Travel vs Buying a House
Go to university or go travelling? Buy a home or rent? These are some of the most common dilemmas facing young people today. In such uncertain times of political and economical instability, it’s not surprising that many Millenials choose to put themselves first and take whichever path makes them happiest right now. When the future seems to be going up in smoke, it no longer seems quite so reckless to take chances and live in the moment rather than making unwelcome sacrifices for something that society says that you should want. There are many benefits to travelling the world, just as there are benefits to owning a house, but the associated costs mean that most people are unable to do both (at least without a mix of good fortune and some self-imposed frugality). So, if you are struggling to decide your life path and make a choice between travelling and buying a house, which of these goals should you be prioritising?
The Pros of Travelling Instead of Buying a House
- Living in the moment – Invest in enriching experiences rather than material possessions.
- Discover new cultures – From languages to cuisine to social customs to the local wildlife.
- Develop life and work skills – Travelling helps you to grow as a person and become more responsible.
- Ditch tradition – Previous generations lived in a completely different world, so why should their aspirations apply to your life if they don’t align with your personal ambitions?
- Freedom – It is easier to move around when you aren’t tied down to one place.
The Cons of Travelling Instead of Buying a House
- Lack of Income – You will probably be spending your savings to fund your travel. Unless you work while you travel, you may find that you are out of money when you come back.
- Missing Home Comforts – The nomadic lifestyle isn’t for everyone. You may find that you are not comfortable throwing yourself into new situations or experiencing constant change.
- Long-term Instability – You have to stop travelling at some point, and you may not have a secure place to live or be able to get a job when you return. How will you build a career?
- Increasing Risks – The more adventurous your travels are, the greater the risk of getting into trouble out there.
- Trends Aren’t for Everyone – Would you be travelling for the right reasons? Travelling is often popular amongst young people for the aesthetic of it, but going somewhere just to take Instagram-worthy photos is a waste.
The Pros of Buying a House Instead of Travelling
- Property Investment – Prices are only going to increase, so it’s better to get on the property ladder as soon as possible if you want to be able to afford to own a house.
- Stability and Security – If you are at a point in life where you feel ready to “settle down” then having your own home is a foundation to build on for the rest of your life.
- Independence – For couples or people looking to start a family especially, owning a home can be the best step to take to start a life for themselves without having to rely on family or friends.
- Government Help – First-time homebuyers can get financial assistance from the UK government through the Help to Buy Scheme to purchase their first house.
- Funding Travel – Owning a property can actually help you to travel in the future, because you can rent it out for income while you’re away so that you can afford both.
The Cons of Buying a House Instead of Travelling
- Out of Reach – Buying a home is so expensive these days that it takes years of saving for young people to even get a deposit together. Is it really worth it?
- Too Much, Too Young – Buying a home means that you will be tied down there, limiting your future options. Do you really need a house of your own if you aren’t getting married or raising a family?
- Missing Out – It’s not just about the FOMO that comes with seeing and hearing about everyone else’s travel adventures. It’s about the limitation of your personal growth without unusual experiences.
- Financial Burden – From mortgage payments to repairs, the cost of running your own house can be extremely unaffordable. Travelling can be much cheaper and eases the burden of responsibility.
- Whose Dream is it Anyway? – Just because marrying a partner, getting a house, and having kids is seen as the norm doesn’t mean that it’s the ONLY path, or that it’s the right one for you.
Should you travel or buy a house?
It’s true that perceptions and preferences have changed over time, along with the economy. Travelling is no longer the massively indulgent expense it once was, while getting onto the ladder of property ownership is the hardest it’s ever been. It’s not surprising that almost half of 18 to 34-year-olds would rather spend their money on holidays than buying a house. However, it is important for some young people to get a stable foundation for building a career or starting a family. Holidays can seem frivolous compared to that long-term goal. Both travelling and buying a house can be very beneficial in life but also come with their own stresses. Both will require you saving up enough money to at least get started on the chosen path. What it all comes down to is what you want out of life. Society says that you should be a homeowner to be successful yet you should also see the world while you are young. Whichever goal you decide to prioritise is entirely up to you. Remember that the two aren’t mutually exclusive, and you may even be able to do both if you plan and time it right. Do whatever will make you happier and make choices that you won’t end up regretting.