How I’m Making the Family Vacation Happen Again

by on July 7th, 2010
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Historically, economic uncertainty requires most families to make sacrifices. My family’s annual vacations have ended up on the back burner for the past few years. The poor economy made it necessary to skip them– our last trip was in 2009. If we’d taken any, the cost of our vacations would’ve come out of savings, so we just stayed home. Now that we’ve had a few years to adapt to new circumstances, the prospect of taking a vacation in 2012 is looking more realistic. Here’s how we plan to make it happen:

Deciding on a destination.
We’ll be deciding where to go after we’ve looked at the overall cost of different places we’re interested in visiting. This way, we’ll be able to assess where we can get the most for our money. Some destinations include a lot of costs beyond travel and accommodations. Others cost little more than the price of getting there and paying for a place to stay. The beach, for example, doesn’t cost money to visit. If we do that, we’ll just have travel expenses and the cost of a condo with a kitchenette. Disney World, on the other hand, would mean staying somewhere cheaper since the tourist attraction itself is so expensive.

Scrutinizing the travel options.

Once we’ve agreed on a place, we’ll start weighing out the different travel costs. We’ll account for gas prices, airfare, car rentals and even the cost per bag of checked luggage. Depending on how far away we decide to go, driving may turn out to be the most economical choice. In the car, we can always play the alphabet game for entertainment. We can also bring a cooler of food for the drive so we don’t have to eat at restaurants along the way.

Saving up for the trip.
We’ve decided on some specific strategies for saving up for our vacation. We’re going to return to basic cable to add about fifty dollars per month to the budget. We’ve also stopped paying for a landline since everyone in our household has a cell phone. Another way we’re going to save is by only going out to eat once a month. We’ll be going to a nicer restaurant when we do, while still saving a lot of money as compared to going out once a week.

By planning our trip early, and carefully, we’ll be able to finally reintegrate the old family vacation back into our routine. It just won’t be as spontaneous as some were in years past.

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