Vacation : Leisure time away from work devoted to rest or pleasure.
When we have taken the plunge I usually like to drive somewhere rather than feed my fear of flying (and yes I already know that driving is more dangerous blah blah blah) This does cut down expense, but adds a few days of travel which in the end I guess evens out with the 2 more days away from the office losing money and the possible extra night at a hotel...hmm. BUT, I feel safer and less stressed and enjoy the scenery of familiar places and new finds. One thing we always end up doing on vacation is talking about businesses we'd like to start. In the past these talks have sometimes turned into actual business plans but most have turned into nothing but conversations and a few web domain name purchases, that eventually get cancelled. It's fun to dream though, and gives us lots to talk about along the journey.
Another variable in the vacation "equation" is kids in the mix... we love spending time with them, but we also love spending time just the two of us. Throwing them in the plan adds more luggage, stops, food, arguments, potty breaks and once you get to the hotel we either have to get two rooms or one child sleeps on the couch and goes hungry at the free continental breakfast. Being penny pinchers I bet you can guess what option usually wins, and thankfully most places let an extra breakfast ticket be purchased.
On the converse.. if we decide not to take them, we have to find a few willing family members to pitch in a few nights to watch our little darlings, for what I'm sure sounds like a perfect weekend for the lucky relatives! Recently, we chose the latter and decided to leave them with family as we drove to San Fransicio for a wedding. It took us 10 hours which at first seems like a long way for a wknd, but in the end we decided without the kids it was TOTALLY doable and the next time we plan a weekend road trip we can count on a 10 hour radius from our home to pick a spot for vacation. With this in mind, we decided we should get away for the wknd more often, we haven't exactly broke the news to the kids or the extended family/caretakers. I'm sure they'll remember how FAST the weekend really did go. The only drawback to this plan was by Sunday we really missed our 3 little people waiting for us at home, waiting for the souvenirs and our stories of how much fun we had just the two of us without them. In the end what came of it was deciding that the next trip we should go somewhere 5 hours away (or less) by car and take the kids. We can alternate, however the rotation will have to fit in with the current rotation of me getting to plan the vacation which usually is in a city, with a nice hotel, pool, restaurants compared to my husband's choice of the great outdoors , no running water, hiking and sleeping in a tent, and of course hiking to the top of some "painful" mountain for a BREATHTAKING view (ok..I'll give him that one). Even if plans go different than expected, or the off season deal turns out horrible and obvious as to why it was a "deal", it is worth trying and worth getting away from the pressures of every day life and leaves us with some great stories and memories along the way.