millions and now has $1.6B reasons to smile all the way to the bank.  The fortunate winner is sitting pretty on more money than they can possibly spend in their life time.  Or can they?

I am 99.9 percent sure one of the things the new billionaire will do is take a vacation.  Who wouldn’t?  Their reasons to travel now would be to get away for a much needed rest, to quietly plan how to manage the money, and to hide from the sudden, overwhelming, outpouring of unwanted attention.  In any event, it is safe to say travel will be a part of their plans, if not immediately, then soon.  Therefore, as an itinerant itinerary planner, I am here to give some wanderlust tips to the mystery winner of things they can purchase for their holiday and still not go broke.  (Wouldn’t it be humorous if the winner was one of my ardent blog followers who reads this post? hmmmm).

Let’s see if these travel recommendations are worthy if money is not an object.   Here are the 10 suggestions:

  1. Fly in your private jet to an exotic destination anywhere in the world
  2. Rent for a week a hide-away from prying eyes, a private island in the South Pacific would be the perfect retreat
  3. Step out in style – a couture wardrobe for the season from a designer house of your choice, should also include designer luggage
  4. Sail a private yacht around the island with executive chefs on-board
  5. Secure private box or front-row seating for entertainment events
  6. Organic meals and exquisite dining are prepared by Michelin-star chefs
  7. Rejuvenate under the skillful hands of a luxury spa and aromatherapy therapists
  8. Private chauffeur
  9. Security detail should include a driver, bodyguard and personal assistant
  10. Give $100 to every beggar you meet

Community Peeps, this post is just a light-hearted piece to let your mind wander on how well you could travel if you had money like that.  This is what I want you to do for me.  Name a price for the entire trip, just like you would on the game show “The Price is Right”.  Remember our unknown winner is taking a week-long vacation.  It will be interesting to find out what the price tag is on the 10 items above.  The first 10 numbers collected will tell me what the total cost of the vacation will be and I write a subsequent post of the possible cost of each item.

Now don’t get cute and tell me you cannot give a dollar amount for tip #10 because they are on a private island and unlikely to meet anyone.  Estimate.  Surely, my soon-to-be client 😀 who is rolling-in dough will meet people along the way that could use a little help.  So, send in your best guess dollar amount for the package and let’s see if we come close to even putting a dent into the billion.  Also, you may include other choices to their holiday that you did not see on the list?  It would be interesting to read, so please share.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comments in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are appreciated.  Thanks for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner


Vacation Philanthropy

It is always a heart-rending sight when you see a mother with young children begging on the streets, or a father with a sign pleading for help while his family sits not too far away anxiously looking on.  It must not be easy for either one of them to endure the harsh looks of ridicule or pity from passersby.  Given the circumstances, my guess would be, they would much prefer a different option to their current destitution.

When Jesus walked this earth, He said to His disciples, “The poor will always be with us.”  It was a clear indicator that poverty will never be eradicated.  However, the expectation to alleviate the suffering of our neighbor is necessary.  After all, we are our brother’s keeper and should show care and concern for their plight.  Today I want you to think of ways to help the less fortunate even while on vacation.  A customized itinerary can include a planned, purposeful giving, and random acts of kindness to the needy you may meet.

Philanthropy is not just for the rich and famous who may have the means to give.  Generous giving by the wealthy is the expected norm, but little acts of kindness that goes unnoticed by others does the same work to ease another’s pain and suffering.  Every vacationer who travels, be it to distant lands or locally, may encounter at some point on their journey a homeless person, a vagrant, a person who may be on the receiving end of a streak of misfortune.  No matter the circumstances, the holiday-maker can proactively plan to help the stranger they meet.  A kind gesture will mean the world of difference not only to the receiver but to the giver also.

Giving is a blessing and is therapeutic.  It helps the intended recipient, but it also helps the donor’s emotional well-being.  It is a win-win activity.  Both parties receive a blessing that words cannot describe, and money cannot buy.  Planned assistance should not be limited to a monetary donation, which is often the easiest solution in answer to a person’s request, but help could come in other forms like meals, clothing, and other intangibles like educational services and seminars

So, how could you go about intentionally giving to the less fortunate while on a trip?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Include in your budget an exact amount to give to panhandlers
  • Buy a meal and deliver it to the homeless street person
  • Donate your lightly-used clothing that you laundered
  • Lighten your bags by giving up your water bottle, portable hammock, tent and cooking utensil with a person on skid-row
  • Leave your extra sneakers and coat with the vagrant in the cold
  • Invite a homeless person to a restaurant for a meal
  • Volunteer an hour or more of your time at a homeless shelter, food pantry, or soup kitchen
  • Carry or purchase a small toy for a child
  • Give a young mother a carton of milk or bag of diapers for her baby
  • Take the time to chat and find out who they are.  That’s worth more than gold in most cases.

It is often heartbreaking when we witness situations where we feel helpless to alleviate the pain and suffering of others.  However, do not let the situation overwhelm you, or cause you to say there is nothing I can do.  Every little bit helps just like in the story of the boy and the starfish on the beach, who tried to throw back in all the washed-up starfish.  When told it was an impossible task to save all of them, he responded at least he saved the one he was throwing back in.  Like that lad you can help that one you are intentionally assisting at that moment.

Community Peeps, vacation philanthropy should be a planned part of your bespoke itinerary.  Help to change the life of the needy in some small way.  Have you ever done this before?  If you have, tell me what you did.  I would like to add to the list above.

As usual, I encourage all my readers to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support, and invite you to share on your social media sites.  Your comments are always welcomed too.  Write them in the box below.

“You can’t beat God’s giving, no matter how you try.” – Song written by Doris Akers

More times,

Itinerary Planner