The Value of Taking a Vacation

Yesterday, I talked about the budget for our upcoming vacation.  Today, I want to tell you why we are willing to spend as much as we do when we go on vacation.

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

The Value of Vacation

This is pretty much what we like to do on vacation…

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!)

Consider going somewhere with a beautiful atmosphere like New Zealand if you do decide to leave. The South Island is a breathtaking locale, and a great place to start. I’d suggest you reserve a hotel in Nelson, which is one of the oldest cities in the New Zealand’s South Island. It has plenty of  opportunities for exciting sightseeing adventures such as caving excursions. It’s a great place to bring the family or just to go by yourself and get away from it all. If you’re like me and used to working through most vacations, you owe it to yourself to explore this enchanting part of the world.

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.

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About Holly

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Club Thrifty and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, and U.S. News and World Report's "My Money Blog." Holly has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Fox Business, and Daily Finance.

Comments

  1. Have fun! Where are you going?

  2. I know that vacations aren’t really NEEDS but I’m with you on how you feel about them. A staycation just doesn’t do it for me…I need to be away from everybody. Nobody bothering me, no emails, limited phone usage, etc. I just love the freedom that a vacation allows you.

    23 3/4 days now…

  3. I very much value vacations. I think they are definitely needed (or wanted). All work and no play is not healthy.

    • Me too! I need that time to destress. Unfortunately, I am already in vacation zone and I’m still over 20 days out. I need to try to refocus!

  4. Thanks for the post Holly! I agree that vacations really can be a need. With the hecticness of life, it is probably one of the easiest & best ways ( in my opinion) to rest & recharge. Without them, life would be just be too boring. We get to leave for ours in 16 days, but who’s counting?!? :)

    • Where are you going, John? I’m counting down too. If I don’t count today, then I’ve got 22 days to go!

      • We’re going to Minneapolis. Looking forward to some outdoors time and visiting the State Fair. I am sure I’ll get roped in to going to the MOA as well.

  5. Panama City sounds like fun!

    I once had a supervisor who called me into his office, pulled out the office calendar/vacation schedule, and said “You’re scheduling time off. NOW.” I protested that I had too much to do, and he said, “You’ve got two and a half weeks accrued and right now you’re no good to anybody because you’re stressed out. Hang out at home and watch Ren and Stimpy, I don’t care, but you need to take time off.”

    Best thing a supervisor ever did for me. I took the time, and I make sure to take time every year, even if I don’t plan on traveling anywhere.

  6. I think a lot depends on how stressful a person’s life is. Personally I rarely go on vacation, but I think it’s fine. Travel just isn’t a major priority in my life right now. I do go on occasional weekend roadtrips, but that’s about it. In your case you have definitely deserved it and value those vacations a lot. So there’s nothing wrong with splurging a bit to recharge and keep yourself happy.

    • You’re probably right- and my life is moderately stressful. I’m kind’ve a high stress person but it is something that I am working on. I cannot help my genetic makeup but I can help how I deal with it!

  7. Vacations are super-important to me as well. I always feel like it’s time wasted if we just stay at home! I’d much rather leave and do something, than end up wasting time watching TV and procrastinating on chores! Now, if I could figure out how to spend even more time on vacation :-)

    • Yeah, me too. I love to get away for a while!!! I need more vacation days too. Maybe I will ask for some at my next performance review?!?!?

  8. Vacations are very important and lots of fun!! And it is always good to have something to look forward to. Counting the days up to the day you leave is a big part of the fun too.

    And I agree, spending your vacation days at home usually just turns into work anyways, as we can always see things that need to be done around the house.

    • Unfortunately, counting down until vacation does not help me be productive. My co-worker recently told me that I am not allowed to mentally check out until the end of August!

  9. I think vacations are necessary. Success coach Dan Sullivan talks extensively about taking time out for yourself so you can hit work hard when you’re home without burnout.

  10. Love me some vacation! We’re heading out to a family get-together in a few weeks, and really, we’re excited for some great family time. I competely agree that being at home just reminds you of your responsibilites and to-do list. I need to get away to really relax!

  11. I have such wanderlust. To me, vacations=sanity. Even if they’re not anywhere exotic and we’re not sipping martini’s at a five-star hotel. Just getting away is enough. Seeing new places, and like you said, temporarily escaping those darn responsibilities.

  12. If you combine vacation with travel, it means you learn new things, you experience places and people. You become closer to nature, people or history.

  13. There had been a time in college where I hadn’t really taken a vacation for a few years mainly because I didn’t have the money. Now I’ve gone to Hawaii and Jamaica in the past two years and they were incredibly relaxing (Hawaii for sister-in-laws wedding and Jamaica for honeymoon). I hope you guys have fun in Panama City!

  14. We are like you. We are big on vacations and love to travel. We make it a priority every year because of the benefits we get from taking one. We usually save up what we can for one big trip a year somewhere overseas. This takes some adjustment with other things in the budget but it has always been worth it.

  15. I think time with family is the biggest one for me now. It use to be ‘getting away and enjoying myself” – which is great too… But now that I have little ones & am crazy busy, any vacation is valuable time to connect with those you love.

    My biggest problem is that I have “millionaire travel syndrome”, which means I live like a millionaire when I vacation. (So I need to watch myself.) Not going to stop me from taking those vacations though!

  16. I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, both Mr. PoP and I have jobs right now where it’s almost impossible to not take some work with us even on vacation. So while we took a 2 week vacation earlier this year, I was still logging in to work for about an hour every day, and he was emailing from his phone and stressing about contracts. =( We hope to change this someday!

  17. Have Fun Mate! After moving to Canada 5 years ago now I need a vacation. I’m used to 3-4 trips per year back home but nothing since moving here. I know what you mean and we all need a time out. Next year is the year of vacation for Mr.&Mrs.CBB!!! Cheers

  18. This post really spoke to me. I love vacation time and taking vacations. Almost everytime I’ve take time off from work has been to go on vacation. I took a staycation once with the bf. We went to local attractions and saved a ton of money but it didn’t feel the same. It got to the point that I was still itching to go away and just get away from work and home. I recently came back from the East Coast and although I am exhausted it definitely was worth it.

    Next month I’m going to Peru!!!

  19. I also love to travel, I love to go to beach with my husband.
    Lorillia|Your Money Mentor recently posted..How to earn passive income with affiliate productsMy Profile

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