Times are tough there’s no doubt about it. There have been many years in my 15 year marriage that we really couldn’t afford a summer vacation. Is it smart with a big mortgage, student loans, car payments, child care expenses and some credit card debit to go and spend a few thousand dollars on vacation? Probably not, but I really don’t care. We don’t take extravagant vacations. We never fly, we’ve never been to Hawaii, the Bahamas, or Mexico, but we will go to the beach annually and we do take a few smaller trips during the rest of the year. Let’s look at it this way, let’s say that if you add up all you debt you owe $200,000. If you choose to spend $3000 on vacation as opposed to paying on your debt really making all that much difference? Not really, you still owe $197,000. But I can’t put a value on my summer vacation. It’s worth so much more than $3,000 . . .
1. I work full time and my husband works more than full time. We need a week away and not just from work, away from the housework, the grass, and the early rising fur kids. Staycations almost always end up being more work than relaxation. There is mulching to do, closets to clean out, and doctor appointments to catch up on.
2. Vacation is about building memories. My son is now 12. How many more years is he actually going to want to go on vacation with his parents? Three or four if we are super lucky? And you want me to give that up just because the AC unit went out or because I needed new tires? I don’t think so. I can’t get these years back. The mortgage is sticking around for 30 years, my kids probably aren’t (if I’m lucky).
3. Nothing says family bonding like 12 hours in the car together. That’s a closeness you just don’t get in a 2,500 square foot house with wifi. It’s really weird, on a 10 minute car ride my kids fight the whole time but on a 10 hour drive they bicker very little. Nothing makes us happier than knowing we are heading to the beach. My kids are like different people at the beach. They get along (mostly), try new foods (sometimes) and learn (we always do something educational).
4. I need the beach. I really, truly seriously need it. I really am not sure I can live without it. The knowledge of summer vacation is the only thing that gets me through the winter.
5. I deserve it. I don’t drink alcohol and I don’t smoke. I don’t spend a lot of money on clothes (although I probably should). I know people who say they can’t afford vacations and that’s fine, I get that. But then one or both of them smoke. They buy a few cases of beer a week, maybe the occasional bottle of fine bourbon. I know households that spend like $2500 a year on alcohol and cigarettes and if that’s what they want to do that’s totally fine, their choice. I’d rather have my vacation.