Many families take an annual summer vacation to get away for a week or two. In some cases it’s just a quick trip up to the lake, while others make it a cross-country adventure. Whatever the vacation, it costs money. If you drive, it’s gas and maybe a rental car. If you fly, you obviously have airfare. And unless you own the place you’re staying or will be staying with relatives you have to worry about lodging costs and of course food.
So, with the typical expense of a family vacation and trying to dig out of this recession, are people scaling back on vacation plans this year? I talked a little bit about staycations earlier this year as I think a lot of people are looking for ways to save money, but I wonder how accurate that is. Some people seem to go on vacation whether they can afford to or not. Not the best financial move, but I can understand why some people feel they have to get away no matter what.
We don’t have a regular vacation routine or anything, but we did go to Florida this spring, but that was mainly for business. We did set a little time aside to see some sights, but the weather wasn’t very good. Other than that, we’ll probably head out to Kansas City this summer to visit my parents who recently moved out there and we’ve never been, so it should be fun. Plus it’s free lodging, so it’s frugal! But with a one-year old and another on the way it isn’t like we’re going to be up for any big adventures anyway.
What are your vacation plans this year and how have they changed, if at all, thanks to the economy?
Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle
My name is Jeremy Vohwinkle, and I’ve spent a number of years working in the finance industry providing financial advice to regular investors and those participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans.
We always make a one week road trip for the week. The good part is we rent a 2 bed condo and split the cost with another family. That saves a bunch on lodging. That also saves on food since we can cook breakfast and dinner in house. Just lunch is on the road.
Having just have had our first child there will be no vacations for a while, until the little fella is able to walk, at least. All the sudden costs of having a child also adds up, so the holiday budget will definitely be used for other purposes for a while.
I'm with Jon on this one. The option I would have selected isn't up there. Yes, we're actually going to take one this year. We haven't taken a vacation in about 5 years so we're excited to be getting away finally.
Last year we were expecting so we did not do much. My husband travels 2-3 weeks per month so his Delta and Hilton points are paying for travel and lodging in Disney World with our 5-year-old. The baby goes to the in-laws. I figure it will still cost us between $1500-$2000 for tickets and food. We will spend a week in CO at my sister's house and then a couple of weeks at my parents in Indiana. So a lot of travel but not a ton of money.
Hmm I'm certainly cutting my vacation budget in half. Maybe take a road trip to go visit family out of state that way I'll get to visit relatives and take a short break from work.
My family and I will be taking a vacation this year. It will be slightly cheaper than in years past, but not by much.
We will be spending two weeks whitewater rafting/kayaking/hiking/etc in North Carolina, exploring the sites in Washington DC, and returning to Florida on the AutoTrain…all for less than $3800 (everything included…I mean EVERYTHING).
Our annual family vacations are a high priority for me, therefore I save for it accordingly, year-round. It is during these vacations that I can devote 24/7 to my kids and have life-experiences with them. These experiences are lifelong memories that will bond us, and give them an understanding of the world.
I obsessively plan our vacations, squeezing the most experiences I can out of our budget.
One option your poll was missing was "Yes, we're finally taking the vacation we've dreamed of for years." If all goes according to plan, my wife and I will have a long vacation this fall, traveling on our motorcycles along the Northwest coast and into Canada, and after 27 years of marriage, enjoy our "honeymoon" in Hawaii for Christmas. Summer is filled with our usual mini-vacations and family campouts.