We leave for vacation in 24 days (but who’s counting), and I am so excited for our upcoming adventure. Sure, we aren’t doing anything amazing, but I can not help be totally thrilled to be getting out of town for a while. Over the past few years, we have spent the majority of our resources paying down debt as fast as humanly possible. We have scrimped and saved, went without, and made do with what we had. Since we have been so cheap and frugal, it seems almost silly that we would spend on things such as vacation. After all, going on vacation sets us back on our goals, eats up cash, and is totally unnecessary, right? Wrong. We have found that going on vacation is essential for our well-being.
Vacation = Time Away From Responsibilities
In my opinion, using vacation time and going on vacation are two entirely different things. Sure, you can use your vacation days at work to stay at home and relax or take care of some errands, but my definition of vacation requires actually leaving my home. When I use vacation days at home, it’s very hard for me to relax. I see cabinets that need reorganized, projects that need completed, and things that need cleaned. I see laundry that needs to be done, clothes that need to be gone through, and important papers that need to be filed. I just cannot sit and enjoy my time off. To actually enjoy my vacation, I have found that I have to leave. (Don’t worry; I take Greg and the kids with me!)
Vacation = Reward for Good Behavior
Since there just isn’t a lot of “stuff” that we actually want, taking a vacation is a way to reward ourselves for meeting our savings goals. Of course, vacation wouldn’t truly be enjoyable unless we budgeted, saved, and planned ahead. But once those pieces are in place, we are able to enjoy our vacation and simply relax.
Additionally, we work in a field that is very emotionally draining due to a number of different factors. This includes but is not limited to extremely emotional customers, long and odd hours, among other things. Not only is vacation a nice reward for all that we deal with throughout the year, it is a necessary time for us to recharge our batteries. If we didn’t get vacation, we would burn out in a matter of weeks. Furthermore, during the times when things are really tough at work, vacation gives us something to look forward to. It gives us something to keep working toward. During the dark days when everything seems to be going badly at work, we can simply look at our calendar and know that vacation is just a few months/weeks/days away.
Vacation = Family Time
Going on vacation is a great time for our family to bond. We create new and important memories on each trip that we take. It is a time when we can really live our lives the way we wish we could every day, spending all day with each other. It is almost as if we become the best version of ourselves while we are away. We have found that we really need this time to keep our family relationships as strong as possible. Plus, with our demanding work schedule, vacation gives us time to have fun and unwind together – which is something that we don’t always get on weekdays or even weekends.
For us, taking vacation isn’t so much of a want as it is a need. OK, that may be going a bit far. However, we truly do view it as something that is important to our mental health as well as the health of our family life. To us, taking a vacation is one of the most important things that we can do with our money. We don’t make a ton of money, but we are luckily in a work situation where we don’t have to worry about how we are going to pay to go on vacation. However, in order to take the vacations we want and love, we do sacrifice other things throughout the year. For us, there is nothing that we’d rather spend our time and money doing.