…or our lack thereof. Actually, I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and starting to wonder, for the first time, whether I’m being too fiscally conservative (meaning, cheap) by denying us vacations. I know where it comes from: when you don’t pull in a steady paycheck that you can count on and plan with, it’s really really scary to spend money. I’m not talking about a nice meal or a pricey clothing purchase, but the kind of money it takes to finance a vacation, even a short one. So my automatic answer has always been, no, we can’t afford it.
Mark traveled as a kid, but I didn’t. Vacations were not something that we did at all, save for the occasional long weekend motel stays in Montauk or the Poconos, so once I got to college, I took off entire summers as soon as I could. Since then, I’ve been to every state but 6 (ok ok, I AM counting drive throughs, but I should get bonus points for being in Alaska) and drove across country 3 or 4 times. Mark and I traveled as much as we could afford before the kids came along, mostly to Hawaii and a few European cities, but travel slowed almost to none once we had kids. The few times we’ve been on a plane have been to either LA or Seattle to visit family.
I’ve really been wanting a vacation lately. A real one too and not just one where we’re staying at someone’s house. M’s been dying to go to Hawaii. Maybe it’s been passed on in her genes, but she talks about “going to the Hukilou” all the time and protests with jealousy saying it’s not fair that we’ve been there multiple times when she hasn’t even gone once. Hawaii is not in the cards for us (way too expensive and an 11 hr non stop flight – or worse, multiple stops with 2 kids? Oh hell, no), but I’ve been dreaming about a beach vacation for years. I still don’t know if I’m ready to decide if we can afford it. It was almost easier back when we really didn’t have any money, but we’ve scraped by the last few years to build up savings, so in *theory* we can. I am taking small steps, though. Now that the girls are older, I’ve shuffled our priorities to make at least one yearly vacation happen, however small. I see that it’s important for them, but also important for us. We want to travel. I’m tired of being jealous of other people’s vacations and I’m tired of being so frugal. Our frugalness has paid off, for sure, but I think I’m starting to get a bit more comfortable relaxing our budget a bit by doing things like go out to eat more than once a month (craaazy, yeah?). We’re thinking of renting a house on the beach in the North Fork, LI for a week in August, but I kind of want to go on a long weekend trip somewhere in May or June. So….where does a family of frugal minded people go? Any ideas?