Is Traveling an Investment?

Have you ever considered traveling as a form of investment in yourself?

Some people do, but I’ve always been a bit skeptical about it.

Here’s why: let’s say you invest $5,000 in a reliable dividend stock that yields a 5% dividend.

Each year, this stock will net you about $250.

On the other hand, if you use that same $5,000 to travel the world, you might not see any financial return.

Why does this happen, you might wonder?

It’s simple.

You may not have nurtured a growth mindset or trained yourself to see travel as an investment opportunity.

Don’t agree? Allow me to explain further.

A few years back, I found myself in Vama Veche, a lively seaside village in Romania.

There were numerous vendors selling food, but one particular shawarma shop stood out.

The shop had a seemingly endless queue, piquing my curiosity, and I decided to join in, even though I wasn’t particularly hungry.

I soon discovered the crowd’s appeal. Every time the shop owner handed over a shawarma to a customer, he’d yell, “Bingo!” at the top of his lungs.

The crowd would then cheer, basking in a sense of victory, as though they had won something.

Intrigued, I engaged the owner of the next shawarma stall in conversation.

It was evident he wasn’t thrilled about his competitor’s success.

He grumbled about how the “Bingo” guy sold at least four times more shawarmas than he did daily, using just a simple trick—shouting “Bingo!” It was clear to him that his shawarma was superior, yet he was outsold daily.

This experience got me thinking.

In business, it’s essential to differentiate yourself to maximize profits, and surprisingly, it often doesn’t require spending a dime.

Among the 300-plus food vendors in that locale, one managed to stand out and make a killing.

This firsthand lesson has resonated with me for years, prompting me to think about ways I can distinguish myself from the crowd.

Though I can’t recall the exact amount I spent on my trip to Romania, I can say it was a worthwhile investment.

It gave me an insight that I’ve utilized repeatedly over the years.

However, I can safely assume that 99% of the people there that day didn’t grasp the golden nugget of wisdom that was presented right before their eyes.

So, is travel an investment?

It can be, but not for everyone.

It often depends on the traveler’s perspective, openness to new experiences, and ability to extract valuable lessons from seemingly ordinary situations.

How to Turn Any Trip into a Profitable Investment for You?

Ever heard the saying, “Investment in travel is an investment in yourself“?

I initially met it with a smile, but soon realized its profound implications.

So how do you ensure your journeys are not just pleasurable but also fruitful?

Here are some tips:

Cultivating a Growth Mindset

So, what exactly is a growth mindset?

Simply put, it’s the belief that your skills and intelligence can be improved with consistent effort and determination. And once these improvements are made, they yield higher returns.

If your sole goal when going on vacation is to let loose, party hard, and drink every night until you’re exhausted, you might miss out on numerous opportunities that are right in front of you.

It’s critical to balance enjoyment with learning and growth, transforming your travels into experiences that can enrich your life.

Research Your Travel Destination in Advance

I completely understand. After a year of hard work, you’re ready for a break.

Most people, driven by impulse, choose their next travel destination based on the tantalizing photos they see on their friends’ social media profiles.

The allure of a beautiful beach, sunny weather, delicious food, inexpensive drinks, or attractive people can be too good to resist.

However, such choices may not necessarily expand your mindset.

If you opt for a remote location with nothing but sand and palm trees, don’t expect too much from it in terms of personal growth.

Instead, take a step back and conduct some research on your travel destination. Choose at least ten places that could provide you with insightful experiences.

For instance, many people visit the Alps, but not as many take the time to visit the Lindt Home of Chocolate Museum in Zurich. Did I mention that they offer chocolate samples? Now, that’s a deliciously enlightening experience worth considering!

Keep an Eye on Your Spending

One of the simplest ways to identify which businesses are thriving and which are not is by observing where your money goes.

Make a mental note every time you purchase something that wasn’t essential, and try to figure out why you bought it.

This exercise can be quite enlightening as it may reveal unexpected patterns or preferences.

You’d be surprised at what you might uncover!

Engage in Small Talk

Whenever you come across something intriguing, don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation.

People usually respond positively when they see your genuine interest in their business or their well-being. Small talk can often reveal unexpected insights.

For instance, during one of these casual chats, I discovered that selling frozen yogurt can be a highly profitable business.

You never know what nuggets of wisdom you might unearth during these light-hearted interactions!

Learn Something New Every Day

There’s a distinct difference between reading about achieving a 20X return in a book and actually seeing people accomplish it in real life.

Seeing is truly believing.

A few years ago, I was at Oktoberfest, where folks were buying all sorts of street food, primarily Weißwurst.

However, what caught my attention was a van selling just pickles.

They were charging one euro per pickle, and there was no shortage of takers.

Keep in mind, there are about 17 pickles in each 32 oz jar, which you can buy at the local supermarket for roughly three euros.

When you do the math, you realize the impressive return on investment this pickle vendor was making.

Lessons like these are invaluable, and they’re often the ones you can’t get from a book.

So, open your eyes to the real-world lessons that traveling can offer you, and try to learn something new each day.

Snap Loads of Photos

No, I’m not talking about snapping shots of your friends after a wild night out.

I’m referring to something entirely different.

Make a separate album on your smartphone for anything and everything that sparks your curiosity or seems to carry the seed of a new idea.

Capture anything that makes you stop and think, “Hey, that’s interesting!”

Once you’re back home, take the time to scroll through this unique album.

You’ll be surprised at the ideas and inspiration that your travel photos can trigger.

Use these images as a springboard for research, potentially unveiling new business ideas or opportunities you hadn’t thought of before.

So, keep your camera ready and your mind open – you never know where your next big idea might come from.

Explore on Foot

There’s no better way to truly experience a place than by walking its streets.

Opportunities often won’t just present themselves while you’re lounging at the beach or cooped up in a hotel room.

You have to go out and find them. Make an effort to step outside your comfort zone and explore your travel destination on foot.

You never know what unique and inspiring discoveries might be waiting for you around the corner.

Remember, the most rewarding experiences often come from the roads less traveled.

So, lace up your shoes and let your curiosity guide you!

Embrace Open-mindedness

Remember to keep an open mind.

Don’t dismiss something you’re familiar with or proficient at just because you’re comfortable with the topic.

A personal anecdote comes to mind about a friend who works in construction.

We were in Greece, and I decided to pause and watch a building being constructed. My friend was less than thrilled. He quipped, “I didn’t fly 10,000 miles just to watch the same thing I see at work every day.”

However, after a short while, he started filming with his phone, remarking, “They’re doing it differently.”

He was excited for his boss to see their unique construction techniques that promised significant cost savings.

Did I mention that he received a raise six months later thanks to this newfound knowledge?

Now, he can’t resist snapping a few pictures of construction sites whenever he travels, much to his family’s chagrin. But hey, it’s been quite lucrative for him.

Never underestimate the power of lifelong learning. You might just find a treasure trove of information in the most unexpected places!

Enjoy Yourself

Don’t forget to have fun. Don’t be the person brooding in the corner, obsessing over investment possibilities.

Remember, it’s vital to relax and truly enjoy your vacation, even if it feels like nothing is going according to plan.

Savor the moment, embrace spontaneity, and who knows?

The most memorable experiences often happen when you’re just having a good time.

Conquer Your Fears

Let’s face it – everyone has something that scares them. It could be heights, water, public speaking, or anything else. When you’re traveling, it’s the perfect time to confront these fears.


Because no one around you knows you, and frankly, they don’t care.

Related: I Don’t Like to Travel

It may sound a bit cynical, but it’s true – if you stumble or mess up, it’s not going to be a big deal.

So, take the plunge and try something that pushes you out of your comfort zone. You might surprise yourself!

Invest in Your Relationships

Traveling with your spouse or partner?

Don’t forget to “invest” in your relationship too.

While it’s important to take notes of potential money-making ideas, don’t let them consume your entire trip.

Your significant other may start to think you’ve lost your marbles!

Keep in mind, most people take vacations to relax and enjoy themselves, not to work.

So, be sure to spend quality time with your partner, as investing in your relationship can often provide the greatest returns in the long run.


I once met a business owner who had a unique approach to meeting new people.

Every day, whenever he met someone new, he would firmly shake their hand, look them squarely in the eyes, and ask if they were interested in a job.

At first, I found this approach amusing, even a bit peculiar, and once I got to know him better, I felt compelled to ask him why he did it.

He looked at me and laid out a few reasons.

First, he said, this approach made him memorable. He wasn’t just some random guy you ran into at a party anymore. Instead, he was the guy who might offer you a job.

Second, he said, it gave him insight into whether people were satisfied with their current job. More often than not, he found that people were unhappy in their roles.

Third, it gave him a chance to see people’s reactions, which he found amusing. Some people would panic and fumble for a response, not knowing what to say.

But the most crucial reason, he explained, was that this approach allowed him to build a network of connections that could benefit him and his business down the line.

About half of his current employees were hired through these chance encounters.

He posed a question to me: “Who do you think people will call when they’re looking for a job?”

I was taken aback, but he had a valid point.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you go around offering jobs to every person you meet while on vacation.

However, I am suggesting that networking should be a significant part of your travels.

The more people you meet and connections you make, the more opportunities you open up for yourself and others.


So, there you have it. Travel can indeed be an investment, one that often pays dividends in unexpected ways.

From gaining valuable insights into local businesses to uncovering life lessons from the simplest of interactions, the potential for growth and discovery is boundless.

However, it’s essential to remember that it’s not all about business and making money. It’s about personal growth, overcoming fears, building relationships, and most importantly, having fun.

It’s about stepping out of your comfort zone, experiencing new cultures, and seeing the world through a different lens. It’s about finding a balance between leisure and learning, indulgence and insight.

Remember, the investment value of travel isn’t purely monetary – it’s the enrichment of the soul, the broadening of perspective, and the deepening of understanding that you gain along the journey.

So pack your bags, lace up your shoes, and embark on your next adventure. Who knows? The experiences you have might just be the spark that ignites your next big idea.

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Sorin Susanu
Sorin, the primary writer for this site, launched it in 2019 as a hobby and a means to refine his English. With a passion for travel ignited by a trip to Italy at age twelve, Sorin has been exploring the world and sharing his adventures ever since.